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Summit to challenge perceptions of youth crime

AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL

MEDIA RELEASE

9 May 2006

Summit to challenge perceptions of youth crime

Teenagers will tackle stereotypes around youth crime during a day-long youth summit on Tuesday 16 May as part of the Auckland region’s launch of Youth Week.

Converse 06 is a by-youth for-youth summit where young people talk about youth issues. This year’s theme is Re:Defining our perceptions of youth crime, which ties in to the Youth Week theme, Re:Define: Challenge youth stereotypes.

Peer leaders from each of the city’s high schools and alternative education providers will attend the event at The Auckland Performing Arts Centre.

Auckland City Youth Council (ACYC) and Community Action on Youth and Drugs (CAYAD) Auckland Central are organising the summit.

Keynote speakers will inspire delegates to think about how poverty and perceptions impact youth and crime, then young people will participate in workshops to explore issues like youth crews and gangs, drugs and alcohol, and graffiti.

An AkActive workshop will be held focusing on how physical activity can connect young people with their local community. This workshop will encourage youth to develop ideas for physical activity opportunities in Auckland city.

The summit will also include theatre sports, a special guest performance by Spacifix and a debate between celebrities and Youth Council members about whether “it’s cool to be bad.”

Shirley Allan, a facilitator of CAYAD, says: “It is in creating this forum that we hope to address some of the more serious issues facing our young people. We aim to look hard at the perceptions around youth crime, particularly in an urban New Zealand context, and then start to try and find ways that we can all contribute towards making positive, sustainable change.”

The Converse 06 project has been organised in partnership with The New Zealand Association for Adolescent Health and Development, The Mental Health Foundation and delegates from Converse 05.

This year Converse 06 has been picked up by Manukau, North Shore and Waitakere city councils as well as Whangarei CAYAD. These organisations will all run parallel summits with the same theme.

Youth Week is an international campaign to celebrate and promote young people. It is coordinated in New Zealand by The New Zealand Association for Adolescent Health and Development, and runs from 15 until 21 May.

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Auckland City Youth Council was started in 1984 by the then Mayor of Auckland, Dame Catherine Tizard, so that the voice of youth in New Zealand’s largest city could be heard. The Youth Council is involved in important issues and also organises successful events. It is open to young people aged between 12 and 24 years of age who live within Auckland city boundaries. Meetings are on the third Monday of each month.


ENDS

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