Peak Body

A youth affairs peak body is an organisation that has been formed to represent the collective interests of young people and youth service providers to the government and the wider community. 

A youth affairs peak body engages in a number of activities, such as social policy development and analysis, sector development, representation, advocacy, program development, research, consultations, information and resource development, lobbying and information dissemination. By doing so they provide a voice for young people, service providers, and the youth sector as a whole that may not otherwise be heard.

A youth affairs peak strives to improve government outcomes, improve the quality of service delivery, increase democratic participation and improve the quality of life for young people.

Youth workers often need to represent the interests of the young people they work with. It’s important workers have an understanding of advocacy and how they can engage with their peak body to seek better outcomes for young people.

 Sector Development

There are many ways to create positive and supportive communities with young people. One of those ways is through on-going quality improvement of youth services through sector development activities. The Youth Coalition uses a workforce development approach to its sector development activities and believes that for positive outcomes and sustainable change to be achieved activities need to work across three levels: individual, organisational and systemic.

The following are examples of some workforce development initiatives:

Networking Professional Development Supervision / Mentoring Field Knowledge Management Staff swaps / exchanges Performance ManagementPartnerships / Collaboration Learning culture Team Structure Retention / Staff Satisfaction Planning / OperationalProjects and Priorities Workforce Planning Accreditation Social Policy Development

The Youth Coalition conducts a range of activities to support the sector to strive for continuous self-improvement. For further information see Some of these activities include:

Weekly eBulletin

The Youth Coalition produces a weekly eBulletin. The eBulletin is a concise summary of important developments, publications, events and other youth related information for the ACT. A range of stakeholders including government and non-government workers and young people subscribe to the eBulletin. Topics include: news from the Youth Coalition; a monthly youth sector update; information on networks, resources and fact-sheets for workers; training and professional development opportunities; new and emerging research, reports, inquiries and policy activities; media releases; sector activities and events; a section for young people; employment; and grants and funding opportunities. With over 1100 subscribers and growing, it is the biggest such bulletin in the ACT. To subscribe or contribute a news item visit the website.


            “This is a great resource.  I read it every week.”

Youth Coalition Monthly Forum

The forum is a chance for workers to find out what their peak is doing for them, share information, and discuss emerging issues with each other. An average of 30 cross-sectoral workers attend each month and it’s an opportunity for them to consult with the sector. Forums are conducted at the office between 9am and 11am on the third Thursday of each month where guest speakers are invited to make presentations.


These seminars provide an opportunity for the sector to learn about emerging issues and to showcase the work they are doing. Topics for seminars are developed through consultation with the youth sector, are generally free or subsidised.

“Fantastic presenter! I have learnt a lot today and feel I will actually use the knowledge shared with us.”

Bimonthly Training and Professional Development Calendar

The Calendar is a concise summary of training opportunities for workers in the youth, alcohol and other drug, mental health, family support, community and government sectors. Over 30 training organisations, educators and professional development agencies in the ACT and surrounding region contribute to this publication. Anyone can contribute to it and it is a great tool to support planning and professional development in your organisation.

            “Your publication is great – I use it a lot.”

Yogies:  Celebrating Excellence in Youth Work

The annual awards ceremony recognising and celebrating excellence in youth work in the ACT and achievement by youth workers and organisations working with young people in the ACT and Queanbeyan.

            “I look forward to the Yogies every year.”

Professional Ethics and Youth Work – A Model for Strengthening Youth Work Practice in the ACT

Report: Professional Ethics and Youth Work – A Model for Strengthening Youth Work Practice in the ACT is a report to the Youth Coalition of the ACT, prepared by Dean Cocking and Carrie Fowlie
On 18 February 2010, the Youth Coalition launched this report, which describes a best practice model to strengthen ethico-professional youth work practice in the ACT. The report follows on from a twelve-month project that took place in 2008, to investigate the role of ethics in youth work and to progress ethical understanding and practice in youth work in the ACT.

Resource Development

Some resources we have developed include:

  • – Our website for workers.
  • – The ACT AOD Sector Project’s website for workers in the AOD sector.
  • The Coloured Kit – Empowering Young People of Parents with a Mental Illness / Dual Diagnosis and their Families. Supports young people and their families to develop a care plan.
  • The RACK – A list of committees and networks in the community sector.


Some Networks we facilitate include:

  • Multicultural Youth Network;
  • Youth Centres Network;
  • Youth Sexuality and Gender Diversity Network; and,
  • Youth Housing and Homelessness Network.
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