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Shout. Share. Live. Unite during National Youth Week 2008

Young people from all over Australia have been encouraged to get involved in this year's National Youth Week activities by the Federal Minister for Youth, Kate Ellis.

Launching National Youth Week at a free concert in Sydney's Martin Place today, Ms Ellis said it was Australia's biggest celebration for young people

"Youth Week gives young people the chance to organise activities, participate in events, voice their opinions and act on issues that affect their lives," Ms Ellis said.

"The Rudd Government is committed to supporting young people and National Youth Week as a great opportunity to celebrate and recognise the valuable contribution they make to their communities," Ms Ellis said.

National Youth Week is a joint Australian, State, Territory and Local Government initiative and thousands of young people attended the launch concert featuring acts such as The Presets, Operator Please, Delta Goodrem and Brian McFadden.

Events will take place around Australia from 5 to13 April 2008, including live performances, dance parties, debates and sporting events.

"There are events across the nation, so I really encourage all young Australians to take part," Ms Ellis said.

She also urged young people with a creative streak to submit entries for the National Talent Competitions, RockIT, WriteIT, SnapIT, DesignIT and ShootIT, before entries close on 14 April.

"Young people can win great prizes showing off their talents in music, writing, film-making, photography and design," Ms Ellis said.

There are other great prizes up for grabs in the Win Free Stuff competition, run through youthweek.com.

Visit www.youthweek.comto find out more about events, activities and competitions happening throughout Australia.