MEMBERS of Victoria’s first multicultural youth speakers’ agency are ready to share their stories as the state prepares to celebrate youth and cultural diversity.
The Centre for Multicultural Youth’s Shout Out initiative was created to combat the marginalisation of migrant and refugee young people by giving them a voice.
Upcoming Cultural Diversity Week (March 14 – 22), Harmony Day (March 21) and National Youth Week (April 10 – 19) celebrations are opportunities for the Shout Out speakers to be heard.
Shout Out speaker Celia Tran, of Vietnamese background, said young multicultural voices were often absent in mainstream media.
“Shout Out will give young people like me the opportunity to be heard and the opportunity to be consulted on policies that affect us,” Ms Tran said.
“Through Shout Out I feel empowered and confident to step up and use my skills for leadership and advocacy.”
Ms Tran is one of 18 available speakers.
Schools, local councils, community organisations and the media will have access to these young people, who can present on issues such as youth engagement, justice, identity and racism.
CMY Youth Leadership Advisor Alice Gomez said the project recognized young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds had a wealth of unique perspectives and fresh ideas to contribute to Australia’s rich diversity.
“These young people’s voices are often stereotyped, marginalised or invisible in mainstream culture and this can damage their ability to feel like they belong,” Ms Gomez said.
“Shout Out is an opportunity for young people to redress the balance and present their stories and experiences to audiences that may not usually have the chance to hear them.”
Shout Out was supported by Gandel Philanthropy and launched on December 13.
Ms Gomez said people could visit cmy.net.au/shoutout for more information or to request a speaker.