Oxfam hosts youth gathering for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Media Releases, Other events article written on the 24 Oct 2009

Oxfam Australia is hosting a gathering for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in Melbourne next week to help develop and inspire the next generation of community leaders, advocates and decision makers.

Proudly supported by Middletons, CHANGECOURSE runs from 26-31 October 2009 and will host 50 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged between 18 and 25 years old for five days of networking, learning and self discovery.

Participants have been drawn from all States and Territories and from major cities as well as remote communities.

Jirra Lulla Harvey, Youth Coordinator with Oxfam Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s program said the group represents the diversity of Indigenous communities across the nation with each participant bringing with them unique perspectives, knowledge and experiences.

“With 60 per cent of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders population under 25 years of age, young leaders play a vital role in creating a future of Indigenous self determination,” said Harvey.

CHANGECOURSE will be a time for participants to examine the impact they can play in the future of their communities.”

CHANGECOURSE participants include Merindah Donnelly from Redfern, NSW, who is originally from the rural town of Tingah. “Growing up in an Aboriginal community instilled me with a passion for social justice from a young age,” said Donnelly. “Learning about Indigenous issues from a human rights based approach helps me to articulate the things I have always felt.

“I would also like to see the youth in my community engage in education and employment opportunities, while at the same time maintaining Aboriginal ways of knowing. It’s a duality. Because while we live in a modern society, it is our right to uphold our unique cultural beliefs.”

At CHANGECOURSE, participants will attend sessions run by Emily Howie, a Senior Lawyer from the Human Rights Law Resource Centre Ltd and Margaret Raven, from the Indigenous Human Rights Network of Australia.

Other highlights include a chance to experience a tasting workshop by chefs from gourmet Indigenous caterers Black Olive, try circus skills at the National Institute of Circus Arts and a friendly match of AFL football led by Leon Egan, Indigenous Kickstart Manager at the AFL and Barry Firebrace and Ralph White from the Indigenous Unit at Sport & Recreation Victoria.

Notes to Editors:

Middletons is a full service Australian commercial law firm. Their clients are resourced by over 500 employees, including 300 legal advisers, from offices in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

Middletons has extensive experience acting for industry leaders, major corporations and government on groundbreaking legal transactions in Australia and internationally.

For more media information on CHANGECOURSE, please contact Jirra Lulla Harvey, Oxfam Australia, on 0417 387476 or email jirrah@oxfam.org.au