Benson Saulo (29) is descendant of the Wemba Wemba and Gundjitmara Australian Aboriginal nations of western Victoria and the New Ireland Provence of Papua New Guinea. Growing up in  the rural town of Tamworth in New South Wales, Benson began working at the ANZ Bank at the age of 15. Benson progressed his career within the bank as an International Officer, Business Banking Manager and Business Analysis at the age of 22.

In 2011, Benson was appointed Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations. Benson undertook a national engagement tour in which he engaged over 6,000 people through face-to-face workshops, events and consultations and a further 21,000 people through online tools and social media. Following the national tour Benson represented Australian Youth at the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly and was based in New York as an accredited member of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

In 2012, Benson became the Founding Director of the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Academy, which engages young Indigenous people to lead positive change in communities across Australia through youth-led social action initiatives. NIYLA has engaged over 450 Indigenous young people across Australia, and launched 10 youth-led social action campaigns on issues that impact young Australians including climate change, mental health, GBLTI young people and suicide prevention.

In 2014, Benson became the co-founder of Mind Garden Projects; a not-for-profit that supports two schools in New Ireland Provence, Papua New Guinea. Through a crowd-funding campaign, Mind Garden Projects has raised over $3,500 to provide books, teacher and student resources, to ensure teachers have the resources to provide a quality education to their students. Mind Garden Projects continues to grow with the support of in-kind donations.

Benson was selected to participate in the United States’ State Department International Visitor and Leadership Program, which involved a three week tour of the US focussing on Native American and Minority Groups across various cities and sectors.

Currently, Benson is the Group Indigenous Opportunities Manager at Australian Unity. Benson leads the implementation of Australian Unity’s Reconciliation Action Plan with a focus on employment, procurement and culturally appropriate products and services.

Other Experience:

  • Chair, 4th National Indigenous Economic Development Forum – 2017
  • Delegate at the 45th St Gallen Symposium, Switzerland – 2016
  • National Commission for UNESCO – 2016
  • Youth Advisory Council to the Centenary of WWI National Board – 2012
  • Youth Advisory Council to the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence – 2012
  • Council Member of Reconciliation Victoria – 2010
  • Victorian Electoral Commission, Aboriginal Advisory Group – 2010
  • EastWeb Philanthropic Fund – 2010


  • CLEO Magazine 30 under 30
  • Finalist, Young Australian of the Year (Victoria)
  • NAIDOC Youth of the Year, 2012
  • Finalist, Australian Human Rights Youth Medal, 2012
  • Vibewire’s six under twenty six Award, 2012
  • Ricci Marks State Award, 2012
  • Australian Affinity Award for Youth, 2011


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14 thoughts on “About

  1. Hey Benson,
    Great to hear your voice is out there….and you’re a great writer! I especially like the poem by Oodgeroo Noonuccal and your comment about the importance of being hopeful…that’s a simple but powerful and inspiring message for all of us seeking a better future for Indigenous and other Australians.

  2. Hey Benson,
    Just been reading about you and watching your interviews on Generation One. You explain so much, so well. The world needs you and more people like you.

  3. Benson! Massive congratulations for being awarded position as 2011 Australia Youth Representative to the United Nations. I’m a 21 year old guy from Adelaide and follow the Gen One campaign. Your story is truly exciting. Can’t wait to see you in South Australia!

  4. “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. ” Barack Obama.

    Benson, good luck and best wishes on this exciting journey – you represent the hopes and aspirations of many. Andrew.

  5. Hey benson,

    I was just sitting in french class a mere day and a half after I saw you last. And I was thinking about the amazing experiences we’ve had. The amazing inspiration you were and the really life changing journey that you, mel, and the rest of the conference took me on. I’ll never forget the fun times in the car, and i’ll never EVER forget the way you cared and were so interested in us, and so passionate about your journey, and allowing us the chance to be part of that journey. Where ever I go in life I’ll remember that week as part of what got me there. And I just really wanted to thank you now, even though I’m sure we’ll catch up regularly via twitter and facebook. Just one of the really special moments for me wasn’t the talks or the fun stuff we did but when i couldn’t walk, you took the time out to help me up to my room, when you’re a pretty important bloke, you still just were so kind and caring and humble about it all. If you’re in brisbane before September let me know I’d love to see you before you do the big part of the role. If not we will cross paths in the future. It was an honour and privilege to meet you.

    Your Friend

  6. Hiya Benson,
    Thank you so much for your advice and help in Toowoomba
    i apologise if I might have asked you too many questions, 🙂
    You really are an amazing person who I really respect and admire
    Your speech was so great and passionate, and you are my role model now
    Your messages of hope really got to me and that special quote of ‘its not about what your carve in stone but what you weave in the hearts of others’ was extremely inspirational
    If you are in Sydney any time, let me know because I know some people who would benefit from listening to you 🙂

  7. Hi.
    I am a year 12 high school student in Adelaide.
    I wish to ask you for some more information about your work for united nations youth. Could you please conatct me via emaill? Thanks alot!!

  8. Hi Benson!
    I think you’re a great role model and it is inspiring how extremely passionate you are about your work.
    I am a Year 10 High School Student from Cheltenham Girls’ High School, and I am working on a major project for my Aboriginal Studies course. My project is centred around role models, and would love it if I could get in contact with you and ask you some questions about your work.
    Please contact me via my email if you are interested, I am keen to hear from you soon!

  9. Great to see your work, Benson. Interested to see you’re also from New Ireland which is where my children are from (through their mum’s mum). Keep up the active roles.

  10. Hi Benson,

    My name is Anneke Pol and I am the conferences director for the University of New South Wales United Nations Society. This year we will be holding our 5th annual Diplomacy Conference on the 29th-30th of June. Since the conferences inception in 2009 it has continued to grow in both size and scope and this year over 300 university students from across NSW and the ACT will participate.

    I am writing to invite you to be a key note speaker at the conference as I feel that you would be able to excite, enthral and connect with the conference attendees. I spoke to Dan Ryan who said that you were an incredible speaker. It would be an absolute honour if you could make it.

    Please feel free to shot me an email or call me on, 0457 142 645, if you have any questions.

    I hope to hear from you soon,

    Kind regards,


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