Nambucca Heads High's Youth Advisory Council and Becoming U team members with staff from Canberra University's science labs all smile at the camera

Big and bold: Nambucca’s Youth Advisory Council’s perspectives on their futures

Nambucca Heads High School’s inaugural Youth Advisory Council (YAC) hit the road – and the skies – for an experience-packed trip to Canberra last month.

The Youth Advisory Council is one of the key programs for Becoming U as part of our Opportunity U project that removes barriers holding young people back and opens doors to new experiences and people and is one of 9 Uniting NSW.ACT Future Horizons initiatives.

While in Canberra, the group of young leaders visited some of Australia’s most important policy, law, education, and cultural institutions, plus met other young people facilitating change.

Parliament House, the Tent Embassy, University of Canberra, Australian Institute of Sport, High Court of Australia, Australian War Memorial, and Questacon were on the itinerary.

The goal was to support them in growing their aspirations and to think big and bold about their future, pathways, and connections. They also continued to learn how they can create an impact and the importance of their voice in influencing positive change.

Busy trips also require sustenance, and with some hospitality students as members of the Council, gelato, teppanyaki, homemade Mexican feasts, and other culinary delights went down a treat.

The students ran Becoming U’s Instagram account for the week. You can catch up on their experiences through @becominguproject on Instagram.

Council member Jemma, aged 16, said the tour of Canberra University was her highlight, “There is immense power when a group of people with similar interests work together to achieve the same goal”.

Aaliyah, aged 16, added that “Learning all about the Indigenous connections” on the ‘Yeribee’ Indigenous experiences of the Parliament House tour was her favourite part.

She also enjoyed, “being able to spend time with people I wouldn’t normally and becoming friends. Overall, the trip was so amazing and informative, and it was really cool to get out of the Valley”.

Becoming U fully funded the excursion and paid for all travel, food, accommodation, and activities.

It was a wonderful reward for the passionate and dedicated group of diverse Year 11 students who volunteer their time to meet monthly, complete independent research, and take action to make a difference in their school, community, and for all young people.

The Youth Advisory Council is the first of its kind for Nambucca Heads High School and was developed in partnership with Becoming U. However, it is led wholly by young people.

Lystan, aged 16, shares why he joined the YAC, “Growing up, I didn’t have it too easy, but I can change what happens in the future. By becoming a teacher, I will do everything I can to make everyone feel accepted and let them know they are important. The YAC will help me open doors to what I’m able to do, help my voice shine, and give me knowledge and friendships that can go a long way. The YAC will help us all blossom. There’s a lot of great things coming.”

Take a look at some of the photos from the excursion in the gallery below.


Author: Simone Atallah


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