Home » Podcast » Zane & Shannon on authentic youth-led participation in the City of Marion

Zane & Shannon on authentic youth-led participation in the City of Marion


In this week’s episode, Josh chats with Shannon and Zane from City of Marion’s Youth Collective Committee who were the 2023 winners of the Spirit Super Connecting Communities Award at the 7News Young Achiever Awards in South Australia.

City of Marion’s Youth Collective Committee, or YCC, is group of young people selected to represent the views and values of young people in the City of Marion.

They aim to work with Council on issues, topics and concerns that are important to the young people in their local Council area. Their vision is to work on issues such as safety and security, mental health, the environment, arts and music, education and technology. They also work to provide a unique perspective on Council issues, whilst also gaining important skills, learning about local government and youth specific issues.

Since beginning in 2019, the YCC have held an Esports tournament, Battle of the Bands, planting of a native garden, a music event at the Capella Skate Park opening and more.

Shannon Swart, the youth worker facilitating the program was 22 when the YCC began and has been with the program since the beginning. Zane LeBlond is the current chairperson of the YCC for 2023.

If you enjoy the Inspirational Australian’s Podcast, we’d love it if you could subscribe, rate and review. Find out how here.



Check out the website: https://www.marion.sa.gov.au/services-we-offer/youth/youth-in-marion/youth-collective-committee

Connect on Instagram with Marion YCC and City of Marion


Follow us on our Inspirational.Australians Instagram Page

Want to recognise someone making a difference? Nominate them now in 2 mins!

Find out more about partnering with Awards Australia




[00:00:11] Christine

Welcome to Inspirational Australians, where we share stories of Australians making a difference in their communities and in the lives of others. We at inspirational Australians acknowledge the Wurundjeri and Bunurong people of Kulin Nation as the traditional owners and custodians of the lands and waterways on which this podcast is produced.  We pay our respect to elders, past and present,  and those who are emerging and extend our respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. At Inspirational Australians, we are inspired by the world’s oldest living culture and pay homage to their rich storytelling history. When we share stories on our podcast.

[00:00:58] Josh

Thank you very much. It’s so good to be back with the Inspiration Australians podcast. We took a bit of a break the start of the year. But after wrapping up the Seven News, Young Achiever Awards Programs around the country, We’re back and huge thanks to Spirit Super. Who was the impetus for bringing back the podcast, sponsoring these episodes featuring the Spirit Super connecting communities, awards winners. As I said,  for right around the country. And today we’re joined by not one but two amazing guests. And Funnily enough, that’s actually a small number for this particular group because at the awards night in Adelaide at  the Hilton there was twenty three. I’ll see if I get that right in a second. But twenty three incredible young people up on stage being celebrated for their work. And they are from the city of marion’s youth collective community. Let’s try that again. The city of marion’s youth collective committee or YCC,  as they better known, and that created their own youth led model of function since beginning in twenty nineteen, the YCC have held an e-sports tournament, battle of the bands, planting of a native garden, a music event at the capella skate,  park opening and more. Shannon Swart, the youth worker, facilitating the program was twenty two when the YCC began. And she’s been with the program since the beginning and Zane Leblond is the current chairperson of the YCC for this year twenty twenty three and I’m joined today by Zane and Shannon. Thank you so much for joining me. How are you going?

[00:02:21] Shannon

Oh,  we’re going great. Thanks so much for having us just just the two of us.

[00:02:24] Zane

Amazing.  Thank you so much and I’m Super glad to have this opportunity.

[00:02:28] Shannon

I will. I will see you. I’m sorry, I will say thank you so much for letting the twenty three of us get on stage. Thatwas pretty, a significant achievement. I think I would say a milestone memory for a lot of those young people ranging between the ages of twelve and twenty five that have been involved over the past couple of years. We brought some people out of retirement which was also very special and different abilities. So the fact that we all got to go up on the stage together and did not think we would win the award. That’s why I was like, stop it. We’re all getting up, let’s do it. But yeah,  it was so special,  so thank you so much for that.

[00:03:00] Josh

It was actually very brilliant and you can hear the murmuring of the crowd as you know, because not everyone could see. You know, as your group came down to the side of the stage to come up, you know, some people on the other side of the room. They couldn’t quite say that as more andmore people came on stage. It was a bit of like the is kind of like, Oh look there’s, well there’s more coming, but I reckon you’ve broken the record for the young achiever awards for the most on stage at one time. Surely the music bigger than that, it was fantastic. And it was such a great vibe in the room and I thinka lot of that was contributed to your group, the Y, as they say, because you were really supportive of all the other finalists as well.

[00:03:37] Shannon

Thank you so much. It was really fun.

[00:03:39] Shannon

We all took the bus riding together and a bus ride out. So it was, there’s a lot of them haven’t even been justa normal prom or whatever, like that yet. So for a lot of them, this is their first Ever opportunity to get dressed up. For some sort of gala orfancy event. So we’ve been prepping fora very long time. They got to meet people. A lot of them have big dreams aboutbeing diplomats or being politicians,  or about making meeting people. But most importantly, they all share that thing of wanting to make immediate change as soon as they possibly can. So to be able to, there were some really cool people in that room and some really cool conversations that we were able to have. I remember there was a particular moment when the premiere of gone ask us, came over and shook house,  shook some of our hands, and the bus ride home. Our liaison officer turned to me and went, he shook this hand. I’m never going to wash it again. Amazing. Yeah,

[00:04:36] Josh

that’s such a great, great story to hear and I kind of want to go, you know,

[00:04:42] Josh

touching on that by about Shannon how you facilitate the worker facilitating theprogram at the time. And so you’re with the City of Marion, is that right? And is that what you’re joining us from today?

