The future is here

United Nations youth representative Lucy Stronach (left) and the crew from The Y WA.

THIS week’s Speaker’s Corner comes from LAURA DUNLOP, youth services manager at The Y WA (the new name for the YMCA). On May 26 the Y’s HQ Leederville was the site of a meeting between local young people and the Australian youth representative to the UN Lucy Stronach, who heard about the main issues affecting them to report to the UN at the end of the year.

 WHAT would the world look like if young people were making the big decisions? 

Last week a group of young people gathered at The Y HQ Leederville to meet with the 2021 Australian Youth Representative to the Unites Nations Lucy Stronach to chat about what the world would look like if young people were in charge.

What young people value doesn’t always align with what the government prioritises, but the future of the world belongs to them, so it’s really important to have their voices heard regardless of their age.

So when this group was asked what they care about and what they want to see changed, they were really happy to chat to Lucy, who will take her findings to the United Nations at the end of this year.

Education

The issues the young people raised covered a wide range of topics, including education, mental health and the environment. 

The young people strongly believe that life skills, such as how to do taxes, needs to be prioritised within the education system. 

They also said that they feel that more needs to be done for the environment and to slow climate change, and an increased emphasis needs to be placed on protecting and treating mental health. The group also said the lack of opportunities offered to young people living regionally and remotely in comparison to their metro-based counterparts needs to be remedied. 

It’s no surprise that gender inequality was also raised as an issue, with young people calling for better education around consent. 

They also offered up lots of valuable suggestions about how they think some of the issues could be addressed, such as by exploring more sustainable farming practices to better protect the environment, and adjusting the school syllabus to include more education about life skills.

Lucy is talking to young people all around Australia before presenting her findings at the United Nations. 

This is an excellent example of how young people can be empowered to drive real change. 

Young people are the future, and they’re smart and passionate –it’s great to see their ideas betaken up to an internationalplatform.

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