A partnership between young people and researchers to enhance the relevance and responsiveness of research (and post-research interventions) to young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds.
Explore members (known as Youth Researchers) have undergone training to develop facilitation, research and co-design skills and knowledge, and have been introduced to a range of tools that promote youth participation in research, consultation and evaluation.
Youth Researchers draw upon this training, as well as their lived experience to engage directly in any stage of the research process, including:
- Workshopping themes, topics or scope of research.
- Design, co-design or consultation on research methods.
- Facilitation or co-facilitation of focus groups and interviews, dissemination of surveys and participant recruitment and engagement.
- Analysing data, reviewing research tools, translating findings.
- Program Evaluation.
If you are interested in engaging a Youth Researcher to support your research project, please fill out the form below.
Who we are
We are a team of young people from wide-ranging cultural, academic, and community backgrounds driven to push the standards of youth engagement in research.
We are motivated by a passion to address the biggest challenges that our generation faces: racism, discrimination, mental health and employment, among others.
Our aim is to build bridges between young people and researchers, so that research can achieve meaningful change in bettering the lives of young people.
Explore is funded by Centre for Resilient and Inclusive Societies (CRIS) in which CMY is an integral community player.
We draw upon our training and lived experience as young people, students and professionals to inform the direction of your research, ensuring that the methods being used and questions being asked, are relevant and responsive to the research cohort.
We use our youth participation expertise to ensure that other young people are meaningfully involved in research to strengthen the depth and quality of research involving them.
We are experienced facilitators who talk to young people as partners—rather than just research subjects. We facilitate research that belongs to young people as much as academics, ensuring young people remain actively engaged throughout the research process.
We use our knowledge and position as young community members, to conduct interviews and focus groups that are culturally and age appropriate.
As data analysts
We bring a diversity in perspective and experience that will add nuance and insight into data analysis, and help communicate research back to young people and those from CALD backgrounds in a meaningful and relevant way.
Meet our Youth Reserachers
Alex Lee believes wholeheartedly in the power of discourse to address the biggest challenges faced by our society today. A PhD candidate at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Alex advocates for support and education around healthier understandings of gender, relationships, and mental health.
As a Community Liaison Volunteer at a Melbourne-based not-for profit, Alex utilises her friendly and empathetic nature to build relationships with partner organisations to challenge race and gender-based discrimination and fight against street harassment and the intersectional inequalities it represents.
Growing up in regional Victoria as part of an increasingly diverse generation of Australians, Alex is passionate about pushing for accurate representation of Australian society in our leadership structures. Believing that it is time that we, as a society, realise that diversity isn’t some marginal part of our society; it literally constitutes it.
Hiruni Walimunige (she/her) was born in Sri Lanka and arrived in Australia at age 2. Having completed prior studies in both Psychology and Politics and International Studies, Hiruni has amassed a large amount of experience in understanding complex issues faced by individuals and communities.
As board director at a non-for profit and university representative for CALD students and student health, Hiruni enjoys working alongside others to passionately advocate for student welfare and youth mental health issues.
Currently completing her Masters of Public Policy and Management, Hiruni would like to use the skills and knowledge she has gained to address the lack of youth participation in policy development.
David Cao is a science student and a history enthusiast with a vast amount of experience in working with young people.
As a volunteer at his local Vietnamese language school David is a driven advocate for cultural awareness. Identifying as Vietnamese-Australian, it is his hope that young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds embrace and appreciate their individual culture as well as the diversity of others.
David believes that one of the key issues that young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds face is a lack of effective communication between themselves and their migrant parents. David is motivated to address these and other issues with patience and honesty, through his example he inspires others to do the same.
Working as a paralegal while completing her JD of Law, Zahra Sitou (she/her) is a strong advocate for directly involving young people in creating solutions for the issues that they face, particularly around racism and identity.
Having completed her undergraduate studies, majoring in criminology, Zahra has a keen interest in exploring the complex issues faced by young people involved the justice system, and is passionate about highlighting the multifaceted narratives that exist within African Australian communities.
A driven and outgoing young woman of Ghanaian background, Zahra uses humour, warmth and empathy to build relationships with peers and colleagues of all ages and backgrounds.
Ezatullah Eiwaz Ali
Ezatullah Eiwaz Ali
Originally from Afghanisatan, Eza arrived in Australia in late 2005 where, whilst studying a Law degree at Deakin University, he also dedicates countless hours volunteering to support the settlement of newly arrived young people.
Eza is concerned by the increased difficulty that young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds face in finding employment and is a passionate advocate for both employment and political participation by young people from migrant/refugee backgrounds. This passion has seen Eza participate in programs with CMY, and the Victorian Electoral Commission centred on building capacity for active citizenship in himself and others.
Eza brings a thoughtful, reflective and adaptable approach to his work, which contributes largely to his skilful facilitation of groups and his ability to build rapport with people from all walks of life.
Komal Grewal (she/her) spent the first 11 years of her life living in India and the next 11 years living in Australia. Komal holds extensive experience in both youth facilitation and research, volunteering as a homework club tutor and as a youth facilitator in CMY’s Reverb program, where she delivers mental health focused workshops to both young people and service providers.
Komal utilizes her aptitude for building connections with young people and stakeholders to effectively engage others in meaningful conversations around challenging topics.
Currently pursuing further study in Psychology after a Bachelor of Commerce, Komal’s interests are far and wide – ranging from education inequality, mental health & wellbeing, 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.
Jane Chen (she/her) is a Chinese-Australian writer, researcher and social justice advocate living on the unceded lands of the Kulin Nations.
With her background in sociology, she is a Youth Advisor and Explore Researcher at CMY and is passionate about using intersectional practices to tackle the structural drivers of social inequality. She is particularly interested in championing youth engagement in government, challenging ideas about gender and race, and supporting meaningful employment for young people.
Jane currently works in gender equality policy and can often be found reading autobiographies in her spare time. She describes herself as curious, empathetic and driven.
Phuong Nguyen (she/her) is an international student from Vietnam with a passion for connecting with others – an area of interest that has led to many personal achievements including presenting at TEDx while still in high school.
Phuong has completed her degree in Psychology and is currently studying a postgraduate degree in Social Work. When she’s not studying, Phuong dedicates her time to volunteering for organisation such as headspace and CMY, public speaking and writing about the challenges experienced by young people in the age of social media.
Amongst the many issues she’s passionate about, Phuong endeavours to raise awareness about the prevalence of loneliness and isolation, the importance of developing personal identity, mental health support and helping others build meaningful connections while coping with change.
Chris is a second generation Vietnamese-Australian, who is passionate about diverse youth participation being at the heart of decision making.
This passion has led him to places such as the Australian Institute of Family Studies, as a Create Change Fellow at Democracy in Colour and currently as a Youth Advisor and Explore Researcher at CMY.
In addition to refugee and migrant issues, his interests intersect with many areas including inter-generational trauma, healthy masculinities and the use of creative expression to connect and heal.
He is currently in the final year of his undergraduate studies in sociology and politics.
If you have any questions about engaging an Explore Youth Researcher, please contact:
Gemma Minuz | Project Officer
E | firstname.lastname@example.org
P | (03) 9340 3758