[00:04:53] Shannon

Yes, I am a book, the quiet room. We’ll see how quiet it starts, but I am a city of Marion employee, a local government employee. My life is like a constant episode of Utopia. If you’ve seen that ABC show that it does bear few similarities to working in government and specifically local government. So it is wonderful. I’ve learnt a lot and I came into the role at twenty two as a placement student, incredibly enthusiastic. And I’m so glad that we’ve been able to do what we’ve done would I If I was doing it now led so much if I was twenty two and going back and I would to go back like, Oh, think a little bit more about the processes. But I think that’s the joy of being twenty two and having employees that are like,  you know what we trust you go for it. So it’s been fun.

[00:05:45] Josh

And so was this your first like full time job as a young person or had you worked in other office based roles before?

[00:05:53] Shannon

Never worked in an office role before it was my first grown up job. So previously to this, I was working in a toy store. I did actually somehow manage to land a role as a youth worker in when I was nineteen in my local church. And I was an interim youth worker looking after essentially the youth ministry there, which was a lot of responsibility for someone who was still a young person themselves. But I’ve always been involved as a volunteer in youth organizations. I was on the youth Council when I was fourteen broken Hill city, broken Hill, we organized a drug and alcohol forum. And I think that that’s probably one of the first things that help me realize that I could be involved and make a little bit of a change. But a lot of the success, I learned a lot of lessons working for this organization called UN youth, which is a phenomenal organization of young people, all aged twenty five and under, to educate other young people on issues of international diplomacy. So we do a lot of model United Nations stuff, but we also would organize events, be it state, national or international events. The quality of it, of events that have been organized, I would say, are of a higher quality than the stuff that I do with significant budgets. Because when you’re a young person, I do feel as though the bar is so much higher because people do expect less. So it is you’re,  you’re not just trying to reach the bare minimum. You’re trying to go above and beyond and prove that you deserve to be in the same space. So when I first, when I came into this role, I felt like I had a lot of lessons I’d already learned. I had a degree in youth work as well which social sciences with a major youth works. All of that really led to this twenty two, twenty three. I was ready to to really sink my teeth into a project.

[00:07:51] Josh

So you mentioned you were thinking a lot of similarities between you coming into that role and Utopia the show. You know, I’m a bit older than you. So for me, my reference is probably more like parks and rec, but I’m just imagining you know, this like Super enthusiastic, twenty two year old coming in versus like office,  as you said, grown up job and going got ideas. I want to put this in place. What was the first moment where you kind of faced the red tape or the bureaucracy and kind of gone Oh, what, like, I can’t just go out and do it.

[00:08:23] Shannon

You know, that is such a good question and euphoria is how you type. You’re such a good example of it sometimes, but parks and recreation. Funnily enough,  the first time I watched that I, I check my emails halfway through because it was once again it was so similar. And I love Leslie next character. And I do feel like sometimes I relate to that a little bit with that. That hopeless enthusiasm. Funnily enough, the first example I got it was we were working on a project. The, I’m not down for the corporate uniform and desk spaces. It’s just such a such a vibe that I wasn’t necessarily used to. So I was working on a project myself and someone else got on the floor with a whole lot of watches Piper. And we will act. We’ve got this big event coming up. We don’t have any space. Let’s just tease it out. And the office was getting messy. We were doing a T-shirt printing workshop all the, all the cool stuff, stuff was everywhere and just we had a lot of people come past and make a few comments on it. And everyone. One of the primary frustrations I find is intent versus what’s, what’s practical and what’s realistic everyone loves,  loves the idea of investing in a youth organization or investing in young artists or investing in New this or that. But the practicalities to getting them to the point where they can be paid for their work or something that’s a little bit more challenging this so much particular red tape. So for this particular project,  we’re working with someone who was wanting to do some screen printing. It was a young person who’d never had their business before. And I was trying to get this young person page. I had budget and I had approval, but trying to get this young person paid was so incredibly tricky because you need public liability insurance. You need an idea you need is there a hobby for them? Is there not a hobby for them?  We have insurances, but we can’t, we can’t cover them under their insurances. And I think that for me was really tricky. I’d now streamline the process and one of the things I’m very proud of is that when we do projects within the youth collective committee and one young person in particular tries to take the lead. I make sure we get away to pay them sold for that time. So one of our projects was a safe space project report. And we were able to pay a young person to consult to write part of that report. But once again,  it was such a process, getting them to that point of being paid. I know what it’s like to be a young person relying on the goodwill of a free lunch.

[00:11:08] Shannon

And Volunteering is incredibly expensive. It is a rich person’s game and it’s, you’re not, you’re not getting much as much as you are giving. And the overall vibe is definitely you should be giving something to us. We’re giving you exposure and that’s just not it. It’s not viable. So I think red tape in terms of trying to appropriately pay people for the time and effort that they put in is so much harder than it needs to be.

[00:11:39] Josh

Well, that was such a detailed answer in the best way possible Shannon because so many questions coming off that, but I think it’s also a perfect chance to to go to use them because as the chairperson currently of Y CSA, am I right in saying that you’re in a voluntary role.

[00:11:56] Zane

So I’m currently in a volunteer role as chair, as you said, I’ve also referred the YCC as a positive opportunity and outcome. I also have been lucky enough to be employed in the sea mines gap year internship program. This is a twelve hour program that goes four or goes into four different placements. And that was, that came me learning from the YCC. And as chair you get so neat and do wonderful opportunities and projects with different members of the collective public. And I found for my role as an intern per say, as it’s helped me balance by Volunteering and professional life, what was the balance, understand the complexities and ensure that everyone,  I guess you could say, knows what they’re doing and doesn’t Ever feel so overburdened or under burdens at all if that makes sense.

