Program Partners

ABC Heywire

ABC Heywire puts young regional Australians at the centre of conversations that shape their communities. The annual ABC Heywire competition is designed to involve regional youth in the national conversation by asking people aged 16 to 22 to share their story.

The ABC Heywire Regional Youth Summit celebrates the achievements of regional youth, their stories, and ideas. This year’s summit held at Australian Parliament House, promotes youth leadership, collaboration and the development of projects that improve accessibility of resources in the regions.

Summit attendees – Australian Members of Parliament and Australian Government Departments –learned of the exciting new projects aimed at improving the lives of young people in regional Australia.

The 2024 Heywire winners worked with ABC staff to transform their story into a high-quality content for TV, digital, radio or social reel which are “shared” at the summit.

The summit also included Trailblazers – a group of outstanding young leaders who are driving social, educational and economic projects.

The Trailblazers workshop their change-making projects to the next level and “pitch” their ideas to impact partners and Australian Government Members of Parliament.

The stories and projects shared are a testament to the rich diversity of experiences of young people in the regions.

“I was the first and only girl in my construction class at TAFE.”
Ruby, Margaret River WA (RDA South West)

“I'm a ranger on Galiwin’ku, Northeast Arnhem Land.”
Tyrone,  Elcho Island/Galiwin’ku (RDA Northern Territory)

“I want my journey recovering from an eating disorder to be a catalyst for change.”
Lauren, Kerang Victoria (RDA Loddon Mallee)

“My faith and my diversity are things to celebrate, not fear.”
Enshella, Charters Towers QLD (RDA Townsville and North West)

“A zombie tried to claim my forest. My community is fighting to protect it.”
Jacob Tura Beach NSW (RDA Far South Coast)

The ABC Heywire program creates the space for young people to share their stories and the support to craft creative solutions to the hardships they face.
ABC Heywire engages with regional, rural and remote young Australians, providing a national platform to share their stories and ideas. The ABC Trailblazers program inspires and supports young entrepreneurs who have undertaken social, educational, and economic development projects in their regional communities.

The Department is a valued partner of the ABC Heywire program which has been amplifying the stories of regional youth for more than 26 years. Since 1998, there has been more than 13,000 stories shared of young people living in Australia’s regional, rural and remote communities.

Through this longstanding partnership, all RDA Committees have opportunities to connect with their regional winners and to help these young change-makers realise their most powerful ideas for making regional Australia a better place to live.

The ABC Heywire also program strongly aligns with RDAs’ key priorities for their regions. Through their strategic planning, RDAs identify key activities and program to benefit economic development, improve liveability and deliver vocational opportunities for communities.

These priorities include:
•    Supporting youth and community capacity building
•    supporting Indigenous leadership
•    education, training and jobs pathways
•    building future resilience
•    skills and ready workforce
•    population attraction and liveability
•    incubator and accelerator programs.

The 2025 ABC Heywire competition will again open in September 2024. All young Australians living in regional, rural and remote communities can apply.

To learn more about the competition and the winners, go to:
•    2024 ABC Trailblazers
•    2024 ABC Heywire
•    RDA Network News

Prime Minister Hon Anthony Albanese celebrating with participants of the 2024 ABC Heywire Youth Summit.

2024 ABC Heywire and Trailblazer winners with Minister Michelle Rowland and Minister Kristy McBain at the ABC Youth Summit, Australian Parliament House.

All images with thanks to ABC.