ouryoungheroes.org.au is a website dedicated to highlighting the efforts and achievements of young people around Australia with the aim to:
"The Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD) Program aims to strengthen mutual understanding between Australia and the countries of Asia, the Pacific and Africa and make a positive contribution to development. The Program achieves these aims by placing skilled young Australians (18-30) on short-term assignments in developing countries in Asia, the Pacific and Africa. AYAD volunteers work with local counterparts in Host Organisations to achieve sustainable development outcomes through capacity building, skills transfer and institutional strengthening."
This is an excellent opportunity if you have the capacity to be involved. It's my understanding that AYAD will support you through the entire volunteer period, your only financial committment being you need to pay to get yourself there and back. Check their website for more details on the support provided.
Assignments for Intake 29 (October 2010 mobilisation) are now open for applications. Applications close 28 May 2010.
I dont know if it's just Queensland that does this particularly well, or other states are just not good at promoting these types of awards. But the Queensland Government has recently opened for nominations for the 2010 Queensland Young Volunteer Awards. "The Queensland Young Volunteer Awards recognise the achievements and contributions of young volunteers aged 12 to 25. The awards are a great way to say ‘thanks’ to young people who give their time through culture, arts and sporting activities; health and emergency services; social welfare or environmental protection." Applications close 18th June.
"The United Nations Youth Association(UNYA) and the Extracurricular Network of Australia(ECNA) are hosting a Q & A lecture titled 'My Perfect World and the UN's Role Within It'. You will hear from academic, youth, and political leaders who will share their vision for a perfect world and the role of the UN today."
This is a good opportunity to learn more about the UN and the role it plays, and to connect with like minded young people in Melbourne.
The event will be at the University of Melbourne, on Thursday at 6:30pm. The event is free. Check the event flyer for more details.
While ouryoungheroes.org.au has only been up for a week, we have made some good progress in that time. Of the opportunities we have promoted we have seem some really good flow through to the target websites. We've had solid interest by being wanting to support the project or join the committee. And most recently, the list of names we had are now being expanded into profile summaries.
We'd like to congratulate Jess Watson for successfully making her round the world trip. We don't see that OYH would have a focus of featuring achievements with a sporting orientation, never the less, her achievement has captured the imagination of the media and as a whole has produced a net improvement to the image of young people across Australia. She also has a mentality that is worth promoting:
"I don't consider myself a hero, I'm just an ordinary girl," Watson said, adding that you didn't have to be someone special to achieve great things. "You just have to have a dream, believe in it and work hard," she said.
While OYH specifically uses the "H" word, it's worth taking a moment to acknowledge that the young people profiled here are also just ordinary people who worked hard to do something special.
Just a heads up that applications for the 2010 Brightest Young Minds Summit close soon! Make sure you put in an application:
The Brightest Young Minds (BYM) Summit is a week long summit held in Sydney that brings together 100 of Australia's Brightest Young Minds. The summit aims to help them collaborate and develop world-changing ideas that can be turned into reality. For the 100 selected, the cost of the summit is waived. Apply here
The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (NSW) is a week long seminar aimed at developing further the personal and leadership skills of young people(18-27). Topics covered include fundamentals of leadership, ethics of positive leadership, importance of effective communication, problem-solving and conflict management, and building self confidence and self-esteem. It is run by both Rotary members and RYLA alumni.
Participants are sponsored by local Rotary clubs. Your best bet is to contact the organisers and look to see if there is an opportunity to get sponsored by a local club. In my experience, it may be a bit of work to make this happen, but this probably was one of the better youth leadership event/seminars out there, and worth spending the time to set things up.
Note on availability in NSW: Rotary have a funny district system which is number based which is similar to the configuration of the states(but not entirely). This event is for district 9680 which I've read to be Northern Surburbs(Sydney) and Central Coast NSW.
Having just completed a fairly involved project to help Brightest Young Minds revitalise their website. I felt it time to try and set up an idea I've been talking to people and thinking about for over 5 years now.
When I first become interested in Youth Leadership it wasn't something that really was accessible unless you were already involved in through people you knew. It was only through a very proactive effort to find and meet interesting young people locally that I found out about some really inspiring young people and the amazing things they were doing. Through observing their actions and achievements I was able to reframe my own perspective on what I could meaningfully do as a young person, and begin to find out and take advantage of opportunities to do things about things that mattered.
ouryoungheroes.org.au is a website that I wanted to exist when I first started getting involved in Youth Leadership -- to make it easier to be inspired by the actions of others, and to find out about opportunities to get involved.
But thinking more deeply. It really wasn't the lack of information that prevented me from trying to actively influence the world around for the better. It was my own perceptions and those around me that was the limiting factor. Today many young people are frustrated with the way in which the media can show young people in a very negative light. Given how easy it is to generalise about a group once removed from it (as you grow older), the issue of balance in the coverage of young people becomes an issue as this can be some people's only source of information about young people as a collective.
ouryoungheroes.org.au is a website that can demonstrate the positive side of today's youth, not as a one off individuals, but as a collective and representation of many.