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About the Conference

The National Youth Homelessness Conference will take place on the 18th and 19th of March 2019 at Melbourne Town Hall. The day and a half conference will be a single stream presentation and will involve keynote speeches from experts in the sector, panel discussions, a Q & A session, the release of a National Report Card on Youth Homelessness and the premiere of the follow-up to ‘The Oasis’ documentary- 10 years on, featuring many of the young people from the original documentary. The conference will be paperless, and a conference app will be available to provide session and event information as well as links to live social media feeds.

The National Youth Homelessness Conference will build upon the work of the 2008 National Youth Commission Inquiry into Youth Homelessness.

Purpose of the Conference

The conference aims to reanimate the Australian community and the homelessness sector to advance the way forward toward ending youth homelessness in Australia. Does the ‘Roadmap to End Youth Homelessness’ need to be changed or at least adjusted? What can we do, beyond the usual ‘tinkering around the edges’ and providing more ‘crisis responses’? What would a genuine strategy to end youth homelessness using broader multi-systemic and integrated reforms actually look like?

The conference will provide the opportunity to Learn, Plan and Act:

Learn

We will assess evidence and data from 2008-2018 by asking the following questions:

  • So what? What has changed in the last 10 years?
  • What do the number say? What has been the overall effect of youth homelessness policy during the last decade?
  • Did they listen? To what extent have the ‘Roadmap to End Youth Homelessness’ and the NYC Inquiry recommendations been adopted by Federal, State and Territory Governments and the sector? Is there evidence of an impact on youth homelessness consequent to government deciding to ignore or adopt those recommendations?
  • Did they act? What has actually happened in youth homelessness policy and service provision in the ten years since the Inquiry findings were presented in 2008?

Plan

Assessing what we know works and what we know needs to change to end youth homelessness:

  • Looking beyond ‘refuge’ and focussing on wider issues such as youth transitions that interplay with youth homelessness.
  • Focussing on early intervention and long-term solutions and how stakeholders play a part in this.
  • Working together across sectors to move towards an integrated and multi-systemic approach.

Act

Develop a strategy to end youth homelessness that is long-term, integrated and multi-systemic:

  • Ascertaining what changes need to be implemented across levels of government and policy to prevent and end youth homelessness.
  • Developing a reform agenda outlining what needs to happen going forward to end youth homelessness.
  • Subsequently this will be used to run a short, sharp advocacy campaign to influence policy makers to prioritise the issue of youth homelessness.

Youth Development Australia is the auspice of
the National Youth Homelessness Conference.