Youth Ambassadors to MYAN

The Youth Ambassadors Network (YAN ) are a group of passionate young advocates supporting positive change for young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds across Australia.

Supported through MYAN Australia and our state and territory partners, YAN members are active advocates and actors working to influence the national agenda for young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. 

The YAN are not representatives of all refugee and migrant young people in their state or territory, but provide a perspective of young refugee and migrant Australians to MYAN Australia. They also work on practical activities within their state or territory and serve as advocates, amplifying the voice of others, in a range of national and state/territory forums.

As a newly formed group, the YAN are working to establish the network's vision, mission and objectives. You can follow their activities via the MYAN webpage, Twitter, Facebook, or e-news. You can contact the YAN via myanprojects@myan.org.au   

 

Meet the YAN

Western Australia

Rasa Islam | 21 | Bengali Muslim              

 “Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground” – Theodore Roosevelt

I am a third year Bachelor of Philosophy(Hons) student at University of Western Australia (UWA) majoring in biomedical science and pharmacology. I aspire to contribute to the field of medical research, particularly drug design and efficiency in neurodegenerative or immune response conditions.     

In 2016 I was selected as a regional attendee for the MYAN WA Catalyst Youth Summit and I recently signed on as a ShoutOUT speaker also with MYAN WA.

I see myself as a lifelong learner and advocate of values I stand by, giving voice to communities to empower them and provide equity to the best of my abilities.           

 

New South Wales

Narayan Khanal | 19 | Bhutanese      

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” - MK Gandhi     

I am currently studying a Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Computer Science at the University of Wollongong.

In December 2016, I was a NSW delegate to MYAN’s FUSE national conference. I am extremely passionate about multicultural youth issues and participation across Australia and I am an active volunteer within the Bhutanese Community in Albury/Wodonga. 

During my school years, I was very active in community youth affairs and student life, taking up various leadership and advocacy roles, such as Senior School Leader and the SRC. I was also a Youth Councillor at Albury City Youth Council, and I am currently a member of UN Youth Australia. In 2017, I was also a guest speaker panellist at the UN Youth NSW State Conference.

At the end of Year 12 (2016), I was presented the ‘Michelle Baillie Academic Award’ for greatest sustained effort in academic work throughout the year. I’ve always had a desire to study medicine. My drive to achieve this was borne from the horrors of the health care system in the refugee camp that I was brought up in and 12-year-old me hoping to make a difference.

 

South Australia

CeCe Hylton-Dei | 24 | Ghanaian

"Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation."

I have a Social Work background and have been volunteering/working with refugee and migrant youth and culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD) for almost seven years. I am currently working as a Community Support Worker, engaging with CALD youth around issues pertaining to health and wellbeing - mainly in the area of sexual health.

I am passionate about working with multicultural youth and advocating on their behalf, and where possible linking them in to opportunities where they themselves are able to speak up. In 2016 I was a South Australian delegate at the FUSE national multicultural youth summit and in 2017 I participated in the national Refugee Alternatives Conference as a panellist on the topic of refugee and migrant youth engagement.

I aspire to build my skills and capacity to support my ongoing work with young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds.

 

Australian Capital Territory

Natasha Kumar | 22 | Fiji-Indian

Don't be afraid to build.

Currently I am completing my degree at the ANU.

I am a member of the Ministers Youth Advisory Council (ACT) and the YMCA Youth Advisory Council. I have also been a member of the Headspace Youth Reference Group for the ACT, have mentored high school students through a number of programs, and volunteered as a consultant with the 180degrees Consulting branch at the ANU. In the past, I acted as a crisis supporter for Lifeline Australia and served at the ANU as a committee member for the ‘Circle for Gender Equity’ and as Deputy Disabilities Collective Officer.

I am aiming to strengthen my leadership and advocacy skills to pursue my passion for gender empowerment.  

 

Queensland

Grace Edward | 22 | Sudanese

Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Hope for tomorrow.

I completed my Bachelor of Arts in Applied and Contemporary Theatre in 2014 and I am currently studying a Master’s in Creative Industries, majoring in Creative Production and Art Management.

In 2016, I was a Queensland delegate at the FUSE national multicultural youth summit and in 2017 I was a panellist at the national Refugee Alternatives Conference 2017 where I spoke about youth engagement.

Currently, I am working with Brisbane City Council on 'Linking Generations', which is a Forum Theatre project I created to bridge the gap between refugee youth and their parents/ community elders.

In five to ten years’ time I hope to be a producer or Artistic Director creating content that represents the voices of minorities and speaks to the issues affecting refugees, migrants and asylum seekers living in Australia. 

