The 2021 Rural Youth Ambassador (RYA) program has commenced with the Victorian cohort coming together for their first meeting last week. A group of sixteen Year 11s have travelled from all over the state – Yarrawonga, Foster, Ouyen and everywhere in between – to meet for their first Rural Youth Ambassador Forum.
RYA Expanding in 2021
Several states and territories will be a part of the program this year, with Ambassador groups continuing in New South Wales and South Australia. Additionally, CEP is pleased to announce that inaugural programs will run throughout 2021 in both the Northern Territory and Queensland. Overall, the program will involve approximately 80 young people from across the nation. The state programs will culminate with a national forum held in Canberra in late 2021.
Collaboratively, each group will establish a theme or focus for the year that is based on their experiences of growing up in rural Australia. Together, the groups identify their own ideas as to how education provision within these communities can be improved.
As the Rural Youth Ambassadors work together and build their leadership skills, they also support their community of peers back home by sharing knowledge, creating workshops and developing ideas that they will present to government and education sectors focused on improving the education provision within them.
The first forum is an opportunity for the groups to meet and reflect on their experiences growing up rural. The ambassadors discuss the challenges, and also the highlights of going to school in rural Australia. They begin establishing some of the solutions they believe will address the challenges identified by the group.
The Ambassador cohorts will meet multiple times throughout 2021. Each forum a chance to build their ideas about how to make rural communities even better. Eventually they will present their ideas to governments, politicians and education officials throughout the year.
Additionally the groups will develop a project of their own initiation that supports or enhances the learning of young people within rural and remote communities.
Victorian Youth Ambassadors, Georgia and Tameah in Melbourne during the orientation forum.
Country Education Parthership’s CEO, Phil Brown, attended the Victorian orientation forum in Melbourne this week.
“It’s very exciting to have commenced the RYA program for 2021,” he said, “especially as we return to an in-person delivery of the forums.”
“The RYA initiative is expanding again this year, with inaugural programs taking place in the Northern Territory and Queensland later in the year.”
Stay tuned throughout 2021, as our Rural Youth Ambassadors from Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, Northern Territory and Queensland work towards improving the experiences of rural young people all over the country.
Ambassadors enjoying some free time at the State Library of Victoria last week.
Ambassadors Sam and Anai, at their first RYA forum last week.