Regional stories inspire as Parliament returns

Media Release

BJ018/2018

07 February 2018

Joint release with:

Dr John McVeigh

Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government

  • Fifty-four young regional leaders in Canberra for 20th annual Heywire Youth Summit
  • Participants pitch ideas to politicians, policy makers and funding bodies

Fifty four outstanding young regional leaders descend on Canberra today to share their unique perspectives on regional and rural Australia as part of the annual ABC Heywire Youth Summit.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Barnaby Joyce welcomed the 2018 winners of the ABC Heywire storytelling competition to the nation's capital.

“Heywire stories tell the real stories of young people living and working in regional Australia—anything from embracing Indigenous identity, the importance of sport in rural communities to very serious issues such as terminal illnesses and suicide,” Mr Joyce said.

“The 38 Heywire winners for 2018 are strong, capable ambassadors for their communities, and just as in past years they surprise and inspire with their ideas about building better regional communities and finding solutions to local issues.”

Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government John McVeigh said 16 previous Heywire winners were also attending the 2018 summit as Trailblazers.

“The Heywire Youth Summit and Trailblazer program showcases the best of regional Australia. The Trailblazers program, an extension of the Youth Summit, is designed to give participants presentation and pitching skills to further develop their ideas into viable projects,” Dr McVeigh said.

“The Trailblazers attending the summit in Canberra represent regional communities from across the nation. We congratulate these mentors for their vision and a commitment to a stronger regional Australia.”

ABC Heywire is a competition that invites young people from across rural, regional and remote Australia to share their stories about issues that matter to them. Winning stories are professionally produced and featured on ABC radio, TV and online. More than 11,000 young Australians have shared their stories over the last 20 years.

Each February, winners attend the Heywire Regional Youth Summit in Canberra, taking part in leadership and community building activities and working together on ideas to improve the lives of young people in regional Australia.