Youth Advisory Council

The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) champions the voices of children and young people to provide youth perspectives and leadership to the Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC).  The YAC meets regularly to provide advice to the Commissioners on what is important to children and young people in Queensland.

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Aastha is a high school student who, as a young person with passion for social change, brings a powerful voice and unique perspective to the YAC leadership team. She has undertaken voluntary work and believes that through active participation, she can truly make a difference in the lives of Queensland Youth.

Her areas of interest include raising awareness regarding youth mental health and environmental issues. As well as this, she is interested in advocating gender equality and racial fairness. Aastha hopes that through this opportunity, she can empower Queensland youth and take the time to understand some of the challenges they face.

Aden has represented Queensland in futsal and is passionate about sports and nutrition. He was born and raised in Australia and has Arab heritage. Aden is committed to speaking out against racism and bullying and the negative impact it can have on the lives of young people growing up in diverse communities. He believes by being a good listener to those in need he can help create positive change.

Aimee is a proud Worimi woman. She works in the child and family industry and is studying Anthropology. As a result of her own lived experience in out-of-home care, Aimee is passionate about the out-of-home care system and the diverse range of issues that young people face in care and when transitioning to adulthood.

Aimee has been a strong advocate for issues such as youth justice, homelessness, housing and drug and alcohol conerns. She is also interested in the areas of domestic and family violence, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues and improving supports for young parents.

Ameya is a year 9 high school student. She is a Unitied Nations Youth Student Ambassador, a 2019 United Nations Voice of the Youth state finalist, and has been awarded a Rostrum public speaking award.

As a proud second-generation Australian, Ameya enjoys diverse experiences and traditions through her heritage and appreciates learning about other cultures, beliefs and traditions.

Ameya is a passionate advocate for children's rights, climate and environmental action, and speaking out against racism and bullying.  She is also interested in gender equality, domestic violence prevention and youth justice. Ameya hopes to become a diplomat for the Unitied Nations to make a better world for future generations.

Alyssa is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts. She is a second-generation Japanese Australian who experienced the blending together of two different cultures growing up. This has given her a passion for multiculturalism and speaking out against racism.

As am emerging artist who has exhibited in the renown Swell Sculpture Festival, Alyssa understands the important role the arts play in allowing young people to express themselves.

Alyssa’s other interests include lgbtq+ rights, feminism, support for mental health; especially in young people and environmental activism.

Annika is a proud Torres Strait Islander from Iama (Yam) Island (Central Torres Strait). She brings her cultural authority and leadership to give a voice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people throughout her personal and professional networks.

Annika studied a Bachelor of Psychological Sciences (Hons in Organisational Psychology) and holds a dual consultancy role within Ernst and Youngs's People Advisory Services and Indigenous Sector Practice.  Annika is a Research Fellow at Griffith University where she researches equine-assisted therapies for disenfranchised youth.  She is currently involved in a national project to Assess the Disability Need of Indigenous Prisioners (ADNIP).

Annika also sits on the Premier's Advisory Committee to help the Queensland Government action the 29 recommendations from the Queensland Anti-Cyberbullying Taskforce report.

Annika's interests include Indigenous advancement and advocacy, equine-assisted therapies, entrepreneurship, mental health and wellbeing, online safety and youth empowerment.

Ben is studying a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Global Studies. He was a recipient of the Australian Future Leaders' Justice and Equity Award and the Peter Dutton Public Speaking Award.

Ben has previously worked as a Youth Ambassador for Save the Children Australia where he had the opportunity to deliver the Youth Manifesto for change to the Australian Government.

Ben is passionate about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation, especially in the Australian Constitution. Ben is also interested in LGBTQIA+ rights and the health and mental health of young people.  Ben hopes to become a dipolmat or work in the social justice sector.

Set to finish school in 2021 as College Leader for Spirit and Community, Bita is heavily involved with UN Youth and was a finalist in the UN Youth Evatt Competition, winning two Diplomacy Awards at Bond University’s Model UN conference.

As a proud and energetic first generation Australian who loves to challenge herself, Bita received the Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Award and is completing her Duke of Edinburgh qualifications in her final years of schooling. Bita loves inspiring those around her, especially by running a Diplomacy Club in her school, and dreams of becoming a diplomat or a human rights lawyer in the future to assist people on the world stage. She loves volunteering and advocating for diversity, understanding and empathy within communities.

Her areas of passion include improving youth justice and empowering women, fighting against discrimination, and further improving access to mental health services and education.

Bri grew up in Cairns, completing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and English at James Cook University, before relocating the Brisbane. She is currently undertaking a Master of Teaching at the University of Queensland and is eager to teach in high schools soon.

Bri is passionate about youth engagement and opportunities, previously serving as Youth Member for Cairns in YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament. She is proud to be a Girl Guide, supporting women and girls in the international Guiding community. Her current interests include strengthening access to tertiary education in regional and rural areas and promoting creative industries in Queensland.

