WA Youth Minister announces 3 year funding for Youth Pride Network

WA’s Minister for Youth Dave Kelly has revealed today that the Youth Pride Network (YPN) will receive 3 years of funding to expand its work as Western Australia’s first LGBTIQA+ youth advocacy body.

Formed in 2017, the YPN is an organisation created by and for LGBTIQA+ young people aimed at using systemic advocacy to create a Western Australia where LGBTIQA+ young people are fully included, accepted and celebrated by their community. The YPN will be auspiced by the Youth Affairs Council of WA (YACWA).

Minister Kelly announced the news this morning as part of YACWA’s State of the Youth Sector Forum.

“One of the issues that [YACWA] had raised is the continuing discrimination that young people experience because of their sexuality. Some people say a lot of that stuff is in the past, there’s no discrimination now… but deep down we know that there is still significant pockets of discrimination,” Minister Kelly said.

“It was only during the Gallop Government that sodomy was no longer a criminal offence, up until then young people, young men, used to get arrested and get a criminal record for being gay, essentially. The Gallop Government got rid of that. In this term of government with Mark McGowan we’ve passed legislation so those old criminal convictions can actually be expunged from people’s records.”

The Member for Bassendean said there is still a lot of work to be done for LGBTIQA+ young people across the state.

“People can still discriminate today, religious groups can discriminate today on the basis of people’s sexuality, just to name one example.”

“One of the issues that the ministerial Youth Advisory Council has raised with me is their request that we enable there to be a youth LGBTIQA+ advocacy group form so that… young people can really come together and push for change in those areas.”

“On all issues, whether it be employment, education, housing… young people who feel as though they are discriminated against on the basis of their sexuality can actually have a voice.”

YPN Chair Charlotte Glance has welcomed the announcement, outlining what the funding can bring to the organisation.

“Until this time the YPN has been operating completely voluntarily, and this funding will allow us to hire staff and drastically expand our work,” Glance said.

“LGBTIQA+ young people experience discrimination at home, school, employment and in public. That is why it is so important that the State Government are resourcing an organisation that advocates for the human rights of LGBTIQA+ young people.”

“We hope that this funding helps not only our organisation but that we are able to use it to uplift the rest of the amazing community organisations in WA with us.”

Ross Wortham, CEO of YACWA adds that the team are “thrilled to have the support of the State Government to expand the amazing work the YPN have been doing.”

“YACWA is a human rights based organisation and we are very proud to auspice the YPN over the next 3 years.”

“Our partnership will assist them in their development to become an advocacy force for LGBTIQA+ young people’s wellbeing in WA.”

Leigh Andrew Hill

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