[00:12:53] Josh

Yeah. The don’t have the balance there. She was saying, you’re

[00:12:57] Shannon

because you have that role. It’s amazing because you’ve been able to learn so much more than I would have time to share with you or you’ve been able to see so many parts of Council that other volunteers haven’t. Because one of the things that we get so often when we onboard new YCC members is councils, roads rates, Rubbish. That’s that sort of it. Do you have in some instances more of an understanding than I do because you’ve been able to do this internship. And that’snot the, that’s not the norm. We’re very lucky though, and it’s really good that you’ve been able to get recognised. You put a lot of hard work and effort together and I will just use this gap, your employee,  we’ve Ever had, everyone always compliments and all the time. And then not looking forward to when he goes off to university next year.

[00:13:44] Josh

Yeah. So is that a calendar year or when do you finish up saying?  And so how the program works.

[00:13:47] Zane

I started, I believe it was January thirtieth and it goes to around January twenty six next year. So you know, it’s twelve months if it was very quick, I’m already moving on to my third placement after the end of this week. Because each placement three months long and three months is not enough to really get the ball. But because you always like it, you see one month actually and when you units. Yeah. On your third month it’s just like on five pilots. And then it’s whisked away to the other time, but it’s still a very educational experience. Everyone’s really nice informative, and I highly recommend City of Marion as, especially the internships we offer as a great starting way for many other young people.

[00:14:31] Shannon

So one big promoter here.

[00:14:35] Josh

Yeah, that’s great. You have to though, especially if you believe in it, because that’s, that’s when it’s really authentic. People can, can hear that as well. So, Zain, how did you first get involved with what they say in the first place?  And, you know, was this internship getting into Council with that always on your mind? Or is it just something that’s, you know, developed from your involvement?

[00:14:54] Zane

Where going all the way back to mid twenty,  twenty one. I remember. So they have personal back story, but I’d always up until I think around year ten always felt disconnected. I always hadn’t really felt happy and I always wanted to do more. And I feel like when covid hit, it kind of gave me an opportunity because I feel like when you’re in school,  especially it’s always, you always have a task to do stuff to do and you never have a moment. So just sit and stuff and be like, hold on. And so when covid hit, I heard about or joined us school was SC. I then freed that SC body, I found out about the youth collective committee. And at the time I are just some youth collective and all of that. But I applied anyway, and I think I probably sent some horrific CV or something.

[00:15:47] Shannon

It was you were the best one to Ever receive

[00:15:50] Zane

a Thank you. And I then was, I think, emailed a code, I was like, Oh no, it’s code and I was like, I would love to interview you and I just feel especially this is my first time doing an interview. So I was like shocked. I still didn’t think I would get it, and then I remember showing up to the interview process. I had no idea whatsoever. And I think shallow and convinced. I don’t actually even remember a Pro, the trauma, I will like this subject. So and obviously that left a mark and next thing I know I was being called to fortnightly meetings that go for an hour and a half hour. So as we do it via zoom and as far as hony involvement. So I then spent, of course, the next year and a half in our second season, which it was a very big learning opportunity because you had school. But then you’re going to this whole new environment in this like it was like a saw see, but the whole for the whole local government. And I, I felt like was you could do a lot more tangible things that were just like I felt for the I see I became a social media officer before and helped create a nice youth, brand for our Instagram account at Marion.

[00:16:55] Zane

What’s his Instagram?  Do follow me. Sorry for the shout it.

[00:16:58] Josh

I can attest. It’s a good color

[00:17:01] Zane

is good also follow inspirational,  australian’s on Instagram. I know you guys have an account there as well. And for that it was a really strong links brands outlet. All right, so I remember, I believe it was Harvard free last year. So during year twelve I heard about an opportunity for the gap year. So the guarantee was never strike intention. I can say from the beginning it was always for I do y’see, see then I go straight to Uni, but I never had a strong idea about where I wanted to go in Uni and you know, I got guaranteed into a good course. I still just felt like going from high school, straight to university. That is such a big ask when I feel like everyone at that age never has a clear idea. Like, I mean, I got, it says a lot of my friends, they have all gone to Uni and they’ve were great at all the courses I did, and I thought I needed time. And then of course Fred, they want to say program. I heard about the gap year program, I thought, Oh, I might as well give that an an application applied somehow got into the program and it’s honestly been amazing and it’s been difficult to keep that balance between what I see and get the best work I’ve been able to master that, and I’ve been able to get both well and you get both the professional world and also the volunteer world. And I was such as I want to say it, I gained twelve months to be paid to work and that and get skills is just also valuable. So it was never intentional to answer your question, but it was one of the many positive outcomes that come from being paid the want to say, and not just myself,  but plenty of other members as well. Have all gained opportunities outside the was easy for it.

[00:18:41] Josh

Yep. Well, Shannon you kind of were talking about, you know, how Volunteering is, you know, you’re a like a trilogy by the way. It is a rich person’s game or however you put it. But it’s kind of true. The flip side of that is that if you, you know, go in and really give a big effort,  you can actually be a huge investment as well. Obviously talking about your own career. Volunteering played a huge part, gave you a lot of tools to come in and immediately succeed. You know, Zane,  obviously you volunteered extensively with student, as I say as well. And now as you say, and that’s really paying dividends. And so that must be really hard for you, for young people to find that balance of individual that balance a few times. Now, Volunteering, you know, you’re not getting paid, you’re investing a lot of time and resources and it could pay off down the track. But you never know.

