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Shout out speaker

Amanda Zhang

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“Just be yourself, as everyone else is already taken.” Amanda is a Chinese international student who moved to Australia when she was 14 years old. She recently graduated from Monash University with a degree in Education & Arts (Translation & Media) and finished her work as a Program Management Intern at the United Nations (UN-Habitat) in May 2022. She will start her journey with the United Nations Department of Global Communications (NY) in July 2022.

Amanda uses her previous work, study and leadership experiences to discuss various topics concerning international students, and is especially passionate about cultural identity, bilingualism, cultural competency and sharing her life in Australia as an international student.

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Anisha Gupta

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Having lived across three diverse regions in the world, raised by first generation immigrant Indian parents and growing up in multi-cultural communities, Anisha is uniquely positioned to speak on topics related to ethnic and gender identity, women’s rights and global affairs. Her Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) and Bachelor of Arts (International Relations) has made her aware of the domestic and international disparities and inequalities between different groups of people which she hopes to rectify through her passion for policy and advocacy. This is something she has actively pursued during her university years through volunteering with not-for-profits, leadership and community involvement.

Struggling to find an identity as a product of the ‘hyphenated experience’ where she is Australian-Indian, has shaped much of Anisha’s life. She hopes that by sharing her stories, other young people like her can feel seen, heard and not alone.

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Anna Louey

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Anna Louey is an actor, advocate and athlete. As a performer and theatre maker, she strives for the representation of diverse faces in media and creative industries. Anna believes in the importance of seeing our multicultural society accurately reflected on screens, stages and in leadership positions.

Anna studied Politics and International Studies and Chinese Studies at the University of Melbourne and UCLA. As a Chinese-Australian woman, Anna aspires for a deeper understanding of the complex migrant experience and the barriers faced in finding belonging. Creating an inclusive society that dismantles racist and discriminatory structures is an integral part of Anna’s advocacy.

Anna also works in education at Centre for Multicultural Youth and in local government. She is driven to create an education system that fully supports and empowers diverse young people to reach their full potential. Having experienced grief and trauma, Anna channels the challenges in her life to produce art and storytelling that connects and inspires audiences.

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Bayu Pratama

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Bayu Pratama is a student of Youth Work, a former Diversity Ambassador to St Kilda, Melbourne and Collingwood AFL Clubs, and current Vice President to Victoria’s Australian-Indonesian Youth Association. Bayu is a passionate advocate for youth participation, diversity and inclusion. He believes that giving young people a platform for representation is one of the most effective ways to promote social cohesion. This is a message he continues to promote in his work around political and social causes; first appearing in a 2017 Senate Hearing to present on the topic of ‘Strengthening Multiculturalism in Australia’ and his continued effort to raising awareness of the harmful effects of gambling on young people across Victoria.

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Dinuki Rajapaksha

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Dinuki is a proud Australia-born Sri Lankan, passionate about amplifying youth voices and changing the narrative. As a member of Hume City Council’s Youth Action Committee, a YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament representative and a Shout Out speaker at CMY her goal is to promote youth engagement and active citizenship.

Dinuki is currently an honours student in public health with an interest in representing and empowering culturally and linguistically diverse communities, specifically young people through her research.

As a second-generation Australian and youth advocate, Dinuki endeavours to shed light on mental health, bullying, racial discrimination, cultural identity/diversity and women’s rights through her story and ultimately inspire others to stand up, speak out and lead change.

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Emily Unity

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Emily Unity (she/they) is a culturally diverse, LGBTQIA+, and neurodiverse young person who has lived experience of mental health challenges. They are also a mental health professional and have a diverse portfolio in the sector, having worked with several organisations including headspace, Beyond Blue, Orygen, ReachOut, the Black Dog Institute, the Butterfly Foundation, and the National Mental Health Commission.

Emily was recently the recipient of the 2021 Mental Health Advocate of the Year Award, 2021 Youth of the Year Award, and the 2020 Young Woman or Non-Binary Person of the Year Award. Emily endeavours to use both their professional and lived experience to help advocate for a world for all people, regardless of background, identity, or neurotypes.

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Faye Shee-Durnion

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Faye is a university student and public speaker with a passion for environmental activism, mental health advocacy and youth empowerment. Motivated by her drive to make the world a better place, she’s amassed extensive volunteer experience through various initiatives including her work with children at Edmund Rice Camps, role as emcee for the Buddha’s Light Association of Victoria for their annual ‘Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival’, and mentorship of Year 12 VCE students in leadership roles through yLead. With such varied interests, Faye maintains at the core of all her social justice pursuits, the desire to spread awareness through conversation about climate change, anti-racism, women’s rights and the subsequent politics that determine the sort of future that young people will have. When she’s not volunteering, studying or advocating for change, Faye spends her time indulging in art, music and moving her body.

