Youth Action Profiles


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Looking to highlight what young people can do when they are given the opportunity to take on leadership roles, we are starting a Q & A series profiling three impressive young people who stepped up into the area of governance and joined Youth Action’s Board. 

 

Rowena Tran

Board of Governance Member

 

Could you tell us a bit about yourself? 
Hi, I’m Rowena! I am a first generation Australian - my parents were born in Vietnam, and grandparents were born in China. I currently work for NSW Health in the COVID-19 State Health Emergency Operations Centre. I have been a board member for Youth Action since 2018.

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How did you become a board member of Youth Action?
I first heard about Youth Action when I was in the Fairfield Youth Advisory Committee. Our Community Projects Officer for Youth introduced me to Youth Action and I was (and still am) inspired by the work they do.
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What has been your experience being on the board of a peak body for young people?
I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to contribute to the work of Youth Action and to give young people a voice. It’s been a wonderful experience and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the most amazing people.
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Favourite moment?
Being able to recognise the amazing work that youth workers do at the annual Youth Work Awards evening.
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Would you recommend other young people applying to be a board member?
Definitely! I would love to see more young people as board members not just in Youth Action, but in all sectors and peak bodies. It’s important that young people from diverse backgrounds and experiences are represented across the board.
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What advice would you give to them?
All young people can add value to an organisation, and you should never feel as though you are not good enough! Be confident and be proud that you can have your voice heard. There are so many opportunities to grow, and there is so much you can learn from the other board members. You will feel supported every step of the way.

 


Jane Choi 

Youth Action's Youngest Board of Governance Member

Could you tell us a bit about yourself? 

I am currently 20, a university student studying law with a strong interest in Human Rights! Being the youngest board member at Youth Action, I aim to provide youth focused consultation amongst experienced legal, financial and organisational members on the table!

How did you become a Board Member of Youth Action? 

I applied for the role in 2019, after long engagement with youth organisations and services, working closely with Youth Action. I knew the former CEO Katie Acheson who inspired me to take further interest in the organisation. 

What has been your experience being on the board of a peak body for young people?

I can confidently say that every member on the board works with a youth centred work ethic! It’s amazing to see how each of us apply our area of expertise to ensure the best interest is met for young people. 

What do you believe is the role and the importance of a peak body?

I think it would be safe to say that a board of any organisation would be considered the head, almost like the brain of the body. Seeing most decisions are made by the Board, it is critical that we approve and consider every motion with the best of our ability. 

Favourite moment? 

I enjoy seeing our members at our 7:30am meetings! Having a laugh over the table with our fruit platters and coffee. 

Most challenging moment? 

At first, I was unsure if I would be able to provide a contribution of great value to the Board of Governance. I came to learn that on the Board all of us have a customised skill asset. It’s not that we’re running at different paces in a race but rather a marathon. 

Would you recommend other young people applying to be a board member?

Yes, more than anything. I think I would be the perfect example and reason for one to apply to join the Board family.

What advice would you give to them?

Interest in Youth Action is the main criteria. However, please do not forget that as a peak body, acknowledgeable and relevant experience is critical! 

 

 


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Tamika Worrell

Chairperson Youth Action Board of Governance


Tell us a bit about yourself? 

My name is Tamika Worrell, I’m a proud Aboriginal woman, my family comes from Kamilaroi Country and I have been lucky enough to grow up and be raised by Darug Country in Western Sydney. I am the current Chairperson of Youth Action and also an Aboriginal Academic Engagement Coordinator at Walanga Muru, Macquarie University’s Indigenous student centre. I am currently undertaking my PhD on the Text Choice practices of English teachers when embedding Aboriginal perspectives in the classroom.

How did you become the Chair of Youth Action? 

I began my journey with Youth Action in 2015, I was in my third year of Uni and had been selected as part of Macquarie University’s Indigenous cadetship program, which arranges paid work placements for Indigenous students relevant to our studies. I was placed at Youth Action working on the Western Sydney project and loved every minute of it! After a year and a half I finished up and moved onto an education placement.
In 2016 I was co-opted onto the board as a young person member for two years in a row. I was mentored and guided to step into the chairperson role when a vacancy arose and successfully ran for the Chair at our 2018 AGM.

What has been your experience chairing a peak body for young people?

Exciting and challenging. It has been an interesting time for the sector with lots of big wins over the last two years. We have a wonderful board of people with varied relationships with and experiences in the Youth Sector. Most of all, I feel grateful to contribute to the incredible work Youth Action does in amplifying the voice of young people

Favourite moment? 

There have been so many incredible moments in the last few years but seeing the Beyond Stereotypes mural come to life in Parramatta was pretty special! It was a long project and I was so thankful to be a part of showcasing the diversity of wonderful Western Sydney.

Most challenging moment? 

I think during elections periods there are lots of challenges as well as just high energy and high intensity all around!

Would you recommend other young people applying to be a board member?

YES! Young people in governance positions such as board members is so vital to ensure young voices are heard, as well as the voices of young people from marginalised communities.

What advice would you give to them?

It may seem scary, but take the plunge. There are so many training opportunities to learn the ins and outs of organisational governance. Finding a mentor who is a board member, or has experience as a board member can really help too. I would love to see a future Youth Action Board with over 50% young people.