Exploring Sydney through the eyes of Youth: Youth Voice Project

Youth Voice In Sydney

In the bustling city of Sydney, amidst the iconic landmarks and vibrant culture, a group of young changemakers from Vincentia High School embarked on a journey of advocacy and leadership. Armed with boundless curiosity and their trusty smartphones, these young individuals captured the essence of their experience, which we at Firefly hope will shape their perspectives and inspire their futures.

Instagram Reel

Observing the world through the eyes of the young people we support is always captivating. The excursion commenced with the Firefly team, 16 students and two Vincentia High School teachers boarding the three-hour train ride to Sydney on March 20th. For many in the group, it was their first train journey, let alone one bound for Sydney.

After the long journey, the group participated in an engaging Advocacy Training session at Uniting’s Head Office. The participants found the session to be highly impactful. They gained insights into the work Uniting does in the advocacy space and participated in practical activities that mapped the stakeholders of their projects and their perceived power. By learning about advocacy campaigns and mapping out their own from “foundation” to “the peak”, the young changemakers were inspired to think more strategically about their projects. Some reflected that the workshop helped them look at their projects and implementation in a different light, sparking new ideas and approaches.

Following the training, the young changemakers dressed up for dinner at Circular Quay and afterwards attended the Opera House to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream—a first-time experience for many in our group.

The following day, the group attended the State Youth Leadership Conference, where the energy was palpable as the young changemakers learned about leadership from other young people. During the conference, two students from our group took the stage and discussed their projects, while others connected with students from all over Sydney and NSW.

Throughout the trip, the young changemakers encountered various challenges that tested their resilience and adaptability. The length of the trip, spanning two full days, and navigating different modes of transport presented initial hurdles. Additionally, stepping out of their comfort zones at the Leadership Conference pushed them to engage with people they didn’t know and collaborate with students from diverse backgrounds and schools. However, these challenges provided valuable learning opportunities, fostering teamwork and promoting the growth of each individual in the group.

The Leadership Conference and Advocacy Training will greatly help the students implement their projects, which will conclude in September this year. The young changemakers have been inspired to get involved, work collaboratively, and recognise the importance of their voices and opinions. This newfound motivation will undoubtedly drive them to contribute meaningfully to their school and community.

The short video at the start of this news article documents moments of inspiration, empowerment, and camaraderie. As we reflect on the journey of these young changemakers through their photos, we are reminded of the power of perspective. Through their lenses, we see the world through fresh eyes—a world brimming with possibility and potential. Their photos serve as a visual chronicle of empowerment, capturing the essence of their journey towards self-discovery and leadership.

Firefly extends its heartfelt gratitude to Vincentia High School for allowing us to take these inspiring students to Sydney. Special thanks to the two teachers, Mr Brooks and Ms Pink, for accompanying the students on the excursion and to the Principal, Ms Winfield, for welcoming Firefly into the school to run the Youth Voice project. This transformative experience would not have been possible without their support and collaboration.

 Photography Credits: Vincentia High School Students

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