This week, schools across North Sydney are celebrating the accomplishments of their Year 12s, who are moving on from formal schooling into the next stage of their lives. If you, or someone close to you, is graduating from school this year: congratulations!
Young Australians are the future of our country, and I am perpetually blown away by the passion, tenacity and ambitions of those in our community. From the graduating classes of Loreto Kirribilli and Cammeraygal High School to the Year 10s and 11s who participated in our community Youth Forum this year, it has been an absolute privilege to hear from so many bright young minds this week.
Students from 12 local high schools participated in this year's Youth Forum, which met on Monday for our third and final meeting of 2023. We spoke about a broad range of issues including the Voice; gender pay gaps; public transport reliability and emissions; climate change; women's safety; and the management of food waste, with one of our most robust conversations focusing on how, as responsible citizens, we can all distinguish fact from misinformation and disinformation. In the end the group decided there were really six key things to examine when trying to make this distinction. They were:
- The Source: Understanding where this information has come from. Is it offered by a reputable source, or someone you can trust?
- Fact: Is the information being provided factual or is it opinion?Timeliness: Is this information current? Is it based in today’s science and understanding of the world and society?
- Bias: Is there an obvious bias influencing the provision of this information?
- Context: What else is happening around the time we are consuming the information put in front of us?
- Perspectives: From what angle is this information being offered?
Thank you to Hunters Hill High School, Wenona, Loreto Kirribilli, Monte Sant' Angelo, St Joseph's College, Saint Ignatius' College Riverview, Chatswood High, North Sydney Girls, Glenaeon, Marist Sisters' College, Redlands and Marist Catholic College for getting involved. My team and I have really enjoyed listening to you this year and I am very much looking forward to building on this work next year.
To all who will be on school holidays by the end of this week: have a safe, restful and enjoyable break. To everyone else: here's to quiet roads and good weather in the week ahead!
P.S. Thanks to everyone who came along to last weekend's event with the Beetaloo Traditional Owners and last night’s special screening of Climate Changers at the Orpheum. With record weather events taking place around the globe, and fires already burning across our Nation, we must continue to press our Government to go further and faster: engaging with us transparently around what they know and how we need to prepare.
I am grateful to be able to be your voice on this matter each and every day and will continue to hold our Government to account for what to date has been some pretty disappointing progress. Here’s to being the change we want to see in Australian politics.