[00:19:34] Shannon

Absolutely,  and we’re living in our society really values instant gratification in a while in a way. And it’s quite difficult to look to that. What’s going to pay off long term because you’re just not sure. You never really know. My dad had this saying he would say a lot because I also went straight from I went straight from high school to university, into a nursing degree that I did for about a year and a half and I regretted it. And now I just have hex debt that keeps growing. So I wish I’d done what you did say. But my dad had this saying, which is, you know, work as hard as you can and get the movie ticket. Once you have the movie ticket, you can go and see whichever show you like. My family emigrated to Australia from South Africa when I was twelve. So I think that focus on education being the only way that you can grow your skill set and make yourself valuable as an employer was really harshly put there. But I have seen first hand the,  the absolute payoff of Volunteering, but it is, I’m also aware of the fact that I was in a very privileged position to be able to do so. But I also sometimes had to make hard choices compared to someone who maybe I didn’t leave at home when I was, I moved out of home about eighteen nineteen. So having to choose between a Saturday Volunteering at an event or a Saturday making money working at the kids shoe section at Maya was actually quite a, quite a tricky, tricky call. Nevertheless, I feel as though it was white train getting me to the Korea space because I did have I’d already alleviated my anxiety of cold calling people because I’d been cold calling schools schools trying to get them to come to our events. I knew how to write an email, I knew how to communicate professionally, all these soft skills that, that get built. And that also make you a more attractive placement student. So you’re more likely to get an opportunity to take a more meaningful placement. Because people will, the way that organisations be placed in students can be tricky as well. You’re often on unpaid labour and there is competition for who gets those placements as well. So it is, it is a rich man’s game in a while that does pay off that not everyone is able to be in that position. So the City of Marion’s youth collective committee,  I thought it was really important that we accurately represented the what a young person looks like in the city of Marion. And that diversity does come with a diverse range of requirements. You’ve got a diversity when it comes to cultural backgrounds, so many young people are experiencing mental health issues at the moment. We know that, so we see it firsthand and we need to accommodate that. And that’s something that I’ve always tried to describe the YCC as a safe space to fail. Yes, failure is so important and it does really feel like you’re unable to fail as much when you’re in the professional space, the stakes area lot higher. So if you can overcome that a little bit earlier, once again, your miles ahead. But sometimes the failure is not due to the fact that you are unable to meet the work. It’s the fact that you don’t realise the reason why you’re lazy is because you’re actually a little bit you might be experiencing symptoms of depression. You might be experiencing anxiety for the first time and the idea of responding to the emailing you feeling so guilty and bad, and you’re ghosting people and you going to the cyclical thing that that happens so often. And I love love, love being able to be the person that’s like no worries, that’s fine. You said you do it, but you didn’t get to it. Well,  we’ll try it again, bobi wine or whatever. You want to shake it off. Passionate about that anymore.  That’s fine. Because I have, I’ve had people who are able to do that for me and that made me who I was. So without that opportunity to grow outside of that, I wouldn’t be able to offer that back. But the workplace is not always accommodating of that.

[00:23:31] Zane

So very true. Now sometimes feel a little bit like the odds are slightly stacked against when you start looking outside of yeah, you’re cookie cutter résumé,  boosting perfect people. Because not everyone is perfect. Everyone’s experienced something. So.

[00:23:49] Josh

Yeah, well I tell you No one’s perfect either. So no, so you had to be your point there, but you know, because I think Everyone’s face that at times where you have the email, you don’t want to respond to blah, blah, blah, all that kind of stuff. But, you know, if there’s young people listening, thinking okay, you know,  I do that or there’s employers listening going, I’m employing young people and I need them to be better. You know, do you have any little nuggets of wisdom there about you know, what people can do, whether it’s for themselves or for,  for their employees who are facing those kind of things and how can, as workplaces potentially be better to, you know, to our young people and help to get the best out of them.

[00:24:29] Shannon

Yeah,  I think for me it just really comes under the job of empathy. As cliche, advice that always goes around, which is, you know, be the person that you needed when you were growing up and try and respond that way and try and respond out of kindness. I think that is really difficult sometimes when people are really hard on themselves and they feel as though they’ve paid their dues and therefore other people have to as well. And they can’t relate to that situation because maybe they never experienced anxiety over responding to an email. Some people like that, I don’t understand people like that. Some people are like that. It became quite, quite personal for me because of the past couple of years. My, my youngest brother was diagnosed schizophrenia. So I’ve been a youth worker for quite a while. And then it was very interesting going to the carer side of things where I was working alongside a young person who was experiencing this. And I could see all the ways that people were able to meet his needs or people weren’t able to meet his needs. And I think one of the really, one of the easiest things to do is to just respond from a place of Everyone’s got something going on. And let’s be kind in a professional context. There are considerations there. But if you’re kind or if you’re considerate, or if you put accommodations and measures in place to try and assist to grow that skill, you’ll get a better employee in the long term. Because they will have grown in that capacitythat will grown and overcome those hardships, which means they will not only feel and feel a little bit more loyal or grateful, proud. But you’ll just get a better return for your, for your investment in that regard as well. So giving opportunities to people otherwise don’t have them pays off in so many ways. And one of the ones, this is

[00:26:27] Shannon

a little bit of a side note that I both love and loathe the term accommodation. Because accommodation sort of implies that we are accommodating. That’s something outside of the norm, and we really should think about how we frame that. Because majority, if you look at the most recent census data, a lot of young people are experiencing mental health issues. It shouldn’t be something that we accommodate because it’s outside of the norm. It’s something that people live with. Something that humans live with, that we all experience and that we need to put systems in place to support so everyone can be the best version of themselves. So this isn’t just a phase or this or that it’s something that everyone will experience and so we need to, our workforces need to accommodate that way of thinking.

[00:27:14] Josh

Yeah,  for sure. That’s good advice and yes, some good things to people I guess to think about. Consider their own circumstances.

[00:27:26] Josh

This episode is brought to you by Spirit Super, the Super fund for hard working Australians. Let’s be honest. Most of us don’t pay enough attention to our Super. It’s either too hard,  too confusing. We simply don’t know what Super is,  but that’s okay. Spirit Super makes learning about and looking after your Super,  Super easy, with a focus on strong returns and award winning service and Super experts offering practical and helpful advice. Spirit Super is here for you and your Super. For more info, go to spiritsuper.com. Today you Consider the PDS and TMD experience Super dot com today use less PDFs before making a decision. Issuer is motor trade association of Australia. Superannuation fund. Podiatry advice is provided by quadrant first PDI or today, past performance isn’t a reliable indicator of future performance.

