Reflections from Young Initiator, Danayet.
On the 22nd of March, I was part of a group of young minds who gathered for a three day workshop. We wanted to become Young Initiators.
A Young Initiator is an individual who demonstrates interests in helping initiate change for their community. This can be conveyed by growing and using their leaderships skills, by connecting to their community, and by reflecting an in-depth level of understanding of the issues their community faces.
The workshop I attended entailed numerous activities, empowering us to explore the concepts of values and diversity, and develop skills in leadership and self-reflection.
One of many activities that we did involved sharing a photographic image that represents us; it could have been anything. The images that we unraveled and elucidated to the rest of the group were quite thought provoking. Sharing this insight help further cultivate a sense of connection with other young people from different backgrounds and experiences in the room.
An example of a photographic image that resonated with me was seeing a fellow Young Initiator with a Burmese background sharing an image of himself playing AFL football at the MCG. The image voiced his intricate identity and showed his growing connection with Australian’s diverse culture and highlighted his resilience when faced with feelings of social detachment.
His story reinforced to me the importance of connection to strengthen our level of awareness.
The highlight of the workshop for me was identifying the qualities and traits of an active leader in a community. We worked together to recognise the skills and ways to become further involved in our community, and we also unmasked the current issues we cared about such as youth unemployment. I felt unsettled by the fact of how common youth unemployment was, and how it hinders an individual’s ability to reach their full potential, preventing them from leading a creative and productive lives.
The workshop concluded with a final activity - embedding a leaf on a tree. On the leaf we wrote a significant thing that we took away from the workshops.
Our contribution to the tree illustrates our personal growth and level of awareness we developed; ultimately facilitating us to apply such skills and experience from the workshops to youth led projects in our community and potentially even wider across Australia or the world.
At the end of the workshops, through the community map activity that we did, I was able grasp in a coherent structure of the circle of friends, family, and communities that influence me the most and how many of my values stem from these sources. This was crucial for me in order to recognise and then foster those relationships in order to strengthen my inner values.
I encourage future Young Initiators to participate in the workshops to get a greater scope of understanding of themselves and to develop the crucial skills that they can utilize in order to implement their values as they would like to be seen in their community.