Local high school students will come together later this week to tackle issues of social change at the Regional Development Australia Far South Coast Youth Leadership Forum – and spaces are still available if you are quick!
For the first time, the program is being held in the Bega Valley, targeting passionate young people who will be inspired into leadership and challenged to take on local social and environmental problems.
The Forum is a two-day program over Friday, September 6 and Saturday, September 7, empowering young people to tackle issues in their communities.
“We focus on fostering an entrepreneurial mindset and providing skills around problem-solving, communication, resilience, confidence – all the things that help young people stand up and make a difference,” says Avalon Bourne
from Sonder Youth, who will steer the program.
Over the course of the program, participants are given a platform to discuss and develop ideas to overcome issues. They then independently design and pitch a project around these ideas to a panel of changemakers.
“It’s targeted at young people of every demographic, not necessarily those already in leadership positions, anyone who thinks they might want to make a difference,” Avalon says.
The program has run for six successful years in the Shoalhaven, it’s hoped expanding the opportunity to the Bega Valley will create a network of engaged and empowered youth across Southern NSW.
“The definition of a change maker that we use relates to your personal life and in a community environment,” Avalon explains.
“This is about looking at all the different ways you can create change from one on one interactions to art exhibitions, holding a beach clean-up. Last year we had a group who developed a video series for HSC students with tips on how to look after mental health.
“The program is not focussed on any particular theme or issues. There are so many ways you can create change and this program shows people all the different ways they can do it.”
The Regional Development Australia Far South Coast Youth Leadership Forum will be held at Kianinny Bush Cottages in Tathra on Friday, September 6 and Saturday, September 7. The Forum is supported by a number of commercial partners, young people aged 15 to 19 are invited to take on the challenge. For more information, contact Avalon Bourne, phone – 0403 652 303 or email – [email protected]
“Growing up in a regional community can be very isolating, there is often limited opportunity to connect with other young people from different schools,” Avalon says.
“We’ve seen young people connect through this really positive platform, relationships that go on to spur on a range of different projects.
“People get a taste of what their own influence can do, they believe in themselves more and follow through on opportunities. “