Changemakers – Warren Roberts
Monday, 10th September 2012 at 10:30 am
Warren Roberts, CEO of Y.A.R.N, is profiled in Changemakers – a regular column which examines inspiring people and their careers in the Not for Profit sector.
Y.A.R.N (Youth Awareness Raising Network) is an organisation which seeks to develop relationships and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture in our University communities.
Put simply, Warren says that Y.A.R.N is about “Building Relationships through the Power of a Story to be a part of the Dream to inspire all Australians to share the Stories and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people”.
The organisation began in 2007 at the University of New South Wales with a hand full of students. Since then they have now expanded to seven Universities around Australia impacting on more than 300 people. They are young Australians who want to build an understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture and their experiences to build stronger relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians for generations to come.
Through different avenues Y.A.R.N members are engaged with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture and history through discussions and community engagement activities. Y.A.R.N is able to provide the right resources to understand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, through books, articles, and most importantly the power of the individual story.
Y.A.R.N strives to build networks with community organisations to help break down the divide between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous Australians.
What are you currently working on in the organisation?
We are currently working on an exciting opportunity to expand Y.A.R.N in the wider community through a new and innovative way. To find out more about this watch this space…
What drew you to the Not for Profit sector?
There are two ways to engage in the Not for Profit sector: you can either work for one or create one. I chose the latter. I developed Y.A.R.N while I was studying at University and since then I have been working with this program. Overall working in a Not for profit allows you to give back to the community, but most importantly it is rewarding to know that all of our work is being put back into projects and initiatives that can really make a difference to people’s lives.
There is nothing better than working with people that are studying at Universities across Australia and who are open to be engaged in a dialogue where relationships can be built around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culture. It is most powerful when you are a part of an organisation that tells stories that inspires people to give back to their community.
Favourite saying …
Everyone has the opportunity to make a difference. Through an opportunity you can create change, without opportunities don’t expect anything to change. Inspiration stirs your spirit to act, but to be inspired one must first listen.
I’m always being asked …
Why is the Y.A.R.N message so simple? To which I reply: telling stories has inspired humans for centuries there is nothing new about it.
What inspires you? Who inspires you?
Hearing stories of people who create new and innovating ways to do things despite the doubters.