The young Australians tackling the world's biggest problems
12 August 2020 at 4:37 pm
To mark International Youth Day 2020, Samuel Philipos from Benevolence Financial Group picks out some of the inspiring actions young Australians have taken recently.
This year’s International Youth Day aims to shed light on the ways young people can engage with government processes at the local, national, and global level. With 17 sustainable development goals to reach by 2030, tomorrow’s problems on the back of their minds, and a strong misrepresentation in society as avocado-on-toast-eating slackers, how have young people across the globe been holding up?
Pretty well actually. However disheartening the current situation is, young people have been proving resilient to the issues at hand, tackling climate change, pollution and homelessness.
To celebrate this year’s International Youth Day and its theme of “Youth Engagement for Global Action” on 12 August, let’s take a quick look at some of the inspiring actions young Australians have recently taken:
- At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, children across the globe – some as young as seven – took it upon themselves to sew reusable face masks, 3D-print ear protectors and donate gloves to frontline workers in various cities. One example of an Australian youth lending a helping hand during the pandemic is Cynane Branov from Melbourne who, despite only being 11, used her spare time during lockdown to produce reusable double layered face masks. She’s donated these masks to hospitals such as The Royal Children’s Hospital and has even shipped some of her masks to Perth.
- Last September, we watched as young people across Australia protested for a change in climate policy in the Global Climate Strike of 2019. More than 2,500 businesses supported the strike, putting into perspective how many young Australians are fighting to have their say when it comes to pressing political issues.
- Since International Youth Day last year, numerous startups led by young Australian innovators have been created or grown with the intent of tackling real social issues. Examples of some successful startups include:
- Farmwall – a social enterprise focused on creating sustainable urban farms in city spaces all over Sydney and Melbourne. One of their co-founders, Serena Lee, is just 24 years of age and has been working to tackle sustainability issues by creating vertical farming setups that reduce waste production by bringing the farm straight to the walls of various workplaces and schools.
- Good Citizens – which two years after it was founded now ships glasses made from 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles across the globe. It was founded in 2018 by two young boys Harry, aged 8, and Archie, aged 6, who with the help of their father were able to channel their negative feelings toward plastic pollution into an eco-friendly and sustainable business idea.
- Benevolence Financial Group – a mortgage brokerage which I founded earlier this year, with the vision of a world where everyday purchases work to benefit not just the buyer but society as a whole. BFG has been supported by Macquarie University and aims to help build a home every time a home loan is lodged through us.
With the way 2020 has gone so far, it’s amazing to see the good that has come from some of the youngest in our country. From ideation to execution, their success shows us why we should continue to support and encourage them to engage in political or social affairs.
COVID-19 may paint a bleak future and our 2030 Sustainable Development goals may seem more unachievable now than ever, but it’s clear that there’s a whole generation fighting to make it a reality.
Celebrate International Youth Day this 2020 by encouraging the younger individuals in your life to be involved and have a voice in our world, because even the youngest of minds can come together to make the biggest differences.