The Young Leaders of SYC
11 Apr 2018
Relentless belief in people and their potential:
Every person deserves choice and opportunity
Recognising the needs, voice and opinions of young people has always been an integral part of the way that SYC operates. As the organisation has grown we found a need to formalise one of the ways that we engage the youth voice.
In 2014 we formed the Youth Leadership Team (YLT). This is a group made up of current and past participants of our programs, aged 18-25. These young people all have a unique expertise, as they have lived through similar experiences as other clients and been involved with different parts of our service delivery.
The YLT model is influenced by the Youth Advisory Council model which provides young people with a voice in policy development at local and state government levels. The YLT works with HYPA to ensure young people’s voices are heard and reflected within the organisation and its initiatives. Members receive leadership training and have monthly meetings.
Over the last four years, YLT members have also been involved in events, fundraising and volunteering to support our programs as well as completing the Duke of Edinburgh program for themselves. This format means that the young people in the team have opportunities for personal growth as well as blessing and improving the organisation as a whole.
In 2015 the YLT created a short film for Youth Homelessness Matters day, titled “It Ends With Us”. They documented young people’s experiences with homelessness to challenge the stigma that often surrounds the issue.
Here’s what some current YLT members have to say about their experiences:
Cody: “I joined the YLT to give back to HYPA because they gave so much to me.”
Brad: “It’s a way for me to leave a positive impact.”
Emily: “I feel valued here.”
James: “I like that it’s a leadership position that’s mutually respected… everyone has a voice… it’s quite unique.”
Laura: “It feels like [the YLT is] really going somewhere, always something new and interesting”