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Hanienah Lokman

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Hanienah is a Malaysian-born psychology student with a passion for inclusive education and mental health literacy. Having lived in three countries, she knows what it’s like to call an unfamiliar environment her new home. Empowered by her lived experiences, she hopes to raise awareness on the prevalence of loneliness and isolation, importance of help-seeking behaviour, and the unaddressed mental health challenges on young people’s quality of life.

Hanienah is keen to explore ways to support other young migrant and refugees navigating cultural barriers while adapting to life in Australia. She believes in amplifying narratives of disadvantaged communities, and has contributed in various youth-led initiatives including her role in CMY’s Reverb project, Headspace, Inspire Sea, and MASCA Victoria.

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Hashwina Vimalarajan

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Born in India, raised in the Middle East and now living in Australia, Hashwina is what they call a ‘third culture kid’, raised in a culture completely different from her own, yet comfortable enough to call it home. As an Environmental Scientist, she’s equally passionate about environmental sustainability and currently works for the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand, a non-profit professional organization that supports environmental practitioners. Outside of work, she’s an advocate for environmental refugees, mental health, women’s rights and improving access for marginalised groups through various social justice initiatives, including her role as a Shout Out Speaker and Youth Advisory Group member at CMY. In her spare time, Hashwina is part of a South Asian dance group, a hiker and an avid reader. In three words she describes herself as curious, compassionate and charismatic.

Shout out speaker

Jessie Tang

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Born in Australia, Jessie (she/they) is a child of the Asian diaspora. Growing up, she has always been curious about their identity in Australia. Her curiosity and lived experiences has led to their passion in facilitating conversations around cultural identity, belonging, emotional abuse, intergenerational trauma and mental health within communities of colour. Jessie is passionate about addressing this through intergenerational healing, care and accountability.

Additionally, from their experiences volunteering and working across the gender-based violence, start-up and international development sectors, they have grown a keen interest in using their knowledge to advocate for racial, gender and youth justice.

Jessie believes that young people’s voices and stories are integral to breaking these cycles and starting the journey of healing and transformation.

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Julia Coscolluela

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Julia Coscolluela is a Filipino woman who came to Australia in 2015. Her experience as a young migrant has fuelled her passion for youth empowerment. Her interest in becoming a public speaker stems from her belief that young people, especially young women and those from diverse cultural backgrounds, are often overlooked and underrepresented in society. Her current role as a casual youth worker with Brimbank Youth Services allows and inspires her to support other young people and amplify their voices. Julia is also eager to speak about her experiences regarding topics like volunteering, identity, belonging and building self confidence.

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Kano Ravalji

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Krushnadevsinh (Kano) migrated from India to Australia at the age of 7. Now an advocate of diversity and multiculturalism, Kano is keen to inspire young people to become comfortable with themselves by sharing his journey and learnings from years of battling what has felt like two different identities. Aside from public speaking, Kano also mentors Year 12 VCE students in leadership roles, has worked on multiple youth-led social media projects and hopes to use his energetic and humorous personality  to deliver speeches, host events, conduct interviews and promote peace and positivity wherever he goes.

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Komal Grewal

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Komal Grewal spent the first 11 years of her life living in India and the next 11 years living in Australia. Currently pursuing further study in Psychology after a Bachelor of Commerce, Komal’s interests are far and wide – ranging from education inequality, mental health, community involvement to sharing her perspective on dual identity. No matter the topic, Komal’s goal is simple: to inspire and empower others to live their life with meaning and purpose.

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Liem Nguyen

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Liem is a yoga teacher, start-up operator and youth work volunteer. Born and bred in Footscray, from two generations of Vietnamese refugees, Liem cherishes Australia’s multicultural fabric. His curiosity has led him to explore places like Palestine, Iran, India and Pakistan.

Liem is passionate about using technology to scale impact; mindfulness meditation; and sharing yoga with young people. His talks infuse an experience in a guided meditation, leaving you introspecting on the Australian-migrant identity and offers global perspectives with his travel stories. It won’t surprise you that he is also a passionate supporter of the Western Bulldogs.