[00:28:24] Josh

You’ve got with the what they say you put on a lot of events and you know, with everything we’ve had in mind about youth led, which meant safe places to fail and things like that. Have you got any examples or stories from some of these events that we missed at the start in a battle of the bands, the native garden, music events where, you know, sometimes it may be that something has gone wrong, but it’s actually, you know, it’s been part of the journey and it’s all worked out

[00:28:48] Shannon

there are so many I can think of. Are there any you can think of that?

[00:28:52] Zane

I can’t think. Well, I can think of stuff that’s gone wrong, but I can think of something that happened at the battle of the bands which start off as an idea, and I think she knows what I’m talking about. Well, our site is during the war of the bands was set up at Mosley square canal and there’s this large hotel. I forgot the name of Mrs.,  Stanford Graham, Stanford.

[00:29:13] Josh

Oh, hang on,  hang on disclosure here we work with the Stanford grant. We tell a good story.

[00:29:19] Shannon


[00:29:19] Josh


[00:29:19] Shannon

you,  This is not an

[00:29:21] Zane

excellent song.

[00:29:22] Shannon

We love the seven grams

[00:29:24] Zane

of we love them because me and Charlie. Well, I was the deputy social media officer. So this is like going back to twenty twenty one for that by the bands. We really wanted to get this nice aerial photo of all the people, you know, sharing their band, the bands, you know, playing and the Stanford has a balcony for. And we thought, Oh, it would be so cool if we could go to the Berkeley for and, but we always for, and I think Sean, you’d say like, Oh, they’re not going to accept that. They’re not going to let us up there. We walked into the Stanford with a really brazen confidence given the situation, but that we and we also, I guess also had a four or would it happen? And we asked, could we please use your balcony floor?  So for first videos, they said yes, they were completely happy to support. And so next thing we knew we went well go,  we were such a guard ourselves. So the second floor to this balcony and we got some of the best photos of the event. So, I mean, looking back, it’s just a story where you just go,  what, how on earth did we pull that off? And so, it’s just, it’s one of those things where you, you won’t succeed till you try and you just try new things. And that’s all I can recommend. Can you think of any bad stories, anything?

[00:30:47] Shannon

I just, I love that story so much because I’m so with a Council mindset you and being sort of risk averse and you end up being like I’ve realized it’s warped my thinking and I think bad before good. Sometimes I’m like, there’s no way they’re going to let them up there like the balcony that hada wedding on. We’ve been really annoying with this loud music. And so the fact that they just, I was like, my kids give it a go. And I’ve always learned so much because the ideas and this is the joy of what they’re doing, the work they bring some ideas to me on the conduit. And I try and make it happen. Sometimes I’ll sit there and I’ll be like, I think this is going to work and then it does.

[00:31:27] Shannon

An example of that is this e-sports tournament that we did. So it was a rocket league tournament. And it just spiraled because there was so much more interest than we thought there would be. We got people really keen to fly in from interstate to join, which we had a local event. That because you don’t have as many ranked sporting like EA, sports events and rocket league,  all that sort of stuff. I knew nothing about this world. Absolutely nothing about this world. Which meant I knew nothing about the problems that came with the world. And I’m trying to facilitate young people growing in that space as well. Who are volunteers? Is really tricky, especially when you had, you know, I think we had a gaming PC too, and the sign and waves gave us to give away as a gift. So we had some PC building workshops, so they a whole bunch of we had sixty young people help build this PC,  this really to thousand dollar gaming, PC. And then on the day of the call of the grand final, we gave it away as a goal price. You can believe it. People just had to go and fill out some stuff and go to our stalls. And then someone got to the prize. And all the young people had been given a station to look after and they would give this stamp and go on. Some people were very annoyed that they had to get this to the first. And this was our first Ever major event. We’d only been together for maybe a year anda year. The point of relevance is using. But just the idea of angry people, even if you’re, even if you’re doing a nice community service,  when people are a little bit grumpy or things aren’t going their way. Having to guide young people through that process as well. Can be quite tricky because you want to,

[00:33:11] Shannon

you want to keep it positive. You want to say, hey, how amazing that they’re trying safe space to fail. All those good groovy things. That’s also just not an accurate representation of the world. I mean our Instagram,  amazing, the young people running Instagram themselves. Sometimes we’ve landed on the wrong side of Instagram. Sometimes you had some nasty comments about things that are just so incredibly ridiculous. So does that really bad side to putting yourself out there or putting young people in positions of leadership and the requirements that come with that? So I think that, Yeah, there’s been a few times where just that interaction with community and people who don’t know how to maybe treat volunteers or maybe who don’t appreciate what it is that’s happening because Everyone’s got their own stuff going on. So I think that’s,  that’s sort of a bit of an example of when events don’t go right on the day. One of one of other thing I might just say is the importance of letting things fall down. I learned this before I started working, but if I, as the Council employee, were to pick up every time an idea started and didn’t get off the ground.  And maybe someone was like, I’ll take responsibility for this and then they dropped it. It’s really important that it gets dropped and that we don’t have too many bail outs so people can grow.

[00:34:40] Shannon

And that can be, that can be really hot and really difficult, but it is a very important process of learning as well. That can be also very difficult within a political game. So we have elected members that are really interested in what the like do. So we said hey, we’re going to do this thing. And then a thing doesn’t happen. There are so many, like maybe the event doesn’t occur, but there’s been growth. There’s been so much underneath that. That’s still so important to just because the outcome of an event didn’t occur doesn’t mean that good outcomes didn’t occur regardless.

[00:35:15] Josh

Yeah.  It’s a good point this summer. Yes, I mean interesting. There’d be so many interesting stories and all these events you put on and having run events ourselves. I know exactly what you’re talking about. It’s a it can be very difficult, but sounds like you doing a great, like an amazing job and you know, having met a lot of the people that were there at our event, the gala dinner. Yeah, there’s a really, really great vibe within it. So you’re obviously doing something right. I think you do and I will go ahead.

