Today, on World Youth Skills Day, we celebrate young people and the work they do in our societies to bring justice, share stories and put their creative skills to use for a better tomorrow.
They are the young people turning challenges into opportunities.
Photo by Josh Barwick on Unsplash
Paul Garlett won last years Western Australian Youth Volunteer of The Year after his selfless work over the past two years volunteering with Red Cross, helping the people within the Kwinana Community.
A Ballardong man from the Wheatbelt area, with family connections to the Wadjuk Knaarla Karla Boodjs region in the south west of the state, he is also celebrated for his work at the Medina Aboriginal Cultural Centre – helping out with local activities including facilitating healthy food education sessions, cooking for the local men’s group, and coordinating weekly netball and basketball events for the youth.
Paul’s love for his community and passion for supporting others whilst giving such important, deep, cultural knowledge is inspiring and strengthens community networks.
When she was just three years old, Julia Nabizadah and her family migrated from a town called Herat in the west of Afghanistan to Australia to escape the devastation of war. From the age of eight, she made a promise to herself that she would return one day and help those in need.
In June this year, she made good on her promise. With her sole purpose to personally help those living in poverty and in a complex, war-torn society, Julia set up a gofundme page in hopes to receive monetary help from those around her to aid in the purchasing of oil and rice for those in desperate need.
She received over $1300AUD, with all funds going towards the families and community members she set out to help. All funds were non for profit.
Her desire to help those of the same roots as her, who were not as fortunate as to have a life free of poverty and war in Australia, is powerful and altruistic.
After discovering that sexual predators had stolen social media photos of her and edited them onto pornographic images, WA Young Australian of The Year Noelle Martin bravely spoke out about her experience. Her activism led to new laws that criminalise image-based sexual abuse across Australia.
Although the abuse escalated after she shared her experience publicly, Noelle persisted, and continued to speak out against “revenge porn” and dehumanising and degrading abuse issued with the distribution of non-consensual sexual images. This brought WA into line with other states laws, however with a higher maximum penalty and longer sentences.
Noelle now travels Australia, doing interviews with the media, TEDx talks and more, sharing her inspiring and courageous message about the harmful impacts of image-based sexual abuse.