South West Multicultural and Community Centre

Emerging Pacific Youth Leadership Program 

South West Multicultural and Community Centre (SWMACC) is a charitable organisation providing services in the local government area of Campbelltown, NSW. They support people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, particularly those from Pacific Island communities, who are socially and financially disadvantaged.

The LUCRF Super Community Program supported the SWMACC’s Emerging Pacific Youth Leadership Program (EPYLP) to empower and educate emerging leaders through collaborative forums, workshops and training during 2015 and 2016. This successful program continues to hold regular youth networking events encouraging participation in music, education, games and activities.

Emerging Pacific Youth Leadership ProgramA strong team of mentors use a culturally appropriate approach to engage diverse young people from specific demographic groups and help them make a positive impact on the world. 

The EPYLP aims to:

 

  • provide a safe space for youths
  • promote open youth-to-youth communication
  • encourage a close-knit peer group 
  • build multicultural bridges
  • enhance leadership development
  • hold regular Youth Council meetings to explore local community/youth issues 
  • allow young people to transform feelings about issues affecting them into music, dance and performance, and
  • send a positive message throughout the community.

The workshops that EPYLP members are involved in include:

  • PACFest Mentoring Program
  • Multicultural NSW Youth Affairs Forums
  • Discover Your Purpose Leadership Program
  • National Student Leadership Forum
  • Pacific Unity Festival
  • White Ribbon Day Convoy
  • Vispera Girl Guides Visual and Performing Arts Narrabeen Camp

When Selwyn joined the EPYLP, he was working part-time as a labourer. His passion was community work but he had no qualifications in this field.

Since participating in the EPYLP, Selwyn has completed his Certificate IV in Community Services and is now employed by the Department of Education as a support worker for both primary and secondary schools. Selwyn has also performed at numerous events and applied to be a White Ribbon Day ambassador. 

As the founder of the #FistsDown social media campaign, Selwyn inspired youths to make better decisions and put a stop to organised fights and brawls. He was invited to present the campaign to Multicultural NSW and the heads of departments for NSW Police, the Department of Education, Family and Community Services (FACS) and the NSW Council for Pacific Communities. The campaign was very well accepted and supported. Selwyn is now working towards getting the #FistsDown campaign into schools and undertaking further study at the University of Western Sydney.

14-year-old Rebecca is half Samoan and half Aboriginal. Gifted in multiple fields, including sports and performing arts, Rebecca joined the EPYLP as a very shy young lady. 

The EPYLP has given Rebecca numerous opportunities to build her self-confidence and leadership skills. She recently performed the national anthem in both English and her Aboriginal language at a number of events, in front of crowds with up to 6000 people. 

Rebecca has received numerous awards and scholarships for both her academic and community- service achievements. In April 2016, she was elected as the youth representative for the NSW Council for Pacific Communities, the youngest person to have ever held this highly regarded role. 

Quotes from EPYLP members:

"The NSLF experience was definitely an eye opener. Being surrounded by all kinds of people who I honestly wouldn’t really have hung around with before showed me how lucky I am. You can't put a price on true happiness and I am grateful for my modest upbringing because I may not have had a big house or heaps of cash but I always had love. I have met some inspiring and amazing individuals, and I look forward to sharing this NSLF experience with our community."

“Our experience at the Vispera Narrabeen Camp was a lot more than we expected. On arrival we realised we were the only Pacific girls but after meeting some of the leaders and other young women we quickly adapted and got on really well. We never felt uncomfortable and we made friends quickly. It was funny how everyone thought we came from NZ for the camp but we told them about our EPYLP and that’s how we got invited to be here.”

 

Following the success of the EPYLP a second grant was made in 2017 to SWMACC for the Guiding Pacific Adolescents program.

 

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