HEYWIRE AND TRAILBLAZERS AN INSPIRATION: DEPUTY PM

Inspiring stories from young leaders across regional Australia were a focus of Federal Parliament this week, as 48 winners of the ABC Heywire and Trailblazer programs attended the inaugural ABC Heywire Youth Summit, Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals’ Leader Michael McCormack says.

“These passionate young Australians came to Canberra to present their ideas to Federal MPs, government agencies and community organisations,” Mr McCormack said.

In welcoming the winners, Mr McCormack said he and his colleagues were keen to hear about the challenges facing these young people and how they could be acted upon.

“The ABC Heywire and Trailblazer programs put regional Australians aged 16 to 22 at the centre of the conversations which shape their communities on issues such as mental health, Indigenous inclusion, access to jobs and suicide prevention,” Mr McCormack said.

“This week these remarkable young people had the opportunity to share and workshop their unique perspectives with Federal MPs, representatives from Australian Government Departments, agencies and other funding bodies.

“They had a golden opportunity to reach a national audience by working with ABC staff to transform their stories into a high-quality TV and/or radio pieces.

“Having had a career in country journalism for more than 20 years, I know how vital good, local story-telling is to ensuring country communities remain informed and connected about the issues which matter to them and their towns.

“It’s inspiring to see the passion and energy of these young people for the future of regional Australia and I am hopeful they continue to tell regional Australia’s stories – in communities big and small – for many years to come.

“This year’s Heywire winners and Trailblazers are strong, capable ambassadors for their communities and each year they surprise and inspire with their solutions to local issues.

“I am delighted the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities is an ongoing sponsor of this important event and was pleased to meet many participants this week.”

Hannah Maguire