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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 21460

$24.5 million to Expand Youth Ambassador Programme

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 13/08/2004

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 21460

I am delighted to announce today that the Australian Government will provide an additional $24.5 million to the Youth Ambassadors for Development Programme over the next four years.

This exciting and innovative programme funds talented and highly skilled young Australians to undertake short-term development placements in the Asia Pacific.

Over the next two years, the government will double expenditure on the Programme, allowing for a significant increase in the number of placements that can be offered. Currently, there are 230 Youth Ambassadors working throughout the Asia Pacific. By 2006 there will be around 400 young Australians selected for overseas development assignments under the programme.

All Australians can be proud of the young people who, through the Youth Ambassador Programme, are making a difference by volunteering to share their skills and expertise. But the experience they gain is equally valuable forging friendships and associations which help Australia strengthen the people-to-people links which are so important to maintaining good foreign relations.

The Youth Ambassadors have worked on a wide variety of development projects and policies from agriculture to theatre, from HIV/AIDS to consumer rights.

Initially, additional funds will be used to focus on the Pacific. An extra 55 Youth Ambassador placements will be funded for the Pacific, increasing the numbers from 70 to 125.

The Solomon Islands will benefit with five Youth Ambassadors to be involved in projects, which include youth development with the Honiara city council, working in the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and developing football with Solomon Islands Australian Football Association.

Over 1000 young Australians have taken up the challenging role of Youth Ambassador to work on development and capacity building projects across the region since the programme's inception in 1998. We thank them for their willingness to participate and for the excellent job they have done for our neighbours and Australia.

Transcript 21460