Brave Foundation today launches its new systemic advocacy initiative, the Social Economic Empowerment Division (SEED), to re-envision how we tackle disadvantage and poverty in young people and families.
Social and Economic Ambassador and Brave Foundation founder Bernadette Black AM says now is an ideal time to completely rethink how Australia deals with at-risk youth and provides an opportunity to reverse generational disadvantage. Ms Black said one is six young people grapples with poverty each year in Australia, but the model to address that poverty had not changed in almost 75 years, despite it becoming an increasingly complex problem.
“Through two decades of working with some of Australia’s most at-risk young people that have created bright futures – including my own experience of early parenthood – I have had many engaging conversations with young people and families, governments, community, private and public sectors about how together we might reverse generational disadvantage,” Ms Black says.
“As SEA, I have a bold exploratory five-year end game, to establish a central primary prevention mechanism, where lived experience, sectors and governments advise each other, in the creation of policy and funding architecture that meets the need when it matters most,” Ms Black says.
“What has been clear through our work, from the numerous young people and families we have consulted and from so many policy-makers, practitioners and scholars, is that we must re-envision our institutional arrangements to ensure we meet the health and wellbeing outcomes we want for our youth and our families. It is non-controversial that, if at all possible, prevention is better, more effective and more health-giving than remediation. We also have much more work to do to capitalise on our research thus far to provide the evidence for the sorts of preventions that work best and for whom. To do that we need to work with the wisdom of many – particularly those who have lived the experience of disadvantage.” Says Board Chairperson Professor Maria Harries AM.
This new early intervention collaboration will develop policies that connect young families and people to their purpose and potential at crucial life stage moments, while also contributing to a reduction in future economic costs to governments and society.
SEED’s innovative proposal comes as the not-for-profit convenes a symposium attracting 25 influential leaders (including Tim Costello AO) nationwide, alongside young people with lived experience, to consider how to better achieve cross-department collaboration among governments and the sector, to help solve the problems of youth poverty before they happen.
Ms Black concludes: “Our dream is simple. We want to bring young people, families, governments, and organisations together, so that we can create policy and revenue streams that empower our young people and families when it matters most. We want to intersect before generational disadvantage takes hold, redirecting towards happy, healthy, and skilled lives, ultimately benefiting our nation as a whole.
“A window of opportunity awaits, where I hope to see Australia lead the world in Social Economic Empowerment for young people and families.”