A Vision for Young Australians in the 21st Century

Jan Owen AM

 

Courage.
Imagination.
Will.
3.1 million young Australians have this.

“it is indisputable that we’re living in a world that’s changing”

 

 

CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA), Jan Owens AM explains how young Australians today have much of the attitude, beliefs and tools required to thrive and excel in life and work.

However, they still require strong support from key organisations and their communities.

Drawing from her theory of the Where’s Wally Effect (or, as some media put it, the ‘mental health epidemic’) Jan raised the question of whether due to the changing world we’re losing who we are, who we’re identifying as and where we fit in society.

Imagine a world where everyone’s ‘Wally’; we’re all the same, we all blend in and we’ve lost our unique point of difference.

However, though the 21st century may be creating a more “blended in” society, studies have shown that in fact, young people now more than ever connect to their families, stay at home longer, have a closer circle of friends and live both local and global lives simultaneously.

It’s also shown that young people now have the attitude to adapt well to changing environments and that adults are projecting their own inabilities onto them.

FYA works with hundreds of thousands of children all around the world. In a movement to “create a world class outward-looking education system, one that connects young people to the real world”, Jan presented the idea to “future-proof our young people”.

Hoping to generate job creators not job seekers within our youth, Jan brought to the table the fact that young people will have 15-20 jobs in their lifetime, with 10 of the top jobs available to them today having not existed in 2004.

But it’s not only jobs that Jan wants to help encourage throughout the 21st century youth. There is also the movement to encourage the “reimagining of what volunteering looks like” among young people and organisations.

One such organisation is Young People Without Borders, a program that enables young people to volunteer just one day at a time. The motivation for this? That “over time we will see tens of thousands of young people volunteering who wouldn’t have”.

Jan Owen is “optimistic about the youth” and believes “they have the skills and attitudes to shape the places they live in and the drive to make change”.

If there is one piece of advice she’s willing to spread, it’s that she “encourages you to be optimistic too”.

You can follow Jan on twitter at @JanOwenAM or @FYA_org_au

“There is a new generation of young people in this country…young people that are leading movements for change”

By: SYN Media blogger

A great way to start a conference!

Marg Hamley, Director, Berry Street Childhood Institute

Baroness_Connelly_Owen
Baroness Susan Greenfield CBE, Professor Marie Connolly, Jan Owen.

Day One of The Good Childhood Conference will get off to a great start with an array of powerful speakers. 
We really want to challenge conference delegates to consider what a ‘good childhood’ represents in the 21st Century, so we’ve invited three eminently qualified women to stimulate our thinking.

We kick off with the sometimes controversial, but always interesting, Baroness Susan Greenfield CBE. Susan is an English neuroscientist, writer and broadcaster.

She receives a lot of international attention for her forthright views on the impact of modern technologies, particularly social media, on how children and young people think and feel.

Her first presentation at the conference, on day one, takes a broad perspective and has this very long and impressive title – Helping children & young people thrive, achieve and belong: How neuroscience can contribute to framing and identifying the outcomes we want for children and young people in the 21st Century.

Next up, we have Professor Marie Connolly. A few years ago the University of Melbourne enticed this acclaimed social work leader and academic away from New Zealand. Berry Street was thrilled when Marie agreed to be a member of our Board!

Marie is a thoughtful, intelligent and passionate speaker who is bound to provide a new perspective on contemporary childhood. She will be approaching childhood in Australia from a rights perspective.

The morning session concludes with the much lauded Jan Owen AM, CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians. Jan will be sharing her vision for young Australians in the 21st Century. She has a very optimistic view of the capacity of young people to create change and has herself always been at the forefront of social change organisations in Australia.

Last year Jan was named Australia’s “Woman of Influence” – expect to be inspired and motivated!

Register now at http://goodchildhood.org.au, and join us on Thursday 10th October for this great line up of speakers