[00:35:43] Shannon

Zion is just such a phenomenal chair. One of the things you forgot to mention as well is that throughout all his Volunteering and, you know,  he’s now in the program. He also got nominated as the assistant D.A. for the city of Miami. It’s like,  Oh yes. I remember how I forgot that whole year.  Yeah. Yeah. Just to add to that.

[00:36:03] Zane

Yeah. Because that was the other thing too. And this is actually a important thing as well. Because for the program,  because of all the Volunteering I’ve done, I fought the end of the year. I would nominate myself for that award. And when I went to nominate myself and this Council, it’s about why it’s important to have these collectives. I was the only person who nominated and I remember coming on the day and I was just total twenty of the nominees. But what they didn’t say is that for all the other categories. And so when I got my cards, it just said category young citizen, next category, blah, blah, blah, blah blah. And I just thought, hold on, am I like the only person I couldn’t have had one to already and that I am. I havebeen told by other staff members, Oh, you’re the only one we didn’t get any other young people this year. What about the previous years? Maybe too lucky for fright, while the other categories got five, six young adult or young or not young. So citizen of the year gets up twenty people or more. And I just thought, well, I mean,  I’m glad I got there were those who are like,

[00:37:06] Zane

I was really saddened by that. There wasn’t other people. And this is why having collectives and all that is really useful just because it’s sad when one person,  when, because from the youth community puts their hand up for an award. When you know, it’s also like hundreds and hundreds of thousands of other young people who are also talented and unique. And because they, I guess aren’t getting out get the right connections to places. Phil chase gets a raise their hands and know that they’re missing out. And I guess that’s one of the reasons why I also as chair now is I want to motivate other people because honestly, I think my genuine goal at the moment is I’d rather one of these three young people from the city is going for that award that would be a big success in my eyes because one person’s not enough. And I think

[00:37:58] Josh

now you go

[00:37:58] Josh

ahead John.

[00:37:59] Shannon

I just feel I still think it’s not sad. It’s wonderful, very well deserved. One of the things that will set his sights on absolutelydeserves it. For sure, but we should probably have a say on this as well, Josh, but when it comes to people putting their hands up for awards, our society doesn’t like our culture really is. Hey, look at me, put my hand up. I’m amazing. And then you know, you do and then I think I felt a little bit of this off of the award like that impostor syndrome hits and it’s like, why am I getting recognised in something that I don’t feel like I should be getting recognised for. But it’s strategically,  it’s just so smart because when you do this, you expand the opportunity to totally affect us focus. We were able to put our trophy near the elected members and say, hey, we’re doing cool things, continue to invest in the city of Marion and youth. Programs and this and that, and it adds so much gravitas, but it’s for some reason. So many people, especially in the caring professions, that you’re really amazing, incredible things really don’t put themselves up to be recognized for it.

[00:39:04] Josh

Yeah,  I’m a big believer in that nominating yourself for an award. Is the exact same in terms of the concept of what you can get out of it as putting yourself forward for a job. You know, let someone else nominate you for a job. Also, that’s your career. So it’s great if someone tapped on the shoulder said, hey, there’s this job coming. I think you should go for it. That’s what like not being nominated for an award, it’s like to me. So what you’ve done Zain is amazing because it’s the same as again, like going for a grant application going for a scholarship. Going for an internship. You’ve got to put yourself out there because even if it’s not from a career or business perspective, it’s from a community Volunteering. In a charitable perspective, it’s still important to share the message to raise the awareness. And by going through the process like an awards. Even if you don’t win, it doesn’t matter because sometimes filling out the application can help you just reflect back on your journey can help you think about where you need to grow, what areas you can potentially Upskill in and hope she benchmark against other people potentially network with others, there’s just so many great benefits for, and that’s why I believe so strongly with the about the young achiever awards because I’ve just seen so many people come through it, get a great experience out of it and says,  I am glad you shared that story. I think that was a really good one. Thank you.

[00:40:21] Josh

That Spirit Super have sent me a question. As I mentioned at the top that is sponsoring this episode, which is fantastic. And in some of the info you gave me, it really aligned because the question is so similar to one of the talking points that you give me, which is amazing. So basically a specific question was do you think? And you wrote Shannon and Zane, feel free to both, answer this and say where you come from. Do you think being young helps or hinders Your ability to create change?

[00:40:50] Shannon

Zane might let you go to your younger, you can give this

[00:40:53] Zane

a Thank you. I feel like it can be both. It really depends how you go around. I feel like personally in two ways that I reflect being young has of course, given me this opportunity to be a part of the Y C. C,  to connect to a lot of people to learn of other opportunities. So I can’t deny saying it, there hasn’t been benefits to being young. But then I also would say, there are negatives as well, because for me, I’m a workaholic. I like to move on to the next project and all of that. And I thought I’m being young because you’re still rising up for the world. You’re still learning about the world saying you’re still learning about anything and that you also there’s a lot of barriers as well, especially social barriers to where you can and can’t go. And I saw that honestly, I’d have to say it’s yes or no. And I mean, at the end of the day it was, it depends where you want to go, what industry you want to go into, there’s a lot of facets to it. That would be my answer. What about you, Shannon?

