Applications for 2021 have closed!
This is an opportunity for young people of all genders and identities between the ages of 16 and 24, residing in Sydney or Melbourne. You do not have to be an existing leader or activist in your community – this is an opportunity for all, no matter what part of your gender justice journey you are on – we would love you to apply!
To achieve our vision of a more equal world, where all children can live happy and healthy lives, and where girls can take their rightful place as equals, Plan International Australia supports young people around the world, particularly girls and young women, to be agents of change.
The Youth Activist Series does just that – it works to make sure young people are at the centre of what we do. It amplifies the voices of young people and it equips and empowers the participants to change the world around them.
Our YAS program is an opportunity and a platform to create change, develop valuable skills, forge lifelong friendships and channel their passion for gender justice campaigning and speaking truth to power.
What do the YAS do?
The Youth Activists bring their passion, skills and lived experiences to the issues Plan International Australia advocates for.
The YAS provides a platform for young people to learn more about global issues surrounding gender justice, and presents a space where they can build their capacity and advocate and campaign with young people all over the world. The purpose of YAS is to give participants the chance to drive real change that is informed by their voices and solutions.
The Body Shop Australia
In 2021, the Youth Activist Series will be supported by The Body Shop; an organisation with deep activist roots and strong values around empowering young women.
As a part of this, our youth activists will have the opportunity to be involved in public engagement activities, training and events with The Body Shop. This support will also include in-store photos and storytelling from the 2021 youth activists to engage the Australian community to support the next generation of leaders.
Over the years, the YAS have achieved incredible things.
Plan International Australia’s Youth Activists were involved in co-designing the Free to Be crowd-mapping tool, rallying participation in the research and adding girls’ voices to the national conversation about our right to live safely in our cities. Advocating for girls and young women’s safety, the YAS engaged with numerous power holders and stakeholders to push for change and implement the recommendations they wanted to see from the Unsafe in the City report.
In 2020, alongside Plan International’s youth leaders in Vietnam, the Youth Activists led research into the challenges faced by girls, young women and non-binary folk as a result of COVID-19. Not only did they delve into the issues that COVID-19 exposed in our systems, but they also highlighted young people’s dreams and solutions for a ‘better normal’ – a just, equitable and sustainable future for all. Then guess what they did? They took their report ‘A Better Normal: Girls Call for a Revolutionary Reset’ and their recommendations to the United Nations General Assembly – calling on global leaders to centre youth in the recovery process.
Every International Day Of The Girl, YAS also partake in ‘share the mic’ opportunities, where young people consult with leaders and decision makers to bring youth experiences and voices to the forefront! In 2020, the Youth Activists spoke to Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter to demand commitments from social media platforms to create safe and empowering spaces for girls and young women online. You can read the Free to Be Online? report here.
The Youth Activist Series is a 12-month commitment. We expect you to attend 80% of the webinars and workshops, to maximise your skills development and ensure that you are ready to fight for gender justice.
We expect that you will actively partake in activities and events throughout the year. Some months will be busier than others (particularly May, June, September and October). There will also be ad-hoc opportunities to speak with the media, present at forums and engage with stakeholders.
The Youth Activist Series training weekend is compulsory and will take place in Melbourne on the 20th and 21st of February. Flights and accommodation for Sydney-based youth activists will be covered by Plan International Australia. You will be required to be available during the day and for group dinners over that weekend. Please note, this will depend on the COVID-19 restrictions and will be updated according to the restrictions in place at the time.
If you are under 18 years of age you will need to seek permission from your parent or guardian to participate in the program.