Caroline is studying a Bachelor of Human Services and a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice. As a result of her own journey in the care system, Caroline is a strong advocate for children and young people living in out-of-home care.  She has worked with the CREATE foundation to promote and create systemic change in the out-of-home sector.

Caroline is an experienced presenter. She recently participated in an online podcast with Bravehearts about child safe organisations, was a panel member for the Queensland Mental Health Commission's Shifting Minds launch and presented the findings of the QFCC's Growing up in Queensland project.

Caroline's other interests include breaking the stigma for children and young people in out-of-home care, youth mental health and criminology. Her career goal is to create positive change in these fields.

I am studying a Bachelor of Laws and International Studies at the University of the Sunshine Coast. I love working with and learning from young people and am a youth ambassador for the World Literacy Foundation, a non-for-profit that works to lift young people out of poverty through literacy. I also lived and volunteered in Japan for 18 months teaching English and working with youth in rural communities. This experience instilled a deep love for helping others, which led me to receive a New Colombo Plan Scholarship in 2020 where I plan on returning to Japan to master the language and investigate innovative solutions to international development and human rights.

I am passionate about helping young people recognise their potential and believe this can be achieved through education, mental health services, and policy that focusses on overcoming inequality gaps and poverty in struggling communities. I am also interested in ensuring the safety of young people through domestic violence prevention and cyber safety.

Destiny is a proud Kullilli woman from Cherbourg. She is studying business management and loves spending time with her two young children. Destiny brings a unique rural perspective to the Council. She is passionate about encouraging youth from rural communities to get involved and have their say.   

Destiny is committed to giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth a voice both in their communities and in government systems. She is also a strong advocate for young people in the youth justice and child protection systems. Destiny hopes her youth and community advocacy work will contribute to more inclusive approaches within the child and family support systems. 

Gefion is a Year 12 high school student at Queensland Academy Creative Industries studying the International Baccalaureate (IB). She is conscious of the environment and aims to study Environmental Engineering at university to apply her problem-solving skills to real-world issues. Having spent many years overseas, she aims to build an understanding with those around her to set an example for equality and to embrace diversity. Gefion seeks to bring awareness to social issues such as gendered violence, youth suicide and impacting mental health, misgendering and bullying to encourage Queensland to develop more inclusive and safer environments for fellow youth. She also strives to raise awareness to critical topics such as protecting the environment and wildlife and improving youth employment, entrepreneurship and STEM opportunities.

Gillian is studying a Bachelor of Human Services and has previously completed a Diploma of Community Services. She is a member of headspace Taringa's Youth Reference Group where she advocates for the importance of youth mental health.

Gillian works with the Children's Hospital Foundation as a bedside play volunteer and completed a student placement with the QFCC's Growing up in Queensland project.

Gillian's interests include youth mental health, healthcare and youth empowerment. She is passionate about supporting young people in the community and empowering them to be in control of their lives, overcome challenges and realise their potential.

Grace is a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) student at Griffith University, minoring in Clinical and Counselling Psychology. Grace is a 2020 Millennium Fellow, an RSL QLD & AVCAT Scholar, and the recipient of a Griffith Futures Scholarship and 2020/21 Health Dean (Research) Summer Scholarship.

Grace uses her theoretical knowledge and lived experience to advocate for mental health, chronic illnesses, invisible illnesses, and the LGBTQIA+ community. Grace is a Committee Member of the Griffith University Student Representative Council (SRC), a member of the Headspace Meadowbrook Youth Reference Group (YRG) and the Logan City Council’s Logan Youth Action Group, and a Consumer Representative on the Queensland Mental Health Commission Needs-Analysis Project Steering Committee. She is also called on by Australians for Mental Health to advise on and review policy recommendations they deliver to the National Mental Health Commission and Federal Government.

Grace is currently a Lived Experience Speaker with Batyr, and a Peer Support Worker with the School Strikers 4 Climate (SS4C). Previously Grace worked for Gold Coast Health in Diversity & Inclusion, where she leaded Gold Cost Health’s Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) submission. As part of her 2020/21 Health Dean (Research) Summer Scholarship, Grace worked with the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP) as a Research Assistant, on a project to develop a telephone intervention for children who have attempted suicide, in conjunction with the Queensland Children's Hospital.

I am a current grade 12 high school student who hopes to study a dual arts and law degree in the future. I have secured positions as Junior Deputy Major of the Gold Coast, President of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, QLD representative for the National constitutional convention, a state finalist of the model United nations Evatt competition, member of the Queensland Theatre Youth Ensemble, member of the youth women’s council of Australia and the Australian Youth Climate Change Coalition, regional champion for the lions youth of the year and recipient of the ADF long tan teamwork and leadership award.

I am passionate and strongly advocate about supporting and breaking the stigma around youth homelessness, improving and assisting in opening the eyes of other to the importance of the arts in our society and working towards a greater level of discussion and support in regard to mental health of young people. When these areas are improved, we will have more empowered and supported young people who can truly realise their potential and create a society where there is a greater level of social change and improvement.

