Youth-led Project Q&A
An Interview with Deetya
Today, the Young Initiators team sat down with Deetya, an emerging community leader who’s working on the Young Initiators youth-led project in Casey.
Who are you as a project group, and what are you working on?
We are a diverse collective of Young Initiators who seek to foster awareness with future leaders of Casey. Our nickname is ‘Mind Grown’ because we care about educating young people and others. Our group chocolate profile is Raspberry Intense Dark Chocolate - because we’re diverse and multilayered!
We are planning and organising an event on climate change, discrimination and mental health and trying to reach out to professionals and young people.
Our event is called the SpeakUp Summit, it’s a debate and discussion event, with small events throughout the day, with the three topic areas I mentioned. For each topic, there is a ‘spectrum’ debate, where you have to research a topic, take a stance, and then discuss it. Then you’ll hear from a guest speaker to give another and well-informed view on each topic.
How has the journey been so far?
For me, I’ve really enjoyed it! It’s been great working collaboratively with other members of the group; it really fosters teamwork and working together, something we really need more in the world these days.
It’s been truly rewarding, meeting new people and hearing new ideas, and it’s amazing how much change we as young people can make. We can see and really feel that now that the project is starting to take shape.
What has surprised you doing this project?
I’d say it’s been interesting that we’ve adapted and taken up our own roles in the team. Without discreetly assigning roles at the start, we’ve now developed discreet roles. For example, I’m doing communications, and Denna and Dana are co-project managers; it just came about by ourselves working on the project.
In projects I’ve worked on before, roles have been assigned. In our project, it’s come about on our own, focusing on our strengths.
What are you most excited about?
I’m excited about actually implementing the project. I’m excited about seeing young people’s views and hearing them. I think in society we really lack knowledge; we scroll through Instagram instead of reading the newspaper or a book. We want to see young people be educated and learn and get excited about what’s happening around them.
What have been the challenges so far?
The main challenge was finding a venue! We were working on it for 3 weeks, going forward and back, being a little indecisive. But now we know where were’s going to be, and can move forward in stride.
What does 'leadership' mean in a group?
Leadership in a group means working together to achieve the final goal.
Whenever you work together in a group, I think it’s figuring out what you place is in the group, what strengths you have, what you can contribute and ensuring you can do that for the well-being of the group.
How have the group dynamics progressed?
We’ve become closer to each other and better friends since the first Young Initiators workshop. We meet every week and know each other well. We get the work done and have fun at the same time; it’s vital and energetic and working well.
What has the Young Initiators workshop and youth led project structure, helped with?
The project management structure and discussions about how to structure a project have really helped me. In addition to Young Initiators, I’m working on a Casey Youth Action Committee project and we were struggling to take steps to achieve our goal. I took one of our Young Initiators project management briefs back to that group and it helped us come up with a plan.
Any advice for other young leaders out there?
“Step out of your comfort zone and look for things to do. Until last year, I wanted my school to tell me what to do, but I’ve learned that you have to step out and do new things. It’s great for life overall and a great social network if you can find people like you or who are different but share your values.”