Tuesday, 20 September 2022


Pasifika youth research project

Pasifika youth research project

Mr KENNEDY (Hawthorn) (19:03): (6537) My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Crime Prevention, who is gracing us with his presence at the table tonight. The action I seek is that the minister join me and visit Swinburne University to see the progress that the supporting Pasifika youth program has made. As part of the building safer communities program, the Victorian government has funded this Swinburne-led research and impact program. I attended the launch with the minister’s predecessor earlier in the year, and I am looking forward to seeing the progress that has been made in this area. Swinburne, in collaboration with the Centre for Multicultural Youth, will be the first university in Victoria to lead a university community research partnership to explicitly support secondary school completion rates for Pasifika students and to encourage Pasifika students in further study and work.

In my own time as a teacher and then as a principal, I witnessed the inequality in education outcomes all across our school system. Programs like this are necessary to impact the systemic inequality within our society. Indeed education can address these issues. Pasifika young people are over-represented in our youth justice system. We know that young people are more likely to live positive, productive lives if they complete school. This project will help us lift school retention rates for Pasifika students from the current low.

That is why this kind of program is so important. It allows stakeholders to understand the cultural underpinnings of Pasifika youth interactions with the Australian education system and to then collaboratively improve how our education system deals with these issues. We on this side of the chamber are committed to a better, fairer justice system, and we are committed to making sure that our multicultural communities have the tools they need to be afforded every opportunity our great state offers.

Over my years as a principal I witnessed a shift in attitude towards the issue of systemic inequality in our society, and I am glad to be part of a government that takes this issue so seriously. I would like to thank Swinburne University for their work in this area. Specifically I would like to thank Professor Susanne Garvis and Dr Maryanne Pale, and Jemal Ahmet from the Centre for Multicultural Youth. I look forward to the minister’s visit to Swinburne, a university that we are particularly proud of.