The Tasmanian Youth Forum (TYF) is one of Tasmania’s largest annual youth events for young people aged 12-25 years and is convened by the Youth Network of Tasmania (YNOT). 

This forum brings young people together from across the state to share their views and opinions on youth issues, as well as ideas and solutions for improving outcomes for young Tasmanians. 

Forums are topic based, with a different topic selected each year. Past topics have included building a better Tasmania, the online environment, health and wellbeing, housing and homelessness and employment. This year the forum focused on transport issues.  

I was selected to participate in a focus group that helped to co-design the TYF on transport that occurred in Launceston on Friday 4 June. 


(Photo of focus group members (I’m in the back row on the far left), YNOT staff and Minister Sarah Courtney at the TYF) 

From this positive experience I was asked by YNOT to participate in a Youth Panel Discussion at the Youth Sector Symposium in Hobart on the 9 September.  

I helped to co-facilitate and participate in a youth panel, which consisted of 6 young people from diverse backgrounds and regions. We spoke about significant issues that impact us as young people. Sharing our ideas, lived experiences and feedback on what makes a welcoming and safe service for young people.  

The feedback we received from YNOT indicated that participants of the Symposium thought that our panel insights were brutally honest. Many participants questioned just how meaningful and purposeful they were really being when working with young people, with the plan to re-think their processes. 

I would encourage other students who are interested in social issues to join in and participate. It is meaningful and worthwhile to talk about our lived experiences and the issues that impact us, so we as young people can be involved in informing and developing the solutions. 

I found the experience very positive, and it helped me to realise that my lived experiences do matter, and we can all learn and work towards solutions if we are prepared to have difficult conversations on the issues that impact our lives.  

I was also interviewed by Win News with the following Win News Clip: 


(Photo of 6 youth panel discussion members (I’m in the back row, on the far right), YNOT staff – Joanne Horton and Leanne McLean the Commissioner for Children and Young People) 

Taso Bookarof 

Year 10