The graduation ceremony for the Australian Muslim Youth Leadership and Peer Mentorship Program developed by Australian Multicultural Foundation and Islamic Council of Victoria was held in Melbourne on Sunday 23 November.
In 2018 the Australian Multicultural Foundation (AMF) partnered with the Islamic Council of Victoria for a second year to deliver a leadership program for Muslim Youth.
The Australian Muslim Youth Leadership and Peer Mentorship Program was developed based on the AMF’s previous leadership programs delivered across Australia and on the findings from national and international literature in the area.
The 5-month program was designed to broaden the social participation of young Muslim leaders in Victoria.
Dr Hass Dellal, Executive Director, Australian Multicultural Foundation said “the Foundation has delivered youth specific leadership programs for over ten years. These programs are designed to build practical skills, enhance personal development and foster resilience and self-awareness to enable young people to become involved and active participants in their own community and in the wider Australian society. Evaluations of the leadership programs have consistently shown the benefits and positive outcomes for the young participants and have highlighted the importance of such programs to the target audiences”.
One of the key intentions of the AMF Muslim youth leadership programs is to ensure the active and meaningful involvement of youth in issues of social harmony and resilience building.
The AMF Muslim youth leadership programs have assisted young people to recognise their potential as leaders and to realise their capacities for positive change in these areas.
The following quote from a 2018 Australian Muslim Youth Leadership participant encapsulates the program’s ethos of providing young people with the opportunities to develop their strengths to become agents of change in our society:
“The Islamic Youth Leadership program hosted by the AMF stemmed from values that harness collaboration, focus, commitment and positive energy. AMF provided an opportunity for young Muslim individuals that are highly motivated to connect with structured organisations, experienced and successful individuals to develop skills and expand networks to assist their direct community in more ways than one. It has been an inspiration to be a part of such a high calibre of individuals who have a direction, focus and specific expertise to directly be involved in reducing some of the issues in our local communities” (Participant, 2018).
Young men and women aged between 24 and 30 years old from Muslim communities in Victoria who demonstrated an openness to diversity of thought and showed aspiration to become positive agents of change participated in a 2-day training program, which was followed by a month of mentorship, a subsequent 2-day training program, and a post training phase with ongoing mentorship.
The program was promoted broadly and after the interviews, thirteen young people were selected to participate. There were four females and nine males who were born in several countries including; Somalia, Iran, Iraq and Turkey.
The cultural backgrounds of those born in Australia included; Turkish, Laotian, Fijian/Indian, Afghani, Lebanese, and Ethiopia.
The four-day training program (split into two 2-day training) was designed to:
- Deepen their engagement with the broader community;
- Express their views and thoughts with confidence;
- Interact with prominent community leaders, scholars and politicians; and
- Gain the necessary leadership and mentoring skills to influence change in their community