[00:41:58] Shannon

Those are really good answers and it is a, it’s a very complicated component. I think sometimes the authenticity of, if we said a word,  success can be so different depending on who you’re talking to. And this can be applied to so many different movements. We have a lot of conversations about raising awareness and drawing attention to and giving opportunities and all of this. Helping sometimes patronizing language is reflective of how I think we sometimes view young people. So it can be a help if young people the flavor of the month. Absolutely, that can get the conversation started. But the problem is that sometimes when you have, when the conversation started getting it to the point where people are listening is a little bit different. So if so for the, for the youth collective committee, we are now an ongoing program we can endorse by the elected members. That’s absolutely phenomenal. We worked really hard to get there and we created our model, but every year we have to go back to the elected members and we have to say, this is why what we’re doing is important. Not just the numbers of people that attend our events, but the diversity of the other people that are on the committee that have had the trajectory of their lives changed or influenced in some way by being a part of this program. So I think for me, when it comes to young being young or being a help or a hindrance there’s, there’s an unfair ceiling that you reach. Because sometimes people like, hey, let’s engage some young people in the project. Or we want young people to get involved in Council matters will form a committee, an advisory committee, they’ll have pizza, they’ll get together once a month. We’ll let them talk

[00:43:54] Shannon

a little bit about the state Park opening and maybe a bit about should the lights be on longer at the Skybox and what are we going to do about that graffiti?  And then those conversations never go anywhere and you get together the next month and you do it all over again. But that youth engagement box is being taped. So how do you get it from the point where the box is being ticked to something that is making meaningful change? And the thing that’s really frustrating is you need to understand the system within which you’re working in. And it’s frustrating because as a young person, you don’t know how to do that yet, right. You’re, you’re kind of getting used to the world. You’re, it’s that whole, I need a job for experience, but I need experience for a job conundrum. So if you’re being touted by these amazing people in positions of power, I say you young person, you’re doing incredible things and you’re like, I’m young person and I’m doing incredible things. But then when you reflect back on it in twenty thirty years, really is more I could have done. I wish I know now. I wish I knew then I wish I knew then what I know now. So I could have actually made tangible change because I was in the environment to make that happen. So my volunteer experience beforehand, especially during my degree in social sciences with a major in youth work. I think all of that really helped me understand the systems

[00:45:19] Shannon

within which you navigate to make that change meaningful. So first thing we did, we were like okay, I don’t want this to be a pizza. I don’t want this to be a tokenistic youth committee that meets if they get together, they need to be able to actually say stuff and make decisions and make changes. So they decided how they were going to run. They have a viable they have, they decided they wanted formal positions and they decided they wanted to meet fortnightly once in-person once via zoom, that has had to constantly change because youth culture constantly changes. We used to meet in a Facebook group and we met on Messenger and discord in WhatsApp like everything constantly needs to evolve so that you can get the absolute best out of young people. So being young, if the conversation is being and be such a help, but we really do need the support of people in positions of power to help us navigate the systems. Once we get to the point where that conversations may have, we’ve been able to do some really, really incredible things. And I think that’s because we’ve had every, we’ve had evidence backing us up every bit of the way. So before we run a battle of the bands, or before we do some sort of event, we upskilled our young people in consultation. So they could authentically lead the consultation communicating with other young people to say, hey,  what’s important to you?

[00:46:44] Shannon

Amazing elected members. This is what’s important to our young people. So we were, we were asked to write a report and give a document on something, some youth submission for our four year business plan. So I was like, no worries. Upskill the young people, they led some consultation. We wrote a report, a whole lot of lists of what it is that we could do. One of the recommendations on that was young people want equitable access to period Programs. They’re talking about it in schools. Why can’t we have it in community community facilities that makes absolute sense? So being able to put that with data back into it, have it as part of a four year business plan submission, go to the elected members, and then they throw out all that those processes. It is now in the year to assess the feasibility, assess the feasibility of that as a new initiative for twenty, twenty three, twenty four, and this is all corporate. This all corporate jargon, like what?

[00:47:41] Shannon

Fourteen year old who wants period products available at their local sporting club noise to go through that process to make that happen. So that is a little bit of the answer to the question. It’s a really, really big one. I’m really Passionate about this because I’ve been on so many different sides of the coin and I’ve worked in other councils or I’ve seen so many different sides of the coin as well, with a youth engagement. So yeah, now any other questions I’d love to talk about it, but I know I can talk about a as

[00:48:10] Josh

well. It’s going to say that question could be its own podcast. But as we’re talking about like what actually could be, it’s a podcast series. Really. So and you mentioned consultation, are you, are you open, are you available to be a consulting for people if feel like I’ve got a lot of great ideas, a lot of great thought leadership on youth led initiatives and know that that’sgoing to be a career down the track for you, and

[00:48:34] Shannon

I think it might be, I have thought about it, and then you think about it too hard that it would, it would be great because I genuinely believe that young people can and will change the world like they will. It’s inevitable young people will stop being young people and they’ll be the decision makers. So if we’re able to listen to them in those different stages, it’s just tremendous. But I feel like not enough people know how to do it Well. So who knows? Maybe I will do a little consulting thing or something later on down the line

[00:49:02] Josh

one day so, so Zane,  we’re talking off air before we got started with the recording today that not long ago,  you were in parliament house. And you got this great tour from minister cook the minister of Human Services. So is that part of your internship or how did that come about and tell us a bit about that experience because I know that was a pretty cool cool one for you.

[00:49:25] Zane

This is a number example as previously said about why they say linking to other opportunities. So around or side meet last year there was a was actually that was a bit further back. A youthquake last year the state governments announced they wanted to create a youth Council for South Australia and they went out to Applications mid-last year. And once again, I would apply, send my dodgy application or CV off, didn’t hear anything back for a few months for, Oh, it’s over, that’s it. I think back then I get like I remember a boring Thursday school day and I just was saved about saying, hey, welcome aboard annexing any of it on the youth camps or so similar to what they say about both state body and meets only once every quarter and along with that we get to do special opportunities. One of them was a catch up at parliament house with the DHS minister, the honourable Annette cook. And she took us on a tour of parliament. So I made a social media row on my Instagram. And it’s those types of opportunities that are used to connect some of our young people connect with politicians and decision makers and get your like issue across and say,

[00:50:48] Zane

what needs to be said. And that was something that I’ve done. I’ve also recently as well, got in late through the offices, they stuff yet again. So hub magazine. So the commissioner for Children and young people of South Australia and our full name has reignited hub magazine. It’s a digital online newsletter for youth. It’s still in infancy, but we’re trying to really develop it out. And that’s just yet again, another example, as I do it, there’s a lot going on. Yeah,

[00:51:19] Shannon

yeah. The minister’s youth advisory committee is pretty groovy. That’s

[00:51:22] Zane

all. So it’s very greatly

[00:51:26] Josh

So and that can edit this out. I was trying to look up the Commissioner’s name because it’s on my tongue.

