Youth Mob is a newly established youth-led youth network for Tasmanian Aboriginal aged 16-24 living in southern Tasmania. Young people can come together to learn from and support each other, and to gain skills around leadership, life direction and enterprise, to create their own positive youth-led co-designed program.
Beginning as a two-year pilot program for the south it will be autonomous and directed by its members. That’s right. YOU can help create and shape YOUR mob and learn about leadership, mentoring, enterprise development, public speaking, event organisation, graphic design, web design and connecting with culture. Or whatever your passion is.
Youth Mob is the place! This is where young people who identify can connect with each other, support each other and be supported by and organization whose mandate is to ‘walk alongside the Tasmanian Aboriginal community
There are many people of all ages in the same boat. That’s another reason why Youth Mob was formed. To offer a safe place for young people identifying as Tasmanian Aboriginals/palawa/pakana but who don’t fully understand or know what that means. If you never had the opportunity to grow up within the community for whatever reason and haven’t had the chance to have any cultural immersion and this is what you are looking for, Youth Mob is here to support this.
These were some of the questions young Aboriginal Tasmanians had when we floated the youth mob idea to them.
Elders had expressed their concerns about a lack of places and ways for young Aboriginal Tasmanians to connect and learn from each other, sowing the seed with RT’s Marnie Ritz that we could fill that void and create a youth network.
Hardship, exclusion and discrimination are still too common for Aboriginal Tasmanians, particularly among youth. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Tasmania Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population summary 2021 stated our First Nations people live in some of the most marginalised locations. Data revealed they often have more than one family living in one household with weekly incomes obviously lower that the national average of $830, at around $760. The proportion of our indigenous youth that have completed Year 12 as their highest year of school was around 56% with those attending university 2.4%.
We determined that the network would aim to overcome these barriers through creating an aspirational, positive focus.
With the objectives of reducing disadvantage and improving life pathways through connection and inclusion, mentoring, leadership, and enterprise opportunities, the Youth Mob seed grew from an idea into a plan and a proposal.
But it would need to be youth driven and led. If it was to make a connection with young people and become something they would want to jump on-board and become a part of, they needed to be at the table helping create it.
It had to be on their terms and aligned with what they wanted to see from an Aboriginal youth network.
But dreams can remain dreams unless others also see and understand the vision. We are incredibly grateful that the My State Foundation and the Tasmanian Premier’s Fund for Children and Young People saw worth and potential in the Youth Mob proposal and have supported it financially and in spirit.
Now the dream can become a reality with a dedicated space for young Aboriginal Tasmanians to connect, share stories, explore life pathways and, importantly, grow together.
The Youth Mob will first be established as a two-year pilot program focusing in southern Tasmania. The plan is to attract participation from a seed group of 15-30 First Nations people between 16-24 living in the south. Together, they will take on their first projects and collaboratively workshop the shape, form and focus of the Youth Mob through their eyes and creativity.
Yes, that’s right, creating the Youth Mob’s focus and activities won’t be a top-down approach. The young people we spoke to about the project strongly expressed their wish to see a youth network created by young people for young people.
Once the pilot program period is completed and necessary assessments and reviews have been made it is hoped the Youth Mob, as created and built by its first participants, will become established in other parts of our island.
We are currently calling for the Youth Mob’s pioneering group through an expression of interest (EOI) process. Jump on-board here. We’d love to meet you!
We don’t yet know! This is the beauty of a youth network created by the participants themselves. They will work together to create an agenda and timetable, within some parameters. But creating an atmosphere of empowerment, responsibility, accountability, and self-motivation are so important in setting the tone for a new youth-led network.
There will be a foundation meeting to kick things off, set up by RT, once the EOI process is completed and the participants selected. An experienced facilitator will work with and guide the group.