30. Laura Lynch

7 Aug

30 Laura Lynch cLaura Lynch has been a driving force for youth in our community since her humble beginnings as a reporter for Youth Central in 2011. Since then she’s had pieces published in Girlfriend Magazine, interviewed author Andy Griffiths and is currently in her final year of a Media/Communications degree at ACU. But on top of all her achievements in the media, Laura was one of 19 young Victorians chosen to be a part of the Youth Involve Committee in 2012; and shared her experience in working with the Minister of Youth Affairs with me earlier this year.

Tell me a little about your experience with Involve, how did you come into the program?

I came to find out about Involve through YouthCentral- a youth based website I used to write for. My experiences with Involve have been so inspiring, I feel so lucky to be connected with 17 young Victorians who are passionate about making a change in our beautiful state!

I know I’m very lucky to have the ear of the Minister in this term in the Involve Committee and intend on not taking it for granted- experiences like this are very hard to come by and I love communicating the voices of the Northern Metropolitan region to the Minister so he knows what we are enjoying, as well as areas where we can see more improvement.

Is Involve something that you would recommend to others? Why?

Involve is something is something I would recommend to every young Victorian who wants to make change to benefit less represented Victorians. If you feel as though you are a well connected member of your community who can articulate the voice of your community I would definitely recommend it!

It’s a role that can really bring change and allow the Ministers who represent us to know what we need.

What are the issues that you are most passionate about?

I am really passionate about reducing youth disengagement and making sure all Victorians have the capacity to lead rich and fulfilling lives.

Further I have an invested interest in raising the profile of anaphylaxis- a life threatening allergic reaction to foods; such as nuts and kiwi. In the last few decades instances of anaphylaxis has increased, it is crucial to inform others about this severe form of allergy; how to address it and minimize risk- as there is no current cure. As someone with it, I think it’s really important to raise more awareness about it! I sought to address this concern by writing to publications to spread the word; I’ve had articles published in Girlfriend magazine, YouthCentral and Anaphylaxis Australia.

I also have an interest in sustainability and the environment, where I write for SBN radio’s Primary Perspectives and Switch On Saturdays, two shows for young people addressing issues in the environment and proactive ways in which we can enact sustainable living.

I have always had a curiosity about homelessness in Victoria so I also became a volunteer at the Salvation Army. Rather than passively expressing my sympathies and concern for those who are reduced to a life on the street as a result of social and financial exclusion, I joined an institution that helped people who are displaced.  I’m currently studying a bachelor of Media Communications- so I hope I can work on bettering my communication skills so I continue to help raise the profile of these issues I am interested in.

In my position in the Committee, we have addressed to the Minister issues in social media, youth disengagement, the role of families in Victoria as well as youth Mental Health.

Have you brought about any significant changes to our community through your work on the Involve committee?

Our role in the Committee is to provide advice to the Minister, however seeing our recommendations take action in the form of policy or campaigns is really up to the Minister. Making changes can is often a lengthy process to work through Parliament.

However saying that, the Minister has always valued our presentation and reports and understands the areas we would like to see improvement.

I would like to see the Banyule/ Northern Metropolitan area to continue to flourish for young people. I think we as a community are incredibly lucky to be surrounded by good resources and most of all, beautiful parks and lovely people. It’s easy to forget sometimes that people who don’t live in our area don’t have the same access to resources as us.

I would however love to see a young people become more involved in community groups, be it youth committees, scouts or sports. It can do so much for us mentally and socially. Becoming more engaged!

 What is your advice to young people that want to raise awareness for their passions and bring about positive changes in their community?

I would love to see young people showing their beliefs and attitudes in action. I would encourage young people not to be passive in expressing how they feel- but turn it into something active- like joining a group.  Make a group in school to address an interest you’re passionate about or submit an article to a paper so that you can make sure your voice can be heard!

How would you suggest that young people become more involved in the community?

I would recommend to young people to find out about local youth council committees, joining up to scout groups or sporting groups too!

What’s next for you? How do you plan to continue your work after Involve is over?

After I finish at Involve I would love to continue to raise awareness of anaphylaxis. It is an issue very close to me and I would love to see the profile of it raised. I will also be continuing my work at SBN as writer so I will still be encouraging sustainability for young people.

Next year I also finish my Media Communications degree so I will probably look towards some travel and then find a job within the media field!

30 Laura Lynch b

Words: Samantha Taylor

Photo: Sean Porter

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One Response to “30. Laura Lynch”

  1. Nick August 7, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    Wow what an inspiring woman! She is the pick of the bunch and looks like she’s really going places! Raising awareness for Anaphylaxis is a great idea, I wish someone had thought of it sooner! And she’s really beautiful top! Wow!

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