Office for Young People

The Office for Young People commenced in January 2019 at Y Australia to focus on the voice of young people and intergenerational leadership, with a collective leadership model to ensure that the deliverables and outcomes are driven by an approach to leadership that optimises the skills and expertise across the Movement. The current work of the office includes the Y’s Global Change Agents program, the WhyNot Platform and the National Youth Retreat.

Read more about the Y’s Change Agents Program and the WhyNot Platform here.

National Youth Retreat

Our National Youth Retreats are held in the lead up to our annual AGMs in November each year, in response to the high-level outcomes identified by the Australian Change Agents. Young people (staff and volunteers) want to feel more connected to the Movement. In the inaugural year 2018, around 30 young people came together from across Australia and from diverse backgrounds and roles. Three prevailing messages to the Movement emanated from this inspired group of young leaders; the Ys of Australia must be…

  1. Unwavering in our commitment to social justice.
  2. Committed to Youth Empowerment from the ground up.
  3. Dedicated to collaboration (as it’s the only way to make real change!)

In 2019, we heard from 54 young people from diverse service areas, backgrounds and geographical locations, and their four prevailing messages were:

  1. We have a true yearning for understanding – to better connect and understand our own sectors, departments and associations. We must be able to see what has come before us in order to better understand the strategic decisions that have been made and led us to where we are today. We need resourced, multi channeled communication to reach one another at a local, national and global level.
  2. We must stop just consulting with young people and invest in collaboration. We need more intergenerational opportunities to connect. Don’t wait for us to come to you, come to us! We need to see action and we deserve to be at the table for the entire process.
  3. Inclusion is complex and fundamental to valuing young people and our overall wellbeing.
    It must be purposefully embedded in our strategy, policies and practice. This is not something we can achieve unless we are intentional and make a collective priority.
  4. If we value something – then we must be intentional and fund it. Pay young people for their unique value offering, for their vision and for their ability to innovate. Provide us with the resources to achieve the outcomes our organisations need.
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