The search is on for Young Ambassadors, aged 15 to 24, who will become the voice of children and young people to our decision-makers in Australia

SYDNEY, Monday 9 April 2018:  The search begins today for the 2018-19 team of Young Ambassadors who will become an important voice for children and young people in Australia for the next year.
 
“The UNICEF Australia Young Ambassador Program provides successful applicants with an opportunity to speak up for children’s rights - to develop as advocates - at local, national and international levels,” said the CEO of UNICEF Australia, Tony Stuart. “Young Ambassadors will have the opportunity to consult with children and young people and to take their views and advocate for them directly with the decision-makers in our country.”
 
He said that in both the looming federal budget and the federal election, decisions will be made about and on behalf of children and young people, so it is vital that their voices and views become contributions to decision-making in both processes.
 
“Our Young Ambassador program is of critical importance right now because there is currently no other avenue that provides children and young people with the real, concrete opportunity to have a meaningful stake in the decision-making processes that impact upon them – those decisions that are made on their behalf,” he said
 
“So the reason we have relaunched our Young Ambassador program is twofold: because we are the UN Children’s Agency and children are at the centre of our work, but also because there is currently no funded national youth peak organisation in Australia to influence and inform important public debate and national conversations.”
 
As voluntary appointments, the Young Ambassador positions are open to young people aged between 15 and 24 years of age, from every state and territory in Australia. There is no need to have previous experience in similar roles and we encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse life experiences.
 
“The final group of Young Ambassadors will bring a diversity of personal experiences, study backgrounds, skill sets, volunteering or community involvement, and cultural backgrounds to the new team, which will ably equip them to be representatives of children and young people in Australia,” Mr Stuart said. “When this program was run in the past, we have found the Young Ambassadors have continued their advocacy into successful roles as influencers, community and business leaders.”
 
During their term, the Young Ambassadors will be mentored in:
 -  understanding the work of UNICEF in Australia and internationally
children’s rights
 -  government advocacy and influencing  decision makers
 -  becoming an effective spokesperson for UNICEF Australia
 -  engaging children and young people in learning about their rights and responsibilities
 -  learning how to run consultations with children and young people. 

The role will include some interstate travel, including a trip to Canberra to meet with politicians from the government, opposition and minor parties, as well as other influential stakeholders, to discuss issues that are important to children and young people.
 
Application forms are available from: www.unicef.org.au/our-work/unicef-in-australia/participation/become-a-unicef-australia-young-ambassador
 
For more information, please contact:

Brinsley Marlay, UNICEF Australia, 0403 604 182, bmarlay@unicef.org.au