In August, the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Academy (NIYLA) brought together 51 Indigenous young people from communities across Australia for a week long experience. Our young leaders developed deep connections as a group of passionate and like-minded young people while developing and launching 5 Indigenous youth-led campaigns on issues that impact all Australians.
I encourage you to check out their campaign videos and like their campaign pages on Facebook
“Don’t wait to see it before you believe it, you have got to believe it, if you are to see it” – Marc Sutherland sharing an insight from his Elders.
This quote became the unofficial motto of the ‘Many Voices, One Future’ National Gathering because it summed up the hope and aspirations of the incredible young people we had the pleasure to bring together and it summed up the nervous excitement our NIYLA team had in the planning and lead up to rolling out the National Gathering. There is so much to consider when developing a program from the activities, program outcomes, participant recruitment, safety, facilitation and thats barely scraping the surface of the requirements for a week long gathering in which parents, teachers, carers and students place their trust in us and our team.
There comes a point in the planning process that stress reaches its critical level and sleep, eating and sometimes breathing becomes increasingly hard. Its times like that when you have to place so much trust in your own abilities, the skills of your team and understand there is only so much you can plan for – the rest will happen as it will happen. Seems unreassuring but it actually becomes incredibly reassuring, knowing that you have done everything you can and the rest is up to the universe.
The one thing that was constant was the belief that we had something special. And we certainly did.
This week had such a profound impact on everyone involved; the amazing young people and their campaigns are testament to the incredible week. Seriously check out their Campaigns!
I would just like the thank you and the amazing crew that you worked with throughout the week for everything you guys did for me and everyone else! thank you for letting me have the opportunity of a life time – I miss you guys already so much hopefully we can see each other very soon you have changed the way I look at life and for that I thank you so very much!! – Erin, 17, Sydney
The youth-led campaigns are running for the next 10 weeks with the most successful 2 campaigns being launched at the Foundation for Young Australians’ UNLEASHED.
The National Gathering was successful because we had absolute faith in the importance of what we were doing; 51 Indigenous young people from across Australia, 5 days, 5 social issues impacting all Australians and 5 national campaigns launched – an Australian first. Seems unbelievable but every one of our incredible young leaders believed it possible – and now you can see it.