Aqeel, 17, ACT

“I am simply a passionate young Australian citizen who has been lucky enough to come across some amazing opportunities and incredible people who have helped and continue to help me along my lifelong journey of learning and social impact. However, It’s easy for young people, including myself to get lost in the noise of the world and the expectations placed upon us as individuals and as a generation.

I wish the government realised that the youth around Australia and throughout the world want to make a positive difference, but are held back by the system of education we are brought up in. A system that focuses on content and information but doesn’t teach us the skills, and provide us with the experiences that are going to be so key to driving our successes. A system that socialises us to believe we aren’t capable of changing the world as young people. We just need to be shown doors to opportunities we never even knew existed, and feel empowered by people’s belief in our potential.

We change the world everyday, but to change the world in a way that means something unfortunately takes more time than most of us have, and I just don’t have that level of patience. We need to promote a culture that fosters young leaders and empowers us to act on our passions in a way that catalyses change, and innovate our education to embody the nexus of skills, creativity and experiences that is so vital in ensuring we not only survive but thrive together in the future we have to live in.”