[00:51:31] Shannon

Helen Connolly.

[00:51:33] Josh

Yes. Helen Connolly.  Yes.

[00:51:35] Josh

So I feel like at the young age event, all these people were there that you know,  you’re kind of name dropping and talking about so

[00:51:43] Shannon

yeah,  so many links to Helen came out. The commissioner came actually and gave us all how she was involved with the safe space project. So that was a, one of our very first projects and it was the Commissioner’s community partnership program. So we worked with her on writing this leading consultation and writing this report on what young people have to say about mental health. And she came to our launch and we were all being involved after we won the award. She came up.  She’s like, this is amazing. I’m so happy for all of you saying you were just on our Instagram the other day and now you’re winning awards,  as just as it is amazing how small the youth sector is, but how cool it is when Everyone’s connected.

[00:52:25] Josh

So I guess we’re going to wrap up shortly, but one last Frank get to my final question. One last thing that just completely backs up what you’ve been saying, Shannon about, you know, youth lead giving young people opportunities. Is that when you did win the Spirit Super collecting communities award? You know, Shannon, you’re an incredible speaker, you’re so eloquent with the way that you put things together and share your ideas and thoughts. And then it could have been easy for Shannon to say, yeah, I’ll take this one. But it was you as the chair who was leading that speech in that acceptance speech and speech funny moment because it was fantastic because you said I’ve left my my speech at my table. So I’m just going to go, I’m going to wing it and you still do it.

[00:53:07] Zane

I tend to have a bad habit of just doing speeches and forgetting all my stuff. Usually turns out, okay.

[00:53:14] Josh

It was good. You did a good job.

[00:53:16] Shannon

It was just such a good job. Absolutely. I think I think that just sort speak to the fact that we didn’t feel like we went a little bit. We were all beside holding hands hoping after after we got it. Then it was like, we’ve got the award now. We were all in absolute shock. We were losing it, we’re all smiling. I think I started crying, few other people started crying, and then there was a speech and everyone was looking around and I was like, Oh,  that’s right.

[00:53:43] Zane

Off you go.

[00:53:46] Josh

Yeah,  we did really well. Think obviously this is the inspirational australian’s podcast. And you two certainly fitting that feel of being inspirational, not just inspirational, young people, inspirational people. And I want to ask you as a final question again to both of you to answer Shannon, you can go first, this time. What is it that inspires you?

[00:54:13] Shannon

And I think I’m inspired every single day by the people that I work with, the people I see and just how nice they are. I think it’s that that term that got used a lot and my faith in humanity and humanity has been restored. And so something really nice today, but genuinely, I do think that I see something really lovely every single day I have, I am, I love my job. I would do it. I’m never leaving this job. I love it so, so much. And I get to, I’ve got to watch these people grow, I get so emotional,  I feel a little bit like Regina Regina George’s mom sometimes like just in the background with my camera being like, Oh so proud of you guys, you’re all doing so well. But it inspires me to see how well everyone is succeeding, how well people come through things and how even when the world is a little bit grimy, there are people who really want to make a change and who genuinely believe. So that is what inspires me.

[00:55:19] Josh

And Zane, what about you

[00:55:22] Zane

Every single day when I wake up in the morning, I always think how can I end the day off of the world being a slightly better place than it was the day before every single day.  I work as hard as possible, communicate with whoever necessary to work out. How can we make this issue non existent less I guess, apparent in society and just in general, what just make sure the world’s a better place for everyone. Because I mean like a lot of recent events, debt aside like that, all the, a lot of people get to go, the world is bad inside of its world. I guess you could say has been unpredictable in the last few years or so. But I feel like you get so controlled from just being able to say, you know, I’m going to wake up today. My goal is to make the day a slightly better place that was yesterday. So that’s really what motivates me thatand also I guess as, especially as a young person, I just want to, I always put my hands up for any opportunity that comes past.

[00:56:27] Shannon

You’re amazing,  genuinely, you are so impressive.

[00:56:32] Josh

Yeah, that’s a Super intentional way to face every day.

[00:56:35] Josh

And that’s, that’s really, that’s a really great thing that, that motivates me to wake up and, and think about,  you know, just being intentional because sometimes it’s easy to forget and you wake up and you just get on with the, the routine. But it doesn’t have to be that way. So that’s awesome. Thanks for sharing that

[00:56:50] Zane

St. You’re welcome.

[00:56:53] Josh

Well, before we wrap up,  you did mention some Instagram accounts earlier, but if people, you know, really keen to follow this and find out more where,  where can they connect and find out that stuff?

[00:57:05] Shannon

Absolutely. So we have an Instagram page is at Marion YYC. We have some events coming up, so we have and we have a free showing of Shrek with audio description happening as marine cultural center. This is organized by our vibe officer and recent lions club. Children of courage award winner Anthony. Ever, Ever, Ever Benji?

[00:57:29] Shannon

So he is coordinating that as someone who is visually impaired. So this movie is going to be audio description. So we watching Shrek with all the description language. I’m really looking forward to what that looks like. And before that,  the Marion cultural center will be having a dining experience with the pancake kitchen. So you will be eating pancakes,  blindfolded and trying to experience a little bit what it’s like to be without one of your senses for the meal. And that’s, that’s going to be so sick. I love the edge and he’s leading that. Jessica, one of