Young people prepare plan for action

DIY Reality: Blacktown's Lawrence Muskitta with fellow Youth Action Western Sydney members including Melody Gardiner, Susan Chen, Alex Long and Ananada Vasudevan at the report's launch. Picture: Gene Ramirez

DIY Reality: Blacktown's Lawrence Muskitta with fellow Youth Action Western Sydney members including Melody Gardiner, Susan Chen, Alex Long and Ananada Vasudevan at the report's launch. Picture: Gene Ramirez

YOUNG people from across western Sydney have contributed to a report that aims to improve the western suburbs and the lives of those within them.

The DIY Reality report, written by Blacktown's Lawrence Muskitta, was released last month after months of consultations with young people including Doonside High, Rooty Hill High and Terra Sancta College students during 2013 and culminating in the What's Up West? youth conference at Penrith.

Alex Long, Youth Action's western Sydney project co-ordinator, said the report's 21 recommendations offered a valuable insight into what young people thought about different issues and potential solutions.

"So what individuals can do, what communities can do and what government can do," Ms Long said.

The recommendations include the construction of an integrated western Sydney bike track; a state government commitment to only procure goods from ethical sources; and more government support for young asylum seekers in detention.

The report will be used to advocate for change, with government ministers set to be lobbied to support their future electors' visions for the future.

The report was written by Blacktown's Lawrence Moskitta, one of the young people involved in monthly Outburst group meetings at Parramatta.

Quakers Hill's Frances O'Brien, 23, said the group aimed to combat negative perceptions about western Sydney, for example through workshop activities like one called Air Your Dirty Laundry.

"We made paper cut-outs of clothing and wrote things we might lie about because we're from the west," Ms O'Brien said.

"There was one that said 'I say I'm from the north shore but I'm actually from Liverpool', or 'My teacher told me not to write Mt Druitt on my resume'."

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