Your Stories. Stronger Together

Looking back at CREATE's Voices in Action conference

“Sharing a space and voice can bring about immense power and change. To amplify your voice is also to empower the one beside you. Speak up, our stories are stronger together.” – 2024 Young Delegate

Over three days, CREATE’s Voices in Action conference brought together more than 500 delegates, including young people with lived experience of out-of-home care, policy makers, service providers, researchers, carers and practitioners to discuss and define solutions to some of the toughest challenges within the care system. 

In case you missed it, here’s what happened at #CREATEViA2024

Day 1

Young people with a care experience opened Voices in Action 2024 alongside The Hon. Katrine Hildyard, South Australian Minister for Child Protection, Catherine Liddle CEO of SNAICC and Jack Buckskin who provided a Welcome to Country on the beautiful lands of the Kaurna people.

Our MC, Gregory Nicolau kept things interesting and introduced our much-loved mascot, Gus the purple gorilla!

There were lots of important sessions throughout the day including the young person-led panel on Self-determination of Aboriginal Children and Young People in Care and Ashum Owen’s presentation on #RaiseTheAge.

Our Advocacy in Action workshops for day 1 focused on transition supports and education — these workshops were open to all but focused on giving young people the opportunity to share their thoughts and experiences. Here’s some of what they had to say:

“It’s a basic human right to have a safe place to live AND put food on the table” – 2024 Young Delegate
“I can’t be worrying about homework when I don’t have a home.” – 2024 Young Delegate

Day 1 also had art workshops by Catherine Kanvik and our partner, Life Without Barriers. They were a hit with the young delegates!

Our chillspace provided by headspace Adelaide was another safe place where young people could take a break and explore their creative side.

The first day of the conference wrapped up with presentations from Helen Connolly, the SA Commissioner for Children and Young People and Shona Reid, the SA Guardian for Children and Young People, followed by a moving performance from the South Australia’s Children’s Choir.

Day 2

Day 2 of Voices in Action kicked off with inspiring words by The Hon. Amanda Rishworth, Minister for Social Services, Cameron Burgess from Mackillop Family Services and April Lawrie, the SA Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People. Our roving reporters did an incredible job interviewing speakers and delegates about what they hope to get out of Voices in Action and the changes they want to see happen to the care system.

Day 2 was our busiest day of the conference with a series of young person-led panels and Advocacy in Action workshops on Residential Care, Siblings and Health & Wellbeing.

“Having your siblings with you is another layer of connection.” – 2024 Young Delegate

According to the young people, one of the highlights of Day 2 was the DJ Skills workshop with DJ Uberjak’d. Delegates got to produce an original track which you can listen to below.

Neon Nights conference dinner

After a big day of listening, learning and collaborating, we got dressed in fluro and glow sticks for the Neon Nights conference dinner! Everyone looked spectacular and the highlight of the night was the talent showcase where young people sang, danced and put on a drag show.

Day 3

Day 3 opened strong with speeches from Anthony Raitman from Life Without Barriers, Tracie Shipton from VOYCE NZ and Luke Twyford from Queensland Family and Child Commission.

We heard from young people on lived experience panels and from the VOYCE NZ Regional Youth Council Members about the #6Promises campaign.

Our final Advocacy in Action workshop for Voices in Action 2024 reviewed what the young people and other delegates had discussed over the previous days and used these insights to create a Delegate Statement, which was presented at the closing ceremony. You can read our Delegate Statement below.

Delegate Statement

Thank you

“The conference really inspired me and showed me that change is happening.” — 2024 Young Delegate

CREATE would like to thank everyone who was a part of Voices in Action 2024, particularly the incredible young people who shared their voices and experiences. We had delegates from every State and Territory represented as well as international visitors from the UK, USA, New Zealand and Hong Kong. 

Voices in Action provided a space for young people to share their voices and for key decision-makers to hear them. The work does not stop now. It is just the beginning. We have captured young people’s voices in our Delegate Statement and will use this document to call on governments all around Australia to better support children and young people with a care experience. 


Voices in Action would not be possible without our dedicated partners and supporters that share CREATE’s drive for effecting positive change in the out-of-home care system across Australia. Thank you.