Shepparton News

Paving the way for leaders

FOURTH NELSON MANDELA YOUTH LEADERSHIP SUMMIT NEXT MONTH AIMS TO BOOST SOCIAL INCLUSION

- By Georgia Rossiter

THE IDEA IS TO EMPOWER YOUNG PEOPLE AND ALSO TO CONNECT WITH OUR REGION. — RASHIDI SUMAILI

Social cohesion, the importance of diplomacy and the role of young people in global leadership will be among the topics discussed at the fourth Nelson Mandela Youth Leadership Summit in September.

The event will once again take place online in Shepparton via Zoom. Attendees will break into groups to discuss ways to increase social inclusion in the community, among other issues.

Summit convener Rashidi Sumaili said the summit would continue to encourage young people from diverse background­s to become leaders.

“The idea is to empower young people and also to connect with our region,” he said.

“We’ll be discussing how we can promote social cohesion, collaborat­ion and improving the linkage between school, different levels of government and the youth.”

Expert panellists include founder and author of The Gandhi Experiment Margaret Hepworth, Centre for Optimism founder Victor Perton and US Consul General Kathleen Lively, who will speak about her career as a diplomat.

Mr Sumaili said the speakers and panellists brought unique perspectiv­es to the summit.

“Dr Corina Modderman and Tina Powney will bring extensive local and internatio­nal experience in working with young people with disability and in out-ofhome care service delivery,” he said.

Other notable speakers include Dr Linda O’Brien, who will discuss social justice and social cohesion issues, and Universal Peace Federation Australia vicepresid­ent Dr John Bellavance, who will focus on creating a good relationsh­ip between students, families and school.

“The speakers will talk about life experience, address some social injustice happening in the region and globally, and provide some of the ideas and suggestion­s to build social cohesion,” Mr Sumaili said.

Fortescue Future Industries adviser Diana Onyonyi will address opportunit­ies to develop community engagement and generating meaningful value for communitie­s.

The unique model of the summit has encouraged many young regional attendees to study diplomacy, law, politics and other community services courses. Others have been inspired to take on greater leadership roles in the community.

“We have a huge number of young people who after attending our program are now in different roles,” Mr Sumaili said.

“Not only in Shepparton, but also outside (the Shepparton region).”

The 2021 Nelson Mandela Youth Summit is hosted by Future Voices Inc, Gallawah Empowering Change, The Centre for Optimism, Gandhi Experiment and supported by schools and other organisati­ons both in the Shepparton region and globally.

● The summit will take place on Friday, September 10, from 9 am to noon. Visit www.centreforo­ptimism .com/event-4446851 to register.

 ??  ?? Zooming in: The fourth annual Nelson Mandela Youth Leadership Summit will be held in September.
Zooming in: The fourth annual Nelson Mandela Youth Leadership Summit will be held in September.

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