 

Victoria

Tasnia Rafi | 22 | Bangladeshi/New Zealander   

In the midst of working for yourself and achieving goals, there should always be time to give back and make a positive change for others who need a helping hand.

Currently I am studying and doing a Bachelor’s of Health Sciences (Honours) at Monash University. My research is looking at refugee and migrant settlement in Australia.

Last year, I joined the Centre of Multicultural Youth as a volunteer in their Ucan2 program in Hoppers Crossing. This was an opportunity to work with newly arrived young people settling in and around Melbourne.

Although I am still not certain what I will be doing in five or ten years’ time, my aim is to keep working in the areas of refugee health and policy. I have long been interested in  working in refugee health, however more recently I have seen how policy can have such a great positive influence on social change and, in turn, refugee health and well-being.

I want to build my skills and knowledge so that I can be an advocate and champion for change in this area in the near future.

 

Northern Territory

Jane Alia | 23 | Ma’di Tribe

Remember who you are. | Don’t compromise for anyone, for any reason. | You are unique in your own ways. | You are YOU. | Stand up for the truth. | Be a light for others.

 

I have been a dental assistant for 7 years now and I am currently doing further studies at Charles Darwin University. I have also worked in the aged care setting for about two years.

Over the years I have been involved with various multicultural groups here in Darwin, this includes my Ma'di tribe – I am the women’s representative on the Ma'di Community Council of Australia. I have extensive experience working with young people from multicultural backgrounds and representing the voices of young people locally and nationally. I have been involved with the youth-led organisation Multicultural Youth Northern Territory (MYNT) since 2009, acting as the Chair, Vice Chair, as an Executive Board member and as a mentor. I have also volunteered at the Multicultural Council Northern Territory (MCNT) homework club. I was also on the MYAN-NT Youth Advisory Body, where I contributed to policy and advocacy for young local people from refugee and migrant backgrounds.

For a number of years now, I have been the Northern Territory's Refugee Week Ambassador and have been on the organising committee for Refugee Day celebrations in Darwin. More recently, I was involved in the planning of the first ever Kaleidoscope Youth Leadership Summit in Northern Territory, a proud project of Multicultural Youth Northern Territory, which now runs annually. In 2016, I was a Northern Territory delegate at the FUSE national multicultural youth summit.

Having witnessed the challenges and hardships in refugee camps, in the future I hope to run a training centre for women and girls in a refugee camp. The centre will focus on empowering women in a range of areas. For example, if they wish to learn sewing we will provide them with the materials and skills to do this.  For the younger girls, my aim is to provide self-care information and support. For example, the provision of sanitary pads and information about health. My aim in life is to ensure young people have a safe space where they can get the support and guidance they need to live a full, healthy life.

Tasmania

Magda Mohamed Gamar | 20 | Sudanese

"My recipe for life is not being afraid of myself, afraid of what I think or of my opinions." - Eartha Kitt

 

I am currently studying at the University of Tasmania studying media and law.   

In 2016, I was a Tasmanian delegate at the FUSE national multicultural youth summit. During my second year in Australia (I was in the 6th grade), I became a school sports vice-captain. This proved to me that you don’t need to be a good English speaker to participate, success if really about hard work. Following this, I continued to contribute to leadership activities throughout my high school, including through public speaking. In my last year I was fortunate to win the annual Wendy Frohmader Memorial Prize. This prize is awarded to a student who demonstrates courage in pursuit their goals. I am currently a member of the Amnesty Denison Action Group.       

In the future I hope to be the best version of myself, whoever that may be. I will have also finished my Media/Law degree and acted on my life’s passion - to be an active activist, helping bring attention to and address human rights issues and equality.

We are all the same, everyone is just as important as anyone else. We all contribute to a progressive world.     


Founding members of the YAN to the MYAN

The following Youth Ambassadors were the founding members of this national network of multicultural youth leaders. This group was established thanks to their hard work and dedication.

Hadi Rezaie

Member for Tasmania

Sarah Yahya

Member for New South Wales

Ziagul (Zee) Sultani

Member for Western Australia

Ajer Alier Deng (Atima)

Member for South Australia

Mohammad Omar Maroof

 Member for ACT

Celia Tran

Member for Victoria

Paul Joseph

Member for Queensland

 

Yai Mario-Ring

Member for Tasmania (2015 to 2016)

 

Joyle Oyela

Member for Northern Territory (2015 to 2016)

YAN applications

If you are driven, interested in issues relating to refugee and migrant youth, leadership, advocacy, teamwork and networking, then fill out this application in for the Youth Ambassador Network and email it to myanprojects@myan.org.au before May 17, 2017.