Engage 2 Act Youth – Little Steps, BIG change
Engage 2 Act Youth – Little Steps, BIG Change seeks to improve the process of community engagement with children and young people, enabling more young people to be engaged on matters which interest or affect them. The initiative is a partnership between Engage 2 Act and The Field Trip.
What will Engage 2 Act Youth - Little steps, big change be working on?
We have lots of ideas and there is lots of potential! But for now we'll be focussing on some (if not all!) of the following -
- Working together on a "Kidference" to be organised and attended by young people in January 2018;
- Using the blogs, social networks and email lists of Engage 2 Act and The Field Trip to share the passions, posts, videos and activities of the young people involved with Engage 2 Act Youth;
- Re-run the amazing youth-led 'Engaging Children & Young People' workshop from the (un)Conference to a broader audience, maybe via a future Engage 2 Act Victoria event or a specific training session for community engagement practitioners;
- Prepare an Engage 2 Act Youth Top 10 Tips for Engaging Children & Young People (an evolving document, in collaboration with others who've already done work in this space);
- Consider setting up an Engage 2 Act Youth sub-committee or advisory arm to the Engage 2 Act board, particularly on the run up to the next (un)Conference;
- Investigate establishing a fee-for-service Engage 2 Act Youth Engagement Advisory Service to Government agencies seeking guidance and recommendations on how to engage with children and young people - directly from children and young people.
Who is The Field Trip?
The Field Trip is an Australian-based youth leadership program with a difference - a metaphoric journey, opening young people’s eyes to possibilities and opportunities which help them find their passion, peers and path. The Field Trip is youth-led, employing young people (aged 18-25) to run a weekly program for younger kids (aged 9-17). The program is only two years young, runs as a weekly program and is flexible enough to exist anywhere there is a need and kids want to engage. The Field Trip partners with other community organisations, not for profits, businesses, corporates, government agencies and local councils to create opportunities for young people to engage with, contribute to and lead their local and global communities.
How did the partnership come about?
This partnership came about after The Field Trip ran a workshop on engaging children and young people at our recent (un)Conference. Little did we know that the workshop was going to be run by children and young people! The workshop was one of our delegates favourite sessions and the enthusiasm from The Field Trip that followed with write ups and social sharing gave us a clear signal that there was an energy in this space that needed to be explored! At the (un)Conference party in St Kilda was when the question was first asked "Hey, how about we start up Engage 2 Act Youth?". On Sunday 29 October 2017, members of the Engage 2 Act board (and our own little people) met with a group of children and young people from The Field Trip to discuss "What's possible?" for establishing an Engage 2 Act youth division.
What’s in it for Engage 2 Act?
Working with The Field Trip enables Engage 2 Act to engage directly with children and young people in progressing high quality community engagement. This includes -
- Leading our sector by example (seeking input and advice from children and young people on Engage 2 Act initiatives, directly embracing ‘the future’ of community engagement);
- Being able to trial approaches for engaging children and young people (children running workshops at unconference, meeting together, youth-led Engage 2 Act events and training, kidferences) and;
- Generally working together to promote high quality engagement with children and young people;
- Providing children and young people with avenues to develop their skills, share their passions and be connected to a broader network gives us the warm and fuzzies (and some seriously great outputs that directly benefit children and young people);
- It raises the profile of community engagement as a profession amongst children and young people – they’re the future!
What’s in it for The Field Trip?
- Aligns with The Field Trip’s mission to help young people engage with, contribute to and lead their local and global communities;
- Raises the profile of The Field Trip on a national/international level;
- Provides increased opportunities for Field Trip members (the young people involved) to reach and be heard by more adults and community partners;
- Provides another initiative for the children and young people to get involved in – and a direct way to influence change.
What we aren’t doing… (yet)
- Whilst Engage 2 Act has an Australasia (and at times global) focus, our Engage 2 Act Youth initiative is focussing on Victoria, Australia and not (yet) beyond. This is largely due to the current operations of The Field Trip being predominantly Victoria based, but also to take little steps! This is a new partnership, new initiative and new direction for Engage 2 Act so we want to get it right before rolling it out further afield. We will however be sharing our learnings and experiences with our Collective as we go!
- We aren’t seeking to reinvent the wheel. We are aware of many fantastic organisations doing amazing work with children and young people across the world and will tap in to them for their expertise and resources as and when appropriate. We will seek to share the great resources that we know already exist when we go about our activities.