The Commission Youth Council

What do we do?

The Commission Youth Council brings youth voice and a lived experience lens into the Commission’s work, through weekly meetings, advocacy and projects. An example of our work is co-developing and co-facilitating online youth forums with young people from across Victoria; including forums about the impacts of COVID-19 and experiences leaving out-of-home care. 

As well as connecting the Commission with children and young people, we have input into the work that we’re interested in and create spaces for others to be involved. We develop ideas and content for social media and provide feedback on documents, adapting them to be accessible for children and young people.

Why is our role important?

We believe that children and young people have an important role within the Commission to work alongside staff in areas that affect us and are about us. We support the Commission to be more accessible for children and young people. 

Who is the Youth Council

The Commission Youth Council is made up of a small group of young people with diverse experiences, aged between 15 and 24.  

Amelia

Amelia CYC

I grew up in public housing in Bendigo and I was also in out of home care for six months. As well as sitting on the inaugural CYC, I am currently in my second year studying a Bachelor of Laws/Global Studies in Melbourne. I am passionate about providing opportunities for children and young people to feel empowered, be heard and make a difference; especially for those that are often overlooked in society. I love listening to music and reading when I have time as well! 

Why is our role important?

Children and young people are underestimated in society and I believe that organizations and departments should create more spaces for them to have input into the work that they do, especially if it is relevant to them. Lived experience is very important to consider, particularly when finding the best ways to engage with children and young people, including those that are vulnerable.

Kirra

Kirra CYC

As well as sitting on the Commission’s first Youth Council, I’m a lived experienced consultant with Berry Street’s Y-Change initiative and have completed my Diploma in Community Services. I love doing kickboxing and watching UFC – ultimate fighting championship. I’m really passionate about changing systems that currently, are damaging for children and young people. I believe the only way to fix these systems and services is to work alongside children and young people with a lived experience as they hold knowledge and expertise that you can’t find anywhere else. 

Why is our role important?

Being a part of the Commission Youth Council has provided space to influence change within the Commission and wider sector. We can push back on the way things are currently done and advocate for ourselves and other children and young people to be more involved in the work that’s about us.  

Charlee

Charlee CYC

Almost 200kms away from the heart of the CBD in regional Victoria on the beautiful GunaiKurnai lands is where I live – right in the heart of Gippsland. Being the youngest on the team I love this opportunity to learn from everyone not only in the Council but in the Commission as well. While not only on Youth Council, I’m a year 10 student and have a huge interest in just making a positive change in the world. I also love theatre; at any given time you’ll see me in front of the mirror dancing and singing at the top of my lungs. I love sport, especially netball, and am currently a C badged umpire. My main passion lays with mental health, and fighting for the rights of children and young people.

Why is our role important?

Young people, especially those under the age of 18, like myself, rarely get a chance to have their voices heard. This role is so important as we can bring voices from those who rarely get a say in issues. CCYP can have a big influence in the issues that matter to young people and the fact it values the lived experiences of young people, shows how important that this role is.

Jahkarli

Juc CYC

I am a proud Pitta Pitta woman living and working on the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Boon Wurrung peoples. Aside from being part of the Youth Council (which I was very fortunate to join earlier this year) I work at Monash University as an arts lecturer and research assistant. I’ve also commenced a PhD based in practice-led research. My arts practice is inextricably intertwined with my identity as a Pitta Pitta woman, exploring the complexities of my lived experience and the continuing negative impacts of colonisation in Australia. I’m passionate about seeing young mob in traditionally colonial educational spaces, reclaiming culture, story and sharing knowledge.

Why is our role important?

The Commission Youth Council provides an opportunity for children and young people to be empowered and represented in spaces that are normally inaccessible to us. It is run by youth, for youth with the aim of embedding voice and lived experience within organisations that involve youth engagement.

Krushnadevsinh (Kano)

Kano CYC

As a Youth and Multiculturalism Advocate, I empower young people and those from multicultural backgrounds. I am a member of Centre for Multicultural Youth, partaking in multiple youth programs, work at the ABC to promote the ‘Takeover’ youth storytelling competition and support CALD communities through the Access and Inclusion team at the Victorian Electoral Commission. Additionally, I volunteer for yLead, MYAN, Headspace and other organisations. Not only do these organisations enable me to broaden my engagement with the community, but it allows me to provide policy-making advice that is culturally appropriate and inclusive. I share my common migration experience, to empower others in sharing their own stories. Oh yeah, I love cricket, pro-wrestling and I'm a big gamer! :)

Why is our role important?

Including young people’s voices in the commission’s work in integral. As we can advise and work together on solutions, policies and recommendations that actually reflect the needs and wants of young people. The council is also incredibly diverse, ensuring that we represent many perspectives and communities, some that normally wouldn’t have a seat at the table. Allowing us to be as inclusive as possible

Tahlia

Tahlia CYC

I am a proud Barkindji woman, I grew up on Wiradjuri and Dhudhuroa country of Albury/Wodonga. I’m passionate about empowering young mob to be the best version of themselves so they can give back to their communities, acknowledging that success and achievements look different to each person. I have experience working with young mob across Victoria in leadership programming, mentoring, pastoral care and youth justice. I am currently volunteering with YMCA Victoria as a Taskforce member on the Youth Parliament of Victoria program. A project that I have worked on for the past year is sitting as an advisory member to develop a First Nations Women’s Leadership program which will pilot this year. In my down time, I’m always down for food and a pretty sunset ????

Why is our role important?

The responsibility of keeping children and young people safe whilst also empowering them is a community responsibility and everyone has a part to play. We provide advice to the commission on ways to best engage and include children and young people’s voices. Embedding young voices amongst the work of the commission is critical and should be normal practice for organisations working with and for children and young people.

Machar 

Machar CYC

I am Machar. I’m 20 years old and live in the west of Melbourne. I was born in Khartoum, Sudan and I came to Australia in 2006 when I was 5 years old.

I’m a very active person, some of my passions are basketball and soccer and in my spare time you’ll often find me playing one of these sports.

I am also mentor at a school in Melbourne, because I like to help out other young people who have faced difficulties in their lives.

Why is our role important?

I think the Youth Council’s role is important because young people have experience in the things that impact them. It’s important because we bring a real diversity to the Commission's work, we are from all around Victoria and can share our varied lived experiences.

I think it’s also important because together we can connect with more young people, and work together to find solutions to the issues impacting young people across Victoria.

Youth Network

The Commission has recently established a Youth Network. This network is to enable more young people from across Victoria to share experiences and have a say about things that are important to them. The network plays a role directly in Commission work, as well as enabling the Commission to connect with a wider range of children and young people, getting greater diversity of perspectives and lived experience to influence the Commission’s work whilst building the capacity of young people.

Do you want to link with us?

  • Express your interest for future positions within the Youth Council via email to engage@ccyp.vic.gov.au 
  • Join our Youth Network – be involved in various projects and opportunities! Email engage@ccyp.vic.gov.au  

Find out more