Monash Youth Forum 2018

 25 June 2018

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Arjit Sachdeva (Monash Youth Ambassador)

The forum was one of the greatest events for young adults that the Monash Youth Ambassadors (YABS) committee had hosted. Many participants learned valuable information on study related stress and how to handle oneself when in stressful situations.

All table topic facilitators (YABS members) were fully prepared from the help of formal training and discussions. It was not only the information we took out of the event, but also the teamwork and leadership skills we developed. With the formal training, we as facilitators were able to develop and improve such skills that helped us throughout the day and are expected to help us in the near future. We learned how to handle situations that we may not have previously encountered. Personally, I feel as though the formal training had evidently reflected on the day and allowed me to lead a group effectively. The support and motivation given by two of our administrators, Sammy and Aaron was most important in making the day successful.

My role in the forum was to facilitate a table along with hosting at the start of the day. Different tables managed to form new and innovative ideas on how to treat stress which is related to studies. The forum not only helped make new friends while learning something useful but also expanded young minds. By receiving different point of views from a diverse range of students, everyone was able to open up confidently and think differently to what they normally may have thought.

The committee was not only successful in spreading the message of how stress can affect the body, mentally and physically and how to handle oneself when in such situations but also developed skills that many other students and the youth may not get the opportunity to formally expand on. I hope all participants and facilitators have gained useful information from the forum and can teach others the same to improve today’s society as a whole.

Harrison Lorenz-Daniel (Year 10 Student – Glen Waverley Secondary College)

On Friday April 20th, I was provided with the incredible opportunity to attend the Monash Youth Forum. The event was to be held at a local community centre in Monash and invited heaps of students from many local schools to attend, and share their thoughts on issues in the community. Specifically, it covered how stress impacts us as students. I knew that this would be very eye opening and engaging and a completely unique experience.

Mayor Paul Klisaris was among an array of impressively worldly and accomplished speakers. We began by collaborating with a random group of peers about what we think causes stress in schools. Not only were we provided with the ability to meet many like-minded students, but we also tackled issues that were very prominent and applicable to our lives right now. Asking ourselves questions like “How is stress shown in our lives?” and “Is stress inherently bad?” certainly assisted us with really digging deeper into the question.

The second speaker for the day, Annie, a representative from the national youth organisation “Foundation for Young Australians” discussed a very real issue in our lives. Essentially, she wanted to answer the seemingly simple question: “How are young people going?”. Her speech was centered around our futures and what is to come. Did you know that 1 in 3 young people are unemployed or underemployed? Or that unemployment rates overall have risen by 30% over the past 5 years? Well Annie aims to use research and disrupt the barriers affecting young people. Specifically, she wanted to pull down walls like globalisation and automation in the workplace, making life better for young people statewide. Her powerful speech and passion left me not only moved, but excited and motivated to try and make a difference; to try and do better and be better.

She then went on to discuss skills required for the workplace, 21st Century Skills. She highlighted the idea that skills like communication, creativity, problem solving and many more were fundamental for our futures. Building those skills now will only lead to bright futures for all of us. To break down the barriers she discussed earlier, would be to illustrate these skills in everything we do. Annie went on to discuss the interconnection between job skills, drawing comparisons to the differing cultures of today’s generation and generations before. Rather than having one job that will last a lifetime, our ever changing economy means that experts predict that a 15 year old today will have 17 jobs in 5 industries over their career. To me that’s incredible.

Inspired by the fascinating speakers and brilliant support, I immediately set up a meeting with my coordinators and discussed the very powerful content covered. The ideas drawn upon at the forum are fundamental in any young person’s life and by understanding the effects of stress and mental health in our future, we can make the world an incredible place to live in. The Monash Youth Forum will be an experience that’s hard to forget!