International Youth Day has a different tone this year. The 2020 theme of Youth Engagement for Global Action could not be more relevant. While every year we see young people pushing for better and advocating for our communities – this year, we truly see and feel our youth as the pillars of not only our future, but our present.
Victorian young people are on the frontlines of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as essential workers. They are pushing innovation in online education. They are acting as translators of information between generations. They are holding space for people facing unspeakable loss and they are uplifting our communities at a magnitude that we have never seen before.
On this International Youth Day, I urge you to take a moment to stop and look around. Firstly, to acknowledge the young people in your world that make it a better place. Secondly, to acknowledge any space that you hold and think about how you could use it to uplift a young person.
So, here’s to you, the person reading this message. Whether you are a youth voice enabler as a parent, guardian or champion for youth, a young person pushing for better or someone who is doing the best they can with what they have. I am grateful to you and what you do for our community.
You are what makes the difference by striving to create a Victoria where all young people can thrive.
If you are a young person reading this message, I want you to know that you are valued and important.
This is not an easy time, navigating and trying to make sense of what is going on around you while trying to support your communities and yourself. Please know that your feelings are valid.
You are making a significant mark in this world by doing what you are already doing.
Reviewed 23 June 2021