Kathryn is a practicing solicitor and passionate advocate for equality and social inclusion. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament and is a Mentor to the Child Safety, Youth and Women Committee. She is also a member of Pride in Law, the only LGBTQIA+ legal network in Australia.

As a former convener of the Bond Sony Foundation's Children's Holiday Camp, Kathryn is experienced in supporting young people who require special assistance. She volunteers for UNICEF Australia and recently participated in the Young People's Plenary Panel at the Families Australia 'Child Aware' Conference.

Kathryn's interests include gender equality, public policy and advocating for the human rights of young people, especially those experiencing chronic health issues or facing discrimination.

Kilian is a grade 10 student passionate about bettering Queensland. As a proud French-born dual-citizen, Kilian enjoys engaging with as many cultures as possible. He is passionate about ridding the world of bigotry and doubling down on climate action. Kilian enjoys playing basketball and guitar in his spare time.

Li Xuan is studying Bachelor of Economics and recently completed a student internship in an education start up in China. She volunteers with United Nations Youth Queensland, facilitating insightful conversations about critical global issues with high school students.

As a child of immigrant parents from South East Asia, Li Xuan understands growing up and adapting to life with two cultural identities. She is a great advocate for multiculturalism.

Li Xuan's interests include feminism, mental health and well-being, youth empowerment, economics, entrepreneurship and innovation and making everyone, no matter where they are from, feel at home. Li Xuan would like to be a government economic consultant, developing policies for better, sustainable societies.

Madison is the 2019 Queensland Youth Volunteer of the Year and was a recipient of the International Diana Award for being an inspiring and exceptional volunteer, mentor and changemaker. Madison was recently shortlisted for the 2019 Queensland Young Australian of the Year award and was a Australian Human Rights Commission Young People's Human Rights medal finalist.

Madison is studying a Bachelor of Business and is involved with a variety of groups on campus and across various communities, including the National Council of Women Queensland, Women Deliver Young Leaders Program, Amnesty International, Queensland Mental Health Commission, Rotary E-Club of Global Trekkers and Beyond Blue.

Madison is passionate about humanitarian and social justice issues, youth engagement, equality, inclusion, youth mental health awareness, and empowering women.  She hopes to work for the United Nations where she can serve others and create positive social change.

Currently in Year 11 of high school and member of the school’s student council as well as an international student ambassador. Malika’s family immigrated to Australia from Vietnam, she truly understands the importance of embracing multi-culturalism and enjoys listening to people of different backgrounds share their beliefs and culture. Malika is a passionate advocate for gender equality, civil rights, racial equality, environmental protection, and mental health awareness. Her future career goal is to become a solicitor with the hopes to make a difference in people’s lives and uphold justice and equality for society and for future generations.

Shannon is studying a Bachelor of Pharmacy and hopes to study medicine after completing her undergraduate degree. She presented at the 2019 Youth Health Conference in Melbourne and attended CONVO2019, a youth event used to develop realistic solutions to prevent cyberbullying in young people. Through her own experience of living with a chronic illness, she is very passionate about disability advocacy and awareness. Shannon is also interested in mental health, LGBTQIA+ rights, homelessness and education. As a future health care professional, she hopes to create an environment everyone feels safe and comfortable accessing health care, regardless of who they are and where they come from.

Sigrid is a recent high school graduate intending to study Humanities and Law at the University of Queensland next year, from which she plans to work in human rights advocacy. Her foundations are to lead change through compassion, education and fairness. She is particularly passionate about mental health advocacy, domestic and family violence advocacy, and LGBTQI+ and women empowerment, and strives to continually learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, histories and cultures. Her work with the YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament in 2019 as part of the Child Safety, Youth and Women Committee and with Netball Queensland in 2020 as part of a developmental focus group centring around empowering young women has allowed her to further these passions and morals.

Tamika is a proud Aboriginal, Torres Strait and South Sea woman, currently studying a Bachelor of Environmental and Marine Science. Tamika is passionate about climate change, education, human rights and health.

Tamika works at SEED, and Indigenous Youth Climate Network tackling environmental justice and climate change. She assisted with the start-up of 'Take Pride Movement' an Indigenous clothing brand and has created a social media page know as 'First Nations Affirmations' to uplift, inspire and empower First Nations people.

Tamika has recently been accepted into the 2020 Community Organising Fellowship, to influence social and environmental justice around Australia. She is passionate about pursuing a career within the environmental (science) education industry, whilst empowering and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and her community.

Zahed is a very motivated individual with mix of skills and passions. He is currently pursuing honours in pharmacy at the University of Queensland, hoping one day to be a registered practitioner. Zahed also likes to play sports, volunteer and organise events. Zahed works for IYAC to motivate youth and help them discover their true potentials. Zahed also works at Coles and a local pharmacy.

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