Importance of Young Parents Experience Recognised in Government Advisory Group Appointment

April 18, 2024

Brave Foundation CEO Jill Roche has been appointed to the Federal Government’s Department of Employment and Workplace Relations Parents Advisory Group. Ms Roche will be joined by a young mum and former Supporting Expecting and Parenting Teens (SEPT) Program participant, as a young parents representative during the two-year appointment.

They will form part of a small group of community organisations and individuals with valuable lived experience to provide insights, advice and feedback directly to government in relation to the new pre-employment service replacing ParentsNext.

Ms Roche said the appointment was an important acknowledgment that the voices of young parents matter in decision-making.

“We are pleased that our extensive experience in working with young parents has been recognised and it means we can bring their perspectives, alongside the direct contribution of a young parent, to a Federal Government program that will have real impact on the lives and futures of parents with young children in Australia,” she said.

“Brave is built from lived experience and my own direct experience as a young single mother of twins certainly provides some personal motivation to be an active contributor to this group. More importantly, as an organisation we relish any opportunity to ensure the voices and contemporary experiences of young parents are directly informing decisions that affect them”.

“Despite facing funding uncertainty for our national program, this appointment demonstrates Brave’s continuing commitment to providing valuable input to government policies and programs.”

“I personally am looking forward to the discussions that will occur in this group over the next two years, and in sharing that experience with one of our young parents.”

The young parent representative said she was excited with the opportunity.

“By participating in this advisory group I’m hoping to offer valuable information in order to assist in curating a program that’s as beneficial as possible for parents/families. I’m also anxious because the environment is foreign to me but I’m eager to learn and grow from the experience,” she said.

“On a personal level, I’m excited to experience the process that goes into this sort of work and to further my communication, collaborative and adaptability skills.”

While Brave will not be seeking funding as a provider for the newly designed program, Brave welcomes the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations’ approach to ensuring young parents can continue to contribute to the programs design and delivery over coming years.

Brave was actively involved in the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations’ consultation process for the development of the new pre-employment service replacing ParentsNext.

Brave made a submission to the parliamentary inquiry in late 2022 and CEO Jill Roche appeared at a public hearing in January 2023. In the following months, Brave organised a number of focus groups to provide a platform for young parents to share their experiences, feedback and ideas on what the new service should look like and what would be helpful for other young parents.

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