As part of Australia21’s commitment to engaging with future generations of citizens and leaders, we appoint two Honorary Youth Advisers (HYA) to give the Board critical insights into public policy from the perspective of young people.
- Provide advice from a youth perspective to the Board on a range of matters and specific projects.
- Contribute to project development and participate in project implementation and evaluation where relevant.
- Link Australia21 into multiple youth networks.
- Assist with development of social media strategies.
- Help run YoungA21 Committee, our youth advisory group.
Honorary Youth Advisers
Andy is the Founder and Director of SciGround, which is developing playgrounds designed to excite young Australians about science. The venture was selected for PwC’s 21st Century Minds accelerator program as one of the top STEM education initiatives. Since 2016 he has also been an Associate of YLab, the Youth Futures Lab, an engagement consultancy that puts young people at the centre to find solutions to big challenges across diverse areas including education, cities, employment, democratic participation and digital innovation. He has worked as a Science Communicator with ANSTO, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, and as a Science Circus Presenter with Questacon, Australia’s National Science and Technology Centre. He holds a a Masters of Science Communication Outreach from the Australian National University, as well as Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Engineering degrees from the University of Adelaide.
“I am involved in YoungA21 because I believe in the ability of young voices to shape the future of Australia and the world. Too often, young people are seen as a ‘problem to be solved’. But our generation is more creative, connected and compassionate than any before it. Young people are the ones who will live in the future, so it is vital we play a central role in creating what it looks like. YoungA21 is currently refreshing how we work to connect more passionate young people to each other and into important conversations about our future.”
Ashleigh is the eHealth Project Officer at Hello Sunday Morning, a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to change the world’s relationship with alcohol. Ashleigh graduated from Macquarie University with a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) in 2018. She was awarded first class honours for her empirical project, which aimed to develop more efficient methods of identifying clients with the potential to benefit from cognitive treatment in an alcohol and other drug rehabilitation setting. Since graduating, Ashleigh has honed her skills in research through diverse research assisting roles with the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing at the University of New South Wales and Hello Sunday Morning.
“I got involved with Australia21 because I wanted to be a part of an organisation prioritising our society’s issues over the politics that often impede smarter, evidence-based solutions. After working and volunteering in various roles across the alcohol and other drug sector and observing the impact that our current drug policies have on our youth and our communities, I was eager to contribute to the conversation surrounding drug law reform through Australia21. Our generation is more in touch with our rapidly evolving society, and our futures will be disproportionately affected by the decisions that are made today. YoungA21 provides a collaborative and supportive environment to connect passionate young people to each other, as well as providing a platform for us to contribute to the conversations that will affect our futures.”
Past Honorary Youth Advisers
Emmi is a registered psychologist with both research and clinical skills, including experience within higher education, private practice and government departments. During her tenure as an HYA she was a Senior Youth Justice Psychologist with the SA Department for Communities & Social Inclusion. She was previously a Senior Psychologist with the Sentence Management Unit of the SA Department for Correctional Services and worked as a child autism therapist. Emmi became a Doctor of Philosophy/Master of Psychology (Clinical) in 2016, after studying at the University of Adelaide. She is now practising in London.
“I came across the work of Australia21 through my own PhD research, which focused on youth mental health promotion and the importance of developing a better understanding of youth perspectives of mental illness and mental health programs. Today’s young people are tomorrow’s leaders, and the current generation of young people are the largest in global history. In a rapidly evolving world that creates new and unprecedented challenges to improving wellbeing, it is now more important than ever to hear what young people, coupled with the support and experience of our elders, have to offer in finding fresh solutions to important problems. What appeals to me most about Australia21 is the emphasis on evidence-based policy, and how the organisation is structured to engage and empower young people to have a voice about important and complex issues that will affect Australia’s future.”
Rebecca is now Australia21’s Community Engagement Manager. She is currently completing a Master of Human Rights Law and is the Managing Director of The Imprisonment Observatory, a virtual collaborative centre at Monash University. She holds a Master of Public Policy & Management and has previously worked at the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and the Drug Court of Victoria. She has also volunteered as an Independent Person with the Youth Referral and Independent Person Program (YRIPP), supporting young people who are taken into police custody.
“YoungA21 provides a platform for young people to contribute to important national policy discussions. Young people have particular experiences and insights into how the wicked problems of their communities affect them and their peers, and YoungA21 ensures those insights are heard and valued. I was particularly drawn to Australia21’s work on challenging illicit drug policy, tackling climate change and upholding the public good. YoungA21 has allowed me to meet like-minded people who are passionate about making a difference on these and the many other issues that will shape Australia’s future. I would encourage anyone under 30 who feels passionate about these issues and can contribute to the important work of the organisation, to join YoungA21.”
As a HYA from 2015 to 2017, Luke played a very valuable role in co-leading the Smarter About Drugs project and assisting with the Making Our Future Work project. Throughout his tenure Luke consolidated the credentials and duties of the HYAs and demonstrated leadership for YoungA21’s junior members. Luke is currently a Graduate at Safe Work Australia in Canberra. He holds a Masters of Social Policy and an Honours degree in Criminology from the University of Melbourne. He has a keen interest in understanding issues affecting young people, particularly alcohol and drug use. His Honours thesis investigated how alcohol education campaigns can better engage with young people. Previously he was a Policy Associate at the Foundation for Young Australians, working on education advocacy campaigns. Luke has also conducted research on alcohol-related violence prevention for the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, which was subsequently published as a chapter in the book Stemming the tide of alcohol: Liquor licensing and the public interest.
Tom was an inaugural HYA. He is Marketing Director at Good Super in Melbourne and is finalising a double degree in Chemical Engineering and Finance on a BHP Billiton scholarship. He was a representative on CHEMS, a student engineering society, and has recently spent a semester studying abroad at the National University of Singapore. In 2010 Tom was school captain at Unley High School and a youth participant in Australia21’s first Next Big Question project. He also participated as a youth representative in Australia21’s first roundtable on illicit drugs in 2012. He is a keen film maker, mentored by Australia21 Director and film maker, Deb Lavis, who co-chairs the Australia21 Youth Engagement Committee.
Young Australia21 Ambassador
Vivienne was also an inaugural Honorary Youth Adviser from 2012-15 and assumed the role of Young Australia21 Ambassador in 2015. She is enrolled in a PhD studying the health outcomes of illicit drug policies and has completed a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Health Policy at the University of Sydney. During her student days, she took on a variety of leadership positions, including University of Sydney Union Board Director from 2010-2012, Student Representative Councillor from 2011-2012 and Undergraduate Science Student Representative in 2010. Vivienne is currently the Secretary of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation. She has been a volunteer with Surf Lifesaving Australia for over ten years and is passionate about giving a youth voice to the policy directives of the future.
We recognise that collaboration between seasoned experience and the fresh vision of youth is critical to Australia’s future.
More information? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.