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Monday, 29 July 2019
The Bridge Project and Opening of Youth Parliament - Message from Michele

I have been touched and truly inspired over the last few weeks about our Belief at the Y.  I was lucky enough to attend the opening of Youth Parliament where over 120 16-25 year olds came together to share and make changes to things they truly believe in. Over 22 bills were passed which will now go on to adult parliament to be debated and some will make it into legislation, just like the 25 plus pieces of legislation that have their origins in Youth Parliament including compulsory bike helmets, over the counter morning after pill and road side drug testing.

I then attended the Bridge Breakfast where we experienced first-hand the difference the Bridge Project and Rebuild makes by empowering young people from the juvenile justice and prison systems and providing them with practical and emotional skills and opportunities to successfully integrate back into our society. We met Cam (see video below) who shared their personal stories with us. Did you know that the reoffending rate goes from 50% to 5% through this program? Did you know that it costs the tax payer between $170 - $340k to hold young people in youth justice or prison per annum.  At the core, we change peoples lives, including families and friends, and as an additional and economical benefit, we save money. We are committed to using Rebuild in many of our projects across Whittlesea, please stop and say hello if you see any of the crews working in our sites, their personal stories and journeys are an inspiration and they need our support to continue on that journey.

I also spent a few days with a number of CEO’s (including Glyn!) from the Y family at the National Leadership Team meeting.  We workshopped how we can work more collaboratively and make greater impact on our belief – we believe in the power of inspired young people. More to come on some great national projects.

I have now come back to the office to hear that we have so far received 124 nominations and have currently sold 50 tickets to the Staff and Volunteer Awards for 2019.  This is absolutely incredible and a huge increase on previous years. Please keep nominating as there is less than a week to go! Recognising our greatest assets – our people - is such an important part of our day to day.

Keep smiling – they will wonder what you are up to.

Michele Rowse

Chief Experience Officer