A great success! National Youth Panel on COVID-19

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A great success!
National Youth Panel
COVID-19: exploring the new normal
Led by young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds
 Held last Tuesday, MYAN hosted a highly successful online youth panel discussion - hearing directly from young people about their challenges and solutions to COVID-19, exploring the ‘new normal’, and with a dynamic audience Q&A. Over 260 people joined us through Zoom and over 1200 people have watched the FB live stream recording.

Moderated by Mehak Sheikh from MYAN, our panellists from WA, QLD, VIC and NSW, shared their insightful and articulate perspectives on education, employment and mental health and what needs to be done to ensure young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds can access the support and opportunities they need to thrive.  

They spoke about the impacts of disruptions in education from a secondary and tertiary level, suggested changes to employment pathways, the effective reach of mental health services, prevalence of racism and discrimination, ways to better include youth voices and approaches to affecting policy change. 

We have shared some of the highlights below, with direct links to the discussion, but you can also watch the panel here:

Watch the National Youth Panel
“Young people, especially emerging young leaders are so willing, so passionate to give their time but you absolutely need to value that time, knowledge and expertise with either money or some sort of opportunity to meaningfully reimburse. Not only does it show you are taking them seriously but that you are going to use that information for something else"
- Swathi Shanmukhasundaram, MYAN YAN Victoria,
Centre for Multicultural Youth

Watch the discussion with Swathi
“It’s very important to break the taboo, the shame, the stigma and silences of mental health and just as well the stereotypes that exist … acknowledging the disorders that we have shouldn’t be something that people fear…”
- Harpreet Dhillon, MYAN NSW 
Watch the discussion with Harpreet
“The work that the young people have done in the community hasn’t been acknowledged…  because there is no representation in [the media] those stories are not shared instead the negative stories are shared … and have a negative impact on us as individuals”
- Butrus Haider, Multicultural Youth Queensland
Watch the discussion with Butrus
“Too often when you don’t have young representation within your governing structure, unfortunately, your work within youth can ultimately look tokenistic… recognise where you have the missing loopholes that don’t actually cater for young people”
- Zahra Al Hilaly, MYAN YAN WA, MYAN WA
Watch the discussion with Zahra
Thanks to our panellists for sharing their insights and to Mehak for facilitating a dynamic discussion and to all of you who joined the event to listen and learn directly from young people.

We will be releasing a snapshot report from the panel in the coming weeks. In the meantime, stay tuned as we plan our next events building on this panel event. 

The MYAN team - Nadine, Shannon, Mehak and Andrew
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Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (Australia)
304 Drummond St
Carlton, VIC 3231
(03) 9340 3700


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