An interview with Ikram Mahamed, CMY Youth Intern

Ikram Mahamed at a Seat at the Table networking event

What was your role at CMY?

As a Youth Trainee, my role was to support the Seat at The Table program, which aims to tackle the underrepresentation of young women in leadership and governance positions by providing training and Board Observership placements. I also support the Western Young People’s Independent Network (WYPIN), an advocacy group based in Melbourne’s west. A few months into the role, I learnt that a Youth Intern position was being advertised. I have always been interested in storytelling and young people’s voices being heard, so I thought to apply and give it a go.  

What were some of your personal and professional highlights?

Being part of the ABC Takeover Melbourne video shoot with CMY, particularly working with Darell, a young person who has big dreams of being an entrepreneur was definitely a highlight. I worked with him to refine his story, as well as participate in the video shoot for a day. Working with the winners of the Takeover Melbourne competition has definitely been an amazing and memorable experience. I also had the opportunity to co-MC the gala screening at the end of the summit, which was a surreal experience and pushed me out of my comfort zone. 

Takeover Melbourne Gala, 9th December 2022
Takeover Melbourne winners

Working at CMY also gave me the confidence to pursue a range of other initiatives, such as attending the Victorian Multicultural Gala dinner, where I was able to meet and connect with a range of community leaders. I also pursued being a grant assessor at VicHealth, participating in YACVic’s Youth Advocate program and becoming a One Wyndham winner for my community work in the west. CMY really opened my eyes to the amount of opportunities available and broadened my horizon on what I can pursue once I finish studying. 

Tell us more about the Takeover Gala dinner.

The Takeover Melbourne Summit spanned across two days and was filled with workshops and networking opportunities for the winners. The summit ended with a gala screening at ACMI at Federation Square, where winners walked a red carpet and entered the cinema to watch their story on the big screen with their friends and family. They had speeches by Lord Mayor Sally Capp, CMY CEO Carmel Guerra and also featured alumni interviews from previous years who shared heartfelt advice to the current cohort. The wonderful Nelly, a 2022 winner ended the night with an awesome Afrobeat dancing sesh!  

What are some of the things you’ll take away from your experience at CMY?

Takeover Melbourne really taught me the importance of young people’s voices being represented in traditional media such as the ABC. All of the winners that I worked with felt extremely proud that their piece was being shared across all ABC platforms – and that there was representation of people who looked like them and representation of diverse experiences that others can look up to.   

What’s next for you?

I will be graduating next year with a Bachelors of Public Health, and I hope to work in health promotion and improving community health and wellbeing. I also hope to stay connected in the youth, multicultural and advocacy spaces. I can’t say for certain what the future holds for me, but I’m sure that working here at CMY has pushed me in the right direction.