Last Wednesday I had the very humbling honour to be invited by the Foundation for Young Australians to an intimate “Democracy Dinner” with the Speaker of QLD’s Parliament House, Fiona Simpson. It was an incredible opportunity to be in a room surrounded by young change-makers passionately discussing our system and how to further engage Australia’s youth in building the tomorrow that we want to live in.
Madam Speaker is passionate about leadership, young people and democracy and facilitated a really interesting discussion that prompted frank, honest and insightful engagement.
“No matter who they are, no matter where they are, young Australians are connected, confident and optimistic about the future, with a deep sense of purpose and belonging”. – Foundation for Young Australians
Below are the exceptional people I had the pleasure of meeting, please do google them and check out the great things they are doing, you won’t regret it!
Jan Owen, AM
CEO, The Foundation for Young Australians – a national, non-profit organisation dedicated solely to young people. At FYA we are relentlessly optimistic about all young people and their ability to be enterprising. We believe that they have the courage, imagination and will to create the change they want to see for themselves and their world. We want to see generations of future focused learners, enterprising changemakers and confident global citizens.
Aidan Harrison, age 18
Founder of Swish Start, an initiative that uses basketball as a tool to raise young people’s awareness of mental health.
Ben Hamley, age 29
Ben Hamley is a non-executive director of the Brisbane Writers Festival and the Manager of Audience Research, Strategy & Advocacy for the Queensland Museum Network.
Founder of Power of Engineering, a non-profit organisation that empowers women and young people to change the world through a career in engineering.
Jack Stone, age 24
Founder / Director of Bee One Third – Neighbourhood Honey, an enviro. enterprise helping to pollinate urban landscapes and ecologies through partnering with businesses & companies to activate under utilised ‘grey-space’ throughout the city.
Kaylene Langford, age 24
Social Service Founder of Sense Youth Mentor Program that provides support and positive role models at at risk young people.
Lee Crockford, age 29
CEO of Spur Projects, a not-for-profit that exists to make it easier for young men to take positive action than to take their own lives. Democracy allows the freedom of opinion, yet must be underpinned by a value system of fairness, respect, empathy & equality deeper than popular opinion.
Lucille Danks, age 22
Director of Impact Youth Social Enterprise Conference, an initiative to introduce young business and social sector leaders to the innovations between charity and “business as usual”
Pip Russell, age 27
Founder of Jucied, a multi-faceted entertainment program that will offer unique environmental enrichment opportunities to the patients and families of the Royal Children’s Hospital Brisbane, and from November 2014 the new Queensland Children’s Hospital
Nicole Gibson, age 27
CEO of The Rogue & Rouge Foundation, a charitable organisation that helps young people through mental health challenges through financial assistance and education.