Young multicultural women to ‘Lead the Way’ in the Illawarra

60 young women from multicultural backgrounds will take part in ‘Lead the Way’, a new collaborative youth leadership initiative funded by the Multicultural NSW COMPACT program which will support and develop the next generation of community leaders in the Illawarra.

The youth initiative is led by the Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra (MCCI) in collaboration with the Office of Sport who delivers The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award under license in NSW, SCARF and the Illawarra Women’s Health Centre – all four organisations with extensive experience working with young people and culturally diverse communities and broad network locally.

“I learned so much from these amazing women. They told me that I should never give up and always keep trying,” says Zahra, who would like to get into construction and discussed her career options with women mentors from various industries at a networking session at Wollongong Youth Centre recently.  

“It is great to see communities, private business, industry, government and not-for-profit organisations work together for young women to make successful life transitions and pursue their dreams and aspirations. ‘Lead the Way’ seeks to inspire and empower young women to exercise practical leadership and take action for themselves, their families, and their communities, says Allyson Pazos, MCCI’s Youth & Community Manager.

“Lead the Way’ seeks to inspire and empower young women aged 15 to 24 to exercise practical leadership to develop the next generation of social cohesion community champions which will be role models for generations to come.”

MCCI CEO, Chris Lacey

Social cohesion and community resilience are at the core of the one-year long program which includes workshops and coaching in personal development, self-care and balance, education and skills development, physical activity and sports, volunteering, community engagement and networking activities.  

“It is so pleasing that SCARF Refugee Support is involved as part of ‘Lead the Way’, as this program will not only build and enhance collaborative relationships between the participating organisations but more importantly, it will have a direct and empowering impact for young women from refugee backgrounds living in the Illawarra,” says Ian Jarman, Acting CEO.

“We are excited to co-create important conversations with young women about healthy relationships, inclusion and resilience within their communities. As domestic and family violence and issues around consent continue to dominate current climates, we intend to provide an experience of safety, wellbeing and respect for young women,” says Georgie Igoe, Young People’s Program Coordinator and Counsellor, Illawarra Women’s Health Centre.

Natalie Wilkins
Author: Natalie Wilkins