During the second week of the April school holidays, the Young Initiators crew took a trip to the south east. We made the Casey youth hub our home base for building connections and rapport with 24 young people who attended over the course of the program. The Casey Young Initiators kicked off our three days of talking leadership, values, diversity and community by setting a circle, acknowledging country and creating a group agreement. This circle represented us coming together as equals with shared values of respect, contribution, support and kindness. We bonded over great food, music and, most importantly, the love for K-Pop.
Click to read more about the different activities we worked through on each day!
The focus for day one was to consider how we individually practice leadership. We began by battling the wind to create foil towers before looking more deeply into leadership (and ‘follow-ship’) as actions that we take. For ‘Wall of Wonder’, we worked together to determine which rights were important to us. Activities like ‘Where do I stand?’ and ‘Prioritising Values’ allowed us time and space to investigate how values shape our leadership. It was clear that in spite of our differences in opinions, a number of us shared core values that determine how we function as leaders. We were able to reflect on what mattered most to each of us through craft and set personal goals to help us live by our values.
Day two was all about interacting with others. The hoodie role-play opened up a discussion about how we interpret and respond to differences in our society. After talking about bias, stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination, we had a closer look at the stereotypes that we witness in the world around us. Most of the stereotypes we discussed related to race, nationality and culture, though we also discussed how gender and other ‘intersections’ affect how people are often judged. In the afternoon we practiced the three different kinds of empathy (head, heart and compassion) during the ‘Outsider Witness’ activity.This exercise in storytelling and empathy helped to bring our group even closer together.
Our focus for day three was community and active citizenship. Our ‘community maps’ helped us think in detail about who we feel connected to and how we maintain important relationships in our lives. This provided a great base for the ‘Fired-up map’, which identified the issues that got us ‘fired up’. We created a vision board for each issue where we brainstormed what our communities (both local and global) could look like if we tackled problems together. The visions everyone contributed indicate the motivation that young active citizens in Casey have to create change. Our three days together came to a close with our ‘Community Values Tree’. Everyone gave something back to the program for future Young Initiators.