Australian Youth Leadership Program: Champions of Innovation

The Australian Youth Leadership Program: Champions for Innovation forum took place from 23-25 May 2016 at Old Parliament House in Canberra. It was jointly hosted by the Australian Multicultural Foundation and the Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD), and supported by the Scanlon Foundation. It followed on from the Youth Leadership Program in November 2015, and brought together 23 young leaders to engage in a series of presentations and workshops aimed at building leadership capacity to champion policy innovation in an area of common concern.

With the impact of domestic violence (DV) on young people identified as the common issue of concern, the forum provided sessions on leadership, communication, political engagement, mentoring, media, ways of driving social change, and mental health and wellbeing.

The participants were fortunate to enjoy presentations and workshops from the Hon Simon Crean, Associate Professor Dr Munjed Al Muderis, Anna Chalko from Think HQ, Anne-Elise Koentjes from the MoAD, Simon Nette and Sue Read.

Over two days, the youth leaders had the opportunity to apply new skills gained through workshops to identify existing problems and brainstorm innovative solutions for addressing the impact of domestic violence and mental health on young people.

These workshops culminated in the drafting of a communique outlining their ideas and solutions. In doing so, participants identified four priority areas: shifting culture; education; financial empowerment; and networking and collaboration.

This communique will be put before public servants and politicians at all levels of government, with the aim of adopting it at a national level in addition to Australia’s National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children 2010-2020. A campaign will be launched at the end of 2016.

We would like the thank the Scanlon Foundation for their ongoing support, making possible the Australian Youth Leadership Program which brings enormous benefit to young people as well as our national life.