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Maiysha Moin

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Maiysha Moin is of Bengali heritage and is passionate about empowering multicultural youth to raise their voices and take action on the most pressing issues of their generation. Maiysha’s social justice journey spans across activism, consulting and working with not-for-profits. Maiysha was an organiser and media spokesperson for the Melbourne School Strike for Climate team. She hosted the very first major strike in 2018 and has been invited as a keynote speaker speaking on youth activism and climate action. Maiysha is also a steadfast intersectional feminist, acting as an ambassador for One Girl and having worked at YWCA Australia.

Maiysha is currently studying Law/Politics, Philosophy and Economics which she hopes will open opportunities for policy reform and advocacy. Maiysha is excited to share her lived experience as a woman of colour, straddling across multiple identities including her culture, race as South Asian, and the experience growing up in Melbourne. She looks forward to speaking about diversity, identity, activism, and creative avenues of creating meaningful change in communities.

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Marcelle Yacoub

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Born in Australia and raised by migrant Lebanese parents, Marcelle is well versed in starting and maintaining conversations surrounding identity, mental health, sexual assault, emotional abuse, misogyny and women’s rights. Through experiencing abuse, discrimination, sexual identity suppression, victim blaming and PTSD, Marcelle’s passion is advocating for greater understanding of these topics so that victims and survivors feel safe and understood in their healing.

Marcelle enjoys warmly and passionately sharing her healing journey through creating homemade earrings and publicly sharing the stories behind the pieces. Being a woman studying Law and working her way to management positions in male-dominated environments, Marcelle has extensive experience of being a young woman in the workplace, understands the unique difficulties that come with it, and advocates the importance of staying honest to your values.

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Melis Layik

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Melis is a Turkish born Law student, English tutor and community advocate for women’s rights, queer rights and mental health literacy. She’s contributed to multiple advocacy initiatives as a volunteer, including the International Women’s Development Agency, One Girl, Queerspace and recently as an event organiser for the Melbourne SlutWalk, an annual protest against sexual assault victim-blaming. Melis is not only committed but deeply passionate about social justice and advocating for change. When she’s not breaking gender norms, challenging heteronormativity and the status quo, Melis uses her story of surviving anorexia nervosa to spread awareness about eating disorders and mental health amongst young people. In her spare time, she pursues her interests in photography, short films and acting. In three words, Melis describes herself as bold, determined and empathetic.

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Mohamed Semra

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Mohamed Semra is a young leader working to shatter stigma and misconceptions surrounding African migrants and refugees. As someone who migrated to Australia at a young age, he has overcome challenges; learning English and overcoming a stutter, to being elected as School and Debating Captain and  winning the Commissioner’s Race Discrimination Prize for his essay on racism. Mohamed is currently developing a leadership mentoring program while studying Commerce and International Relations at university. He hopes that sharing his story and the resilience he has gained from it, will inspire young people to become leaders and challenge the negative stereotypes they often face.

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Phuong Nguyen

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Phuong Nguyen is a first-generation migrant and international student from Vietnam with a passion for human connection and social impact in the areas of mental health, anti-racism, and cultural identity. Growing up, Phuong struggled with finding a sense of identity, purpose, and connection with others while not receiving the emotional support that she needed then. It inspired Phuong to pursue a role as a Mental Health Speaker at Batyr, discussing mental health stigma and advocating for the importance of help-seeking among other young people.

Phuong also participates in different research roles with various universities and is currently completing her Masters in Social Work with an undergraduate background in Psychology. Outside of her professional life, she enjoys spending time with others in nature and jamming to good music.

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Rhoda Makur

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Rhoda is a Kenyan-born, South Sudanese artist and psychology student living on Wurundjeri country. Passionate about mental health, storytelling, and its power to transform and heal, Rhoda hopes to improve access to culturally safe mental health services for African communities. She hopes to continue to explore ways in which de-colonised practices of arts and psychology can be used to address and heal inter-generational trauma, disturbances of institutional racism and other “isms” BIPOC experience.

Rhoda is equipped to speak about topics such as identity, mental health, the refugee experience, art, intersectionality, and community.

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Shadab Safa

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Shadab Safa arrived in Australia as a refugee in 2009. Now a motivational speaker, small business owner and commerce student, Shadab has spoken to numerous schools across Victoria on the topics of gratitude, self-belief, entrepreneurship and multiculturalism with the aim of inspiring students to strive to become the best versions of themselves. Through his story of facing extreme adversity as a refugee, Shadab aims to give his listeners a renewed sense of hope, evoke a deep sense of gratitude and empower them to look within themselves for what it takes to be better equipped and ready for the future.

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Shailja Sharma

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Shailja Sharma is a young Australian of Fiji-Indian descent who is passionate about community development and equal opportunity for all. Interested in building consensus and creating effective solutions to complex challenges, she has been involved in volunteering, student leadership, and political advocacy. Shailja has a range of public speaking and facilitation experience through debating, Model United Nations and community engagement. She is passionate about queer issues, access to education, and empowering young leaders. In particular, Shailja has focused on gender equality, specifically in terms of barriers to education and political representation. She has worked in advocacy, community radio, and within the public sector.

Currently, Shailja works as a policy officer specialising in health research and economic development. She is fascinated by world news, terrible memes, and colour-coded spreadsheets. Shailja would describe herself as adaptable, inquisitive, and innovative.

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Sina Zahedi

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Born in Afghanistan, Sina arrived to Australia as a refugee in 2006. As the oldest child, he had to take on numerous responsibilities beyond his age to help his parents and siblings navigate through the obstacles and adversities many refugees face, building resolve and resilience in the process. In retrospect, he reflects that those obstacles and adversities were in fact catalysts for growth and character development, and they shouldn’t be avoided, but rather, embraced.

Sina now studies science at the University of Melbourne and also works in banking. Having escaped ethnic persecution in a war-torn country, he wants to promote a sense of empathy and gratitude. He is particularly passionate about leadership, and believes that leadership starts with leading yourself and being an example.

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Steve Vung Sian Muan

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Steve arrived in Australia in 2017 as a refugee from an ethnic minority of Chin State in Myanmar. Now a Law and Business student at university, Steve is pursuing his interest in promoting mentorship, internship, professional and career development opportunities for young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. Steve is currently in the UNICEF Australia Young Ambassador Program, is a Youth Advisor to CMY and a participant of the Victorian Law institute’s Young Lawyers Program. He is also keen to share his interest in mental health, law reform and child rights, leadership and political participation for young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

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Swathi Shanmukhasundaram

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Swathi Shanmukhasundaram is an Indian born migrant and proud Tamil speaking woman who is forging her path as a lawyer, social justice advocate and community worker. She is a Youth Advisor and a Shout Out speaker at CMY, Create Change Fellow at Democracy in Colour and is a former Youth Parliament Premier. She tirelessly advocates for the promotion of mental health and menstrual health literacy in refugee and migrant communities through her own lived experiences by fusing her love for law, advocacy and community. Swathi is on a mission to help refugee and migrant communities understand and enforce their legal rights so they may flourish in a world free from fear, stigma and discrimination.

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Titan (Sebit Gurech)

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Titan is a South Sudanese social justice advocate, recording artist, and overall creative most known for his work in organising the “Enough is Enough” protest against Channel 7, capacity and platform building within the African-Australian community and his continued role in speaking out against racial vilification. Titan is also passionate about discussing mental health within migrant communities, racial profiling, social cohesion, and the migrant experience and has done so on platforms such as Al Jazeera, ABC and VICE to name a few.

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Yirol Maker

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Yirol is a South Sudanese teacher, mentor, community youth leader and overall creative who strives for the implementation for change. Yirol is extremely passionate about working very closely with ethnic communities on raising awareness on topics such as mental health, social and cultural awareness, discrimination, migrant experience, and integration.

Change is something Yirol can envision. Through her dedication to work with young people, Yirol understands the valuable commodity in it all; teamwork. She has partnered with many external support services in the hopes of providing opportunities for disadvantaged communities. She has an academic background and provides weekly tuition for her local community. Yirol has hopes to become a full-time educator and focusing her attention on supporting underprivileged and disadvantaged children.

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Yusuf Mohamed

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Yusuf is a Somalian, born and raised in Ethiopia where he was raised to understand the importance of culture, as he was raised by both the Ethiopian lifestyle in school and the Somali lifestyle at home. He migrated to Australian in 2011, which made him realise that there is a lot more to this world than just two cultures, and how culture isn’t the only factor that makes a person.

This move has allowed him to expand his thinking and to look at the coin from all sides. From a young age, Yusuf had dreamt of the day he would be a business man and have a great influence on the world, especially to inspire kids to be the best version of themselves and to think about others. Yusuf hopes to open up schools and charities around the world where they are most needed. The first thing he wants to develop is multiple businesses streams where he can gather enough capital to have this plan in working order.