The young Australians driving change during COVID-19
Driven for Difference
Young people are powerful and create impact in their lives, communities and on wider society. These four young people from across Australia share how they have been driving change before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Miranda, 19, Tas
Miranda has founded a Facebook group for students in Tasmania to organise against the proposed changes by the Federal Government to university fees.
“Tasmanian students are going to be disproportionately impacted by these changes, with already lower rates of education and only one university serving the whole state” said Miranda.
“I founded the Facebook group ‘Tasmanian Students Against Fee Hikes’ which quickly gained traction. Just over a week later, myself and a few other Tasmanian students organised a COVID safe rally.”
“Although it was a lot of effort to ensure the rally followed health guidelines and was socially distanced, we worked with the police and health departments and believe it was worth the effort.”
Miranda is also involved in the national movement, Students Against Fee Increases, which is releasing student testimonials and researching the future impact of the proposed changes.
Izabela has been working with two volunteer-based organisations, UN Youth Australia and the United Macedonian Diaspora, specifically in the youth division, Generation M, which aims to connect, inspire and promote the activities of successful, engaged and passionate young Macedonians all over the world.
“In my capacity as the WA Regional Representative, I have aimed to reach out and write about individuals thriving in their respective fields; including internationally renowned dancer Michael Dameski, and proud advocate of Macedonian culture & rights and member of WA Parliament Jessica Stojkovski” said Izabela.
“Recently, UMD also strongly advocated for the acknowledgement of the Macedonian Genocide, and the consistent human rights breaches in both MKD and AUS against the Macedonian minority.”
“As someone born in Australia to two amazing Macedonian parents, it has been both a pleasure and a journey growing up with one foot in each culture. I am grateful to have the platform, support network and opportunities to help engage with, upbuild and better my community.”
Maria has been using her Instagram as a platform for a weekly IGTV series called “Mind with Me”. Throughout the series, Maria interacts with the audience to debunk topics that may be considered taboo.
“We’ve talked about COVID anxiety and navigating it, but beyond that we have also discussed mental health, sexism, confidence, bullying, race based discrimination, sexual harassment, unlearning to learn, creating healthy boundaries in relationships” said Maria.
“It’s great because it shows that we can have difference in opinion and still converse respectfully to open our perspectives. It’s built a nice community and people find it’s a safe space to connect and have a bit of meaningful, positive discussions in lockdown.”
Yebin is the school captain of an outer suburban school in Melbourne who has, with other school captains, created the Victorian Secondary Students Society Union as a way for school clubs and societies to stay connected during distance learning.
“One of the biggest obstacles that have resulted from distance learning is the lack of opportunities for students to connect and communicate with each other, and even more so with students outside of their school” said Yebin.
“I’m hoping this network will not only encourage students to make new friends outside of school more easily, but also empower student leaders and captains at each school to develop their networking and teamwork skills.”
Have your Driven for Difference story featured
We are looking for your stories on how you (or a friend) have been driving change during COVID-19! We are looking for short stories, quotes, photos and videos – all which will be shared with young Australians all over the country!