Sandhu shows the way

Southern Telegraph - - News - Ai­den Boy­ham

From hik­ing up Mount Fuji in Ja­pan, to plan­ning youth con­fer­ences and tack­ling the stigma of men­tal health, Bal­divis’ Tia Sandhu is look­ing to make waves in the com­mu­nity.

The 20-year-old, who is the cen­tre man­ager at Mike Bar­nett Sports Com­plex in Rock­ing­ham, re­cently re­turned from a spe­cial YMCA Change Agent trip in Gotemba, Ja­pan.

Ms Sandhu was WA’s sole rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the five-day trip in Ja­pan to an in­ter­na­tional lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment pro­gram. There were also 10 other young lead­ers from around Aus­tralia.

Dur­ing the pro­gram Ms Sandhu took part in lead­er­ship train­ing, cul­tural ex­changes and prac­tice-shar­ing — with all the skills and ex­pe­ri­ences gained set to be used to de­velop her own lo­cal projects.

“We vis­ited a Korean com­mu­nity in Kawasaki and that visit in­volved learn­ing all about dis­crim­i­na­tion in Ja­pan and how this com­mu­nity has been the ad­vo­cate for change in how the Ja­panese peo­ple view Kore­ans,” Ms Sandhu said. “It was very eye-open­ing.”

In ad­di­tion to her role as a change agent, Ms Sandhu is also a spokes­woman for the YMCA’s Why Not cam­paign on a State and na­tional level.

The cam­paign, which is part of a drive to rein­tro­duce the YMCA to the com­mu­nity, fo­cuses on three key is­sues af­fect­ing young peo­ple in­clud­ing youth un­em­ploy­ment, youth men­tal health and mar­riage equal­ity.

Ms Sandhu said men­tal health was the area she con­nected most with in the cam­paign.

“What I would like to see hap­pen, on a lo­cal level if I can, is to be proac­tive to men­tal health rather than re­ac­tive,” she said.

“One in four young peo­ple have a men­tal health dis­or­der and there are too many young peo­ple I know who have tried to bat­tle it on their own.

“I think our gen­er­a­tion will be the ones to break down the bar­ri­ers.”

While the Why Not cam­paign was cur­rently only an on­line plat­form, Ms Sandhu said she wanted to help push it to­wards be­com­ing a phys­i­cal thing where youth could have events and con­fer­ences to dis­cuss the is­sues.

In Septem­ber Ms Sandhu will con­tinue her lead­er­ship jour­ney as she jets off to Europe for a global gath­er­ing of change agents in Por­tu­gal.

Pic­ture: Ai­den Boy­ham

Tia Sandhu hopes to be a pos­i­tive voice for youth in the com­mu­nity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.