April’s Community Champion is Raise Our Voice Australia, an initiative that works to increase the presence of young female and non-binary voices leading the conversation in politics, domestic policy and foreign policy, and ultimately to see political systems and government that reflects the diversity of the Australian population. It does this by running training and mentoring programs for young women and non-binary people.
Raise Our Voice Australia was started by Ashleigh Streeter-Jones, reflecting on her own experience in public service, background in international relations and work to get more young women into politics. The first cohort ran from September to October 2020, with 37 young women and non binary people graduating from the online program. Over the eight weeks, the participants learned about the workings of government and policy making, the realities of having a diplomatic career, what it’s like to run for office, and what it’s like being the person in the decision-making seat. Speakers ranged from public service leaders to current diplomats and sitting politicians, and included a crisis diplomacy simulation run by the US Consul General. Half of the speakers were from diverse backgrounds - after all, you can’t be what you can’t see.
Raise Our Voice Australia founder, Ashleigh Streeter-Jones.
On conclusion of the program, all 37 participants saw themselves as potential leaders in public decision making. Raise Our Voice is currently working on the 2021 program, and welcome participation from young women and gender diverse persons across the country - it is vital that young people have a say in their future, and have a seat at the table to shape the world they will inherit.
To apply or learn more about Raise Our Voice, check out their website here.