Youth voices join the Menzies Emerging Leaders Collaboration Team

In partnership with The Ethics Centre, and AIME Mentoring and IMAGI-NATION University, the Menzies Emerging Leaders initiative supports Australian’s and a global community of young people to engage with ethical challenges and build leadership capability. In its second year, the collaboration continues to explore how the artifacts and collateral developed from this initiative can best support the education sector to deepen ethical critical thinking in the school curriculum.

We are delighted to announce, 3 of the 2021 Menzies Emerging Leaders will be joining the collaboration. These young women bring an incredible lens to the work on top of their significant contribution to the program last year. Congratulations Lan-Tian Yen-West, Garima Mainali and Maya Farah and welcome to the team!

The Emerging Leaders initiative uses cultural probes to elicit young people’s response to ethical challenges. 11 successful young people will come together at an annual workshop to develop the resources to support their peers to have a deeper engagement with ethics, reflect on leadership and the roles they might play in contributing to the greater good.

Currently, recruitment is underway for the second cohort of Menzies Emerging Leaders. We strongly encourage all students to use their voice and share the their important perspectives with us. There is still time to apply!

The new collaboration team members shared their experience with the program and passions for joining the initiative:

“The 2021 Menzies Emerging Leader Program boosted my leadership journey by enabling connections with an exciting, innovative and affable community of peers and program leaders. I have worked elements of the program into my activities as my school’s captain of swimming and debating and I am excited about my funded leadership project. It would be an honour to give something back as a 2022 collaborator. Within all the people I worked with this year, I recognized an inherent creativity, positivity and, most importantly, a fervent desire to foster the next generation of leaders across society and across the world. It was the program’s fusion of these characteristics that made my personal journey so gratifying and productive. By recognizing and developing these characteristics in myself, I was able to think critically about how I perceive leadership. In particular, I came to understand that leadership and creativity are not mutually exclusive. Far from it! Clearly, the global issues we’re facing today demand collective, innovative and creative action, and so it is imperative that the upcoming generation of leaders breaks with the un-creative leadership patterns of the past. So many of today’s problems are ‘wicked problems’. And so many ‘wicked problems’ are ultimately problems of POWER. That’s what makes this year’s prompt so timely and fascinating. I would love to be involved in the 2022 selection process and to contribute my feedback on the entry videos in the company of such a fine team of emerging and established leadership experts.” – Lan-Tian Yen-West


“The conversations had in the 2021 Menzies Emerging Leader Program were energising, challenging and provoked a lot of reflection. As a passionate Literature student in high school, I found our discussions resonated very deeply and reminded me of the power differentials in our society, between different groups and communities, and how much influence this can have over our reality. Likewise, this program’s theme, ‘POWER!’ is such a perfect and necessary probe that will spark some brilliant ideas and discourse. I want to be a part of this. As I have continued to grow since our collaborations earlier this year, and developed in thought, emotion, and logic, I believe that I have lots to offer. Not only in facilitating a discussion, but also in appreciating various perspectives and especially understanding those of our incoming emerging leaders. I also hope to use this opportunity to build on my own learnings and networks, while helping the new cohort establish their own. I owe a lot to my older peers and teachers who have led by example and supported my leadership journey so far. For me, it is a constant goal in life to inspire others to achieve greater than myself, and I know that by being a Collaborator on this program I will be taking a clear step in that direction.

“The 2021 Menzies Emerging Leaders Fellowship really inspired me to re-imagine what our world could look like and challenged my thinking. I am so excited to get to work with this year’s emerging leaders and see what amazing things are in store.” – Maya Farah


“I believe I would be a great candidate for the next Menzies Emerging Leaders Program Collaborator as I would love the opportunity to not only further my understanding of the relationship between power and leadership and its influence on how our society interacts today, but to also use the skills I learn to enact real change in the lives of others in the near future. I found the initial 2021 Emerging Leaders Program very engaging and would be thrilled to be able to participate in further workshops with the Menzies Foundation, Ethics Centre and AIME again to explore the cultural probe of power and how it can be positively utilised in order to make positive impacts on those around us. Most importantly, I would like to have a role in allowing people of all ages to understand that they hold power in the way that their actions, attitudes and behaviour. I aim to especially remind those who may feel like their voice is not strong enough or important enough to be heard that they have the power to facilitate change in our world and have an impact on many people, and that even the smallest progress can be unimaginably impactful.

Power lies in the masses; the young people of today have the ability to enact great change in the lives of present and future generations if uniting under a common cause.” – Garima Mainali