Mildura Social Change Maker Receives Laneway Learning Award

We are pleased to announce that Mildura teenager Kaitlyn Coff has been granted a $2,500 Laneway Learning Educational Award, with funds raised from our Sunday Spectacular event last July. Kaitlyn, along with several other change-makers from all over Victoria, travelled to Ballarat last week to represent her town at the Shaping Victoria Forum, run by the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) and supported by the Victorian Government.

Kaitlyn, 15, had participated in FYA’s Change It Up program in September 2013, where she developed and pitched her ideas for making the transition from youth to adulthood more relevant and fun. “Almost everything I need to learn about adulthood, I can learn online. But reading the information doesn’t mean I’ll know what to do with it,” Kaitlyn told the Change It Up ‘PitchUp’ judges. “We still need to be taught by real live human beings – adults who have been there and done that.”

Informal Talks and Workshops

“What I want is for schools to teach their young people how to be adults,” Kaitlyn continued. “The teaching could be informal and delivered in the form of workshops by local speakers and volunteer mentors.”

After hearing Kaitlyn’s ideas we were very excited to give her the $2.5K prize to help get the project off the ground and make them a reality. We have also offered our services in acting as mentors to Kaitlyn, to give advice on making classes fun and engaging as well as on sourcing passionate teachers from the local community. There are a lot of parallels between our projects and we hope that we can help Kaitlyn along her exciting new journey.

Change It Up

Alex Snow, Manager of the Change It Up program at FYA, told us how exciting and encouraging it was to see young people boldly pitching their ideas for change. After watching Kaitlyn pitch the idea just five months ago, she has remained committed to helping young people make the transition to adulthood.

Change It Up is an FYA initiative that energises and engages young people in regional and rural Australia who have an interest in sparking change in their communities. In partnership with teams of local citizens, Change It Up empowers young people to act on issues that are important to them and to their communities.