30 August 2021 – UNICEF Australia has opened applications for young people aged 15 – 24 years old to represent their peers, as part of its 2022 Young Ambassador program.
Each year UNICEF Australia (UA) runs a 12-month program for aspiring young leaders, to empower them to advocate on issues they are passionate about, to introduce them to public policy design, and provide the opportunity to meet with key decision makers in government and other stakeholder groups.
UA Child & Youth Engagement Manager, Angus Lonergan, said the program is a fantastic learning opportunity for young people interested in public policy and making positive change in their communities.
“For young people, it can be very frustrating to be limited to sharing their ideas and views on social media and among their peers or at school. This program exposes the young ambassadors to advocacy pathways through official channels that can drive real change.
“One of the most important aspects of the program is the way it enables a variety of youth voices to be heard. Beyond their geographic location of states, cities, regional and remote areas, we’re interested to hear from young people who are diverse in culture and language, gender, and in representing First Nations people and the LGBTQI community,” he said.
UNICEF Australia will select Young Ambassadors from each state and territory to advocate for the best interests of children and young people. There are 11 positions available nationwide.
Former Young Ambassador, Daphne Fong said, “While experience or a list of achievements may be a bonus, passion, in my opinion, is the most important quality of an UNICEF young ambassador. If you are passionate about child rights and wish to elevate the voices of children and young people in decision making spaces, do not hesitate to apply.”
In December, UNICEF celebrates 75 years of safeguarding the best interests of children and young people globally.
UNICEF Australia CEO, Tony Stuart said: “We know young people are passionate and have a lot to contribute to solving issues that are affecting them now and into the future.
“Young Australians have faced a tremendous amount of challenges over the past couple of years and there has never been a more important time to hear their voices.
“This program provides opportunity for the ambassadors to share what they’re hearing from young people in their region and work with us to form policy recommendations that we can present to Government,” he said.
Applications are open now and will close on 26 September 2021, with successful applicants to be announced on World Children’s Day, Saturday 20 November 2021.
The UNICEF Australia Young Ambassador program is supported by IKEA Australia.
To apply, go to www.unicef.org.au