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Podcast: Are Millennials too Selfish for the Social Sector?


1 March 2016 at 11:17 am
Ellie Cooper
Millennials have been described as lazy, narcissistic, entitled and apathetic. So what will it mean for the social sector – populated by people who want to make a difference – as this same generation begins to hold positions of influence?

Ellie Cooper | 1 March 2016 at 11:17 am


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Podcast: Are Millennials too Selfish for the Social Sector?
1 March 2016 at 11:17 am

Millennials, or members of Generation Y, have been described as lazy, narcissistic, entitled and apathetic. So what will it mean for the social sector – populated by people who want to make a difference – as this same generation begins to hold positions of influence?  

In the second episode of Not for Podcast, hear from the voices of millennials as Pro Bono Australia News investigates whether the stereotype is true.

Every generation is criticised by the ones that have come before, but some political scientists have argued that Generation Y is the most denounced generation of all time.

Academic and millennial Max Halupka, Research Fellow at the Institute of Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra, said that it’s a case of the generation being misunderstood.

“Gen Y are just as, if not more, engaged as some of the older generations, but just not in those traditional forms of engagement,” Halupka said.  

“Some will claim that it’s because they’re lazy and don’t want to put in the hard work but what it really is, is their expertise and what they’re good at has shifted as… internet and technology has changed society.”  

Young Australians of the Year Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, Greens State MP for Melbourne Ellen Sandell, and CEO of Oaktree Chris Wallace share their inspiring stories.

They also discuss whether they have struggled to be taken seriously because of their age, why Gen Y gets such a bad rap and how older generations can change their approach.

OrangeSkyslide

Marchesi and Patchett founded Orange Sky Laundry, the world’s first free mobile laundry service for the homeless, in 2014.

The now 21 year olds began with one van in Brisbane and have since grown to six vans across five major cities.

Marchesi said that the involvement and dedication of their young volunteer base proves that young people care about social issues.

“The interesting thing about young people in Australia is there’s lots of stereotypes that young people are selfish, young people aren’t reliable, that young people aren’t helpful to others,” Marchesi said.

“What Orange Sky Laundry’s found is completely the opposite. We’ve found thousands and thousands of volunteering hours have been given by young people, we’re predominantly run by 18 to 35 year olds.

“Those stereotypes are all being proven wrong at Orange Sky Laundry, and for Lucas and I that’s really rewarding because one of our key aims, was to find a way young people could give back to the community.”  

Subscribe to the Not for Podcast through iTunes here.


Ellie Cooper  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Ellie Cooper is a journalist covering the social sector.

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