Focused on Year 11 pupils, RYA is a joint venture between the Country Education Partnership (CEP) and the Rural Inspire initiative, aimed at providing a collective voice for students to have their say on issues affecting country education.
The program will begin in Term Two and will then run for the duration of the 2018 school year.
It will involve a number of face-to-face forums in Melbourne, as well as a range of online forums, to then culminate in the development of an identified group project, aimed at enhancing the aspirations and learning opportunities of rural adolescents.
Ambassador graduate Claudia Cox has described the RYA program as “a life-changer”.
“From it I have been able to learn so many things about myself that I wasn’t able to learn from any other program,” she said.
Fellow graduate, Brooke Zuidema agreed.
“I am so very thankful for this program because now I am proud of the person I have become and I have faith in my education and schooling, once again.
“It was awesome that we got to meet with the Minister for Education and senior education people, and that they actually listened …”
Rural and remote schools are encouraged to consider prospective applicants for the program, ensuring pupils from all regions of Victoria are represented in discussions between the RYA 2018 cohort and the Minister for Education.
For further information on the Rural Youth Ambassador program, and a copy of the nomination form, hit this link: Rural Youth Ambassadors.
And for further insight into the RYA initiative and just what the young leaders get up to, here’s a clip from last year’s group presentation to the Rural Learning Summit: 2017 Rural Youth Ambassador Presentation