Hearing Our Voices in ACT

Every child and young person, whatever their age or ability, is capable of self-expression. Their imagination, ideas, opinions, feelings, needs and worries can be expressed in so many different ways, through words for those able to talk or sign, as well as physical movements and body language, non-verbal sounds, or creative expression like play, dance, music and art.

It is important we embrace the clear message that children and young people’s voices must be heard, listened to and understood. The “Hearing Our Voices” conference is an opportunity for our children and young people to express their voices through art, music, drama, dance and the spoken word.

This event was held in the ACT on December 3rd at the ACT Legislative Assembly. Some great talent was uncovered with some inspiring original songs being performed. The young people who spoke also had a lot to say, here are some quotes from the day:

Hear Our Voices_Rachel


“Never underestimate the power of a listening ear [to change the life of a young person]”
– Rachel

Hear Our Voices_Tilleah Roselli




“A simple turn of phrase can change a young person’s life. The way that you talk to a child changes what they are thinking of you. You can’t fake compassion”
– Tilleah


Hear Our Voices_Angus Ash


“CREATE is the only one listening to my voice in this regard. Speaking today gives me a taste of closure. I have a say in what needs to be changed.”
– Angus

“For systemic change, just ask CREATE to ask us young people.”
– Angus


Hear Our Voices_Kim Duross

“[The care system left me with] homelessness, under employment (doing 2 or 3 jobs at once), and never enough to pay bills, inadequate relationship skills. But I was resilient.”
– Kim

“At 14 in Melbourne I moved in with Marlene, the foster carer, and she listened, she just listened. I’d come home from school and she’d take off her glasses and we’d talk. It is a legacy that my foster mum gave to me to my two children.”
– Kim


“Imagine you are a piece on a Monopoly board, as a child in care you don’t know the rules and no-one tells you”
– Carer
Hear Our Voices_Jemuel Chadwick (Cappo) 2

Jemuel Chadwick (“Cappo”) has an album launching this Friday night named Dark World. Cappo almost entirely produced and recorded this album on his iPhone. The album is launching Friday night 11 Dec at 8pm via Street Universtiy, East Row Canberra City. “Dark world means a lot of people go though dark times and some were ok with it, and some were not. Dark World for me is what happened in my life and where I am now.”

The Hearing Our Voices conference got some great media coverage also, you can listen and watch it here:

Radio coverage – 2CC Hearing Our Voices

More radio coverage – 2CC Hearing Our Voices

Click the TV below to watch the coverage from WIN NEWS:



A big thank you to everyone who was involved in this event, it could not have happened without the young people standing up and sharing their stories, so we thank them.