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Youth Leadership Needs Diversification - AYAC Conference

2 June 2011 at 9:31 am
Lina Caneva
Youth workers and related industry professionals attending a Sydney conference have been told that there are now two distinct sectors under the banner of youth.

Lina Caneva | 2 June 2011 at 9:31 am


Youth Leadership Needs Diversification - AYAC Conference
2 June 2011 at 9:31 am

Youth workers and related industry professionals attending a Sydney conference have been told that there are now two distinct sectors under the banner of youth.

At the conclusion of the first national youth sector conference in four years, 22 year old speaker, Samah Hadid, described the youth sector; comprised of organisations that deliver services to youth at risk, and the youth-led sector; comprised of organisations that have been founded and are run entirely by youth.

Hadid, who served as the 2010/11 Youth Representative on the Australian National Commission for UNESCO, says that Australia is experiencing a renaissance in youth led organisations.

Hadid says Australia will see more youth led issue based advocacy organisations in the future because Australians are deeply global citizens and such organisations are run by youth, but are focused on the global problems.

Examples include The Oaktree Foundation, which aims to address global poverty, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, which aims to build a generation wide movement to solve climate change, and Let Right Think Tank, Australia’s first independent think tank of young people aged 15 to 24.

Hadid says the sector needs to support youth led organisations, but at the same time needs to let them have autonomy.

Having participated in the 2020 youth summit, and the national youth roundtable Hadid also says that there is a need to see a diversification of those who are involved in youth leadership and to change how young people are seen.

At the moment, she says there are those who are youth at risk, and then there are those young leaders who have been mentored and developed, but who hold a monopoly over the various government and university leadership positions.

She says not all the potential is with tertiary educated middle class young people from the cities and there is a lot more diversity out there.

Hadid should know. In 2009 she was the first Australian to be selected to complete a fellowship in minority rights with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. This allowed Hadid to travel across Australia on a listening campaign, meeting with different groups of youth at risk.

Hadid highlighted the problems encountered by rural and Aboriginal youth, youth in the juvenile justice system, and young people in detention.

Hadid says that some of the answers will need to come from peer lead mentorship programing.

Hadid was speaking to over 500 youth workers at the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition’s National Youth Sector Conference held in Sydney from May 30 – June 1. The conference theme for 2011 was: Interrupting Transmission:youth | change | policy | practice.

Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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One comment

  • Anonymous Anonymous says:

    The first two thirds of this article’s quotes should be attributed to Rick Newnham from the Left Right Think-Tank. If I remember correctly they ran the Youth Led Convention and he made these comments in his speech, not Samah.

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