Exploring values and initiating change through visual stories

Sara Yasin is an international student who hails from Oman. She came to Australia three years ago to pursue a Bachelor’s degree of Commerce at the University of Melbourne.

Sara Yasin, Young Initiators participant

by Sean Nabos

“In my first two years here I didn’t want to see anyone because it was a very overwhelming experience to come all the way from Oman,” she says, having moved away from her family and friends who were her pillars of support, and adapting to a new education system.

Eventually in her third year at university, she found the urge to start networking and getting to know people outside her comfort zone. She heard about CMY’s Young Initiators Project through a friend and was drawn to it immediately.

“We spoke about our values and we shared stories and experiences, especially around discrimination. It was interesting how everyone could be very vulnerable but at the same time it felt like a safe space and the team was very supportive about it.”

Young Initiators uses experiential activities, group discussions, social media and self-reflection to explore leadership, diversity, values, empathy and different ideas about community. 

Through the program Sara was encouraged to participate in the Visual Stories project, a spin-off of Young Initiators, where she got the opportunity to explore her Sudanese background with a mentor. 

by Madz Rehorek

“I didn’t know much about my history and my culture. I was born and raised in Oman and when I started talking to other people about it, I realised it wasn’t just me who felt disconnected, so I thought a visual story would be a good way to change people’s mindsets and find out the reasons for disconnect.”

Sara hopes to have discussions with people from different Sudanese tribes about what Sudan means to them, some of their experiences as a Sudanese person living in Australia, and break down the reasons for the disconnection with her home.

“I basically hope to get their stories, develop that into a podcast and find out the timeline of Sudan’s history and trigger global conversations.”

Her advice to any other young people thinking of getting involved: “Young Initiators builds you up and helps you figure out what you value, what you have in your mind, and what change you want to make in Australia.”

Keep updated on what this group of creatives are conjuring up on their Instagram, and look out for their exhibition on 19 December 2019, at Le Space that will feature what the group have been working on the past nine weeks.