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Australian State Uses Digital Tech to Connect with Youth
Source: futuregov.asia
Source Date: Friday, July 05, 2013
Focus: Citizens’ Service Delivery
Country: Australia
Created: Jul 09, 2013

The State Government of Queensland in Australia released a Youth Strategy yesterday to guide the development and coordination of services for young people in the state.

 

Recognising that young people (between the ages of 12 and 21) most often access information, social networks, and various activities through the digital world, the strategy aims to use digital tools and technology to engage young citizens and provide the services they need.

 

“We want our young people have the support they need to reach their full potential and lead healthy and fulfilling lives”, said Tracy Davis, Communities Minister. “This strategy is just one way of doing that. We want to make sure we are delivering the right services and information in the right locations, at the right time, to the young people who need it most”.

 

The strategy has identified six areas for the government to focus on to connect with and improve the lives of the more than 587,000 young people who live in the state, with digital tools playing a role in most areas.

 

For example, to connect youth with their most important social influences – family, friends, and social networks – the government will continue to provide a wide range of telephone helplines for children and parents. Additionally, all agencies will provide links and information to their services, programmes, and apps for young people and their friends and family on the government youth hub.

 

In the second focus area – connecting youth to education, training and employment – the Department of Education, Training and Employment recently launched QSchools, a smartphone app to allow students and parents to receive updated information from and about multiple schools. Another app, named ‘Take a Stand’, provides information and tips to create safe and supportive school environments that are free from bullying, harassment and violence.

 

The government already provides a web-based learning management system called Rural Skills Online to Queensland schools, which it will continue to support under the Youth Strategy. The State Library of Queensland is also getting involved with the training and education of the youth, by providing online public programmes and learning opportunities such as online literature festivals, workshops, and research support.

 

In addition, the government will provide safety tips and information about weather and natural disasters to the youth through online tools, including Facebook, Twitter, blogs and YouTube, to ensure their health and well-being (another focus area of the strategy), and use social media to get young people’s opinions on issues that affect them to effectively design support services.

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