OUR WORK WITH YOUNG PEOPLE
MYAN supports the development of young people’s leadership skills and networks to create change in their communities and influence the national and international agenda. We do this through our national Youth Ambassadors Network (YAN), our bi-annual national multicultural youth summit, FUSE, supporting young people to engage in advocacy opportunities with government and in national fora, and hosting the Refugee Youth International Leadership Scholarship.
YOUTH AMBASSADORS NETWORK
The YAN to MYAN Australia was established in 2015 as a key mechanism for young people from across Australia to engage directly with, inform the work of the MYAN and promote positive change in the lives of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds across Australia. Appointed through a selection process, the YAN are young leaders working within their state or territory and in the national arena through MYAN Australia. The YAN meet regularly through online platforms and annually in person. The YAN also plays a central role in planning and delivering FUSE (MYAN’s bi-annual national multicultural youth summit).
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.
I am currently studying a Bachelor of Medical and Health Sciences 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. I've recently started a society at my university called Multicultural Society, as a way of bringing young people together from diverse countries to share their culture and food, but also to facilitate conversations for young people who are intending to go on a study exchange program. Currently, I am also part of the Youth Reference Group at Headspace Wollongong.
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.
New South Wales
19 | Bhutanese
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” - MK Gandhi
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.
21 | Bengali Muslim
“Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground” – Theodore Roosevelt
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.
24 | Ghanaian
"Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation." - Zig Ziglar
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.
22 | Sudanese
"Learn from yesterday. Live for today.
Hope for tomorrow." - Albert Einstein
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.
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."
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. 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.
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 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.
20 | Sudanese
"My recipe for life is not being afraid of myself, afraid of what I think or of my opinions." - Eartha Kitt
Why? MYAN sees the value of bringing emerging young leaders from across Australia together to connect, ignite and trailblaze.
What? Building on the success of the first and second FUSE event held in Sydney and Melbourne in 2014 and 2016, FUSE 2019 was held as a three day summit focused on building the leadership, advocacy and community organising skills of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds.
Who? FUSE is targeted to young people who have some previous experience in leadership, advocacy and related activities, or who are looking for an opportunity to build these skills.
MYAN is excited to release a report on FUSE 2019. This year, FUSE once again delivered as a transformative 3-days leadership event – Australia’s only only national multicultural youth leadership summit. The Report highlights its panel sessions, workshops and the key recommendations of the final pitches to decision makers.
Join our Space4Youth
MYAN Space for Youth is an online group that is part of the Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (Australia) – the national peak body on multicultural youth issues – Australia’s voice representing the needs and interests of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds.
This group is for young people to connect with MYAN Australia for opportunities, relevant news and networks with other young people.
Subscribe to our youth-specific mailing list to keep updated on news, events and opportunities for young people!
INTERNATIONAL YOUTH LEADERSHIP SCHOLARSHIP
This scholarship supports a young person from a refugee background, aged 18-25, with demonstrated leadership and advocacy skills, to participate in the Annual Consultations between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and NGOs in Geneva, Switzerland, as well as meetings with high level UNHCR officials, government and other NGOs and engaging with UNHCR’s Global Youth Advisory Council.
Shabnam Safa was the 2018 recipient of the MYAN Refugee Youth International Leadership Scholarship. Shabnam participated in the consultations and other bi-lateral meetings along with MYAN National Coordinator, Nadine Liddy, and MYAN Chair, Carmel Guerra.
In two key plenary sessions, Shabnam asked Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Volker Turk, about how the rights and capabilities of young people would be recognised in follow-up to the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and asked Assistant High Commissioner for Operations, George Okoth-Obbo, how young people as change makers can best be utilised on the ground in refugee protection. Shabnam also facilitated a session on day two of the Annual Consultations on Age, Gender and Diversity.
Apajok Biar was the recipient of the scholarship in 2017, speaking on a panel about the outcomes of the Global Refugee Youth Consultations in Australia. Part of the Austrakan delegation to Geneva, Apajok had the opportunity to meet with senior UNHCR personnel and raise questions with the UNHCR High Commissioner about youth-focused protection and refugee youth participation.
Listen to an interview with Shabnam about her experience at the UNHCR NGO Annual Consultations
GLOBAL REFUGEE YOUTH CONSULTATIONS
The GRYC was a joint initiative of the UNHCR and the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) in Geneva, Switzerland, supported by the Youth and Adolescents in Emergencies (YAE) Group.
In consultations across 22 countries between October 2016 and June 2016, 1,267 refugee young people participated to amplify youth voices in decisions that affect them.
The Australian consultations, which involved 555 young people – coordinated through a partnership between MYAN and RCOA – identified 11 key challenges and 32 key recommendations to act on in the Speaking Up report.
These consultations were seen as the beginning of a process – continuing to develop the leadership, capacity, and futures of refugee youth everywhere – and informed a Global Youth Workshop and the UNHCR-NGO Consultations. Held in Geneva in June 2016, they attracted youth delegates from across the world who came to share the views and recommendations of young people consulted. Australia was represented by Arash Bordbar, Arif Hazara, Elizabeth Lang and Sarah Yahya. Read more here.
The GRYC Global Youth Workshop resulted in the development of 7 Core Actions for Refugee Youth and the global report, We believe in youth: Global Refugee Youth Consultation Final Report, which were launched in September 2016. In December 2016 the delegates returned to Geneva to discuss plans for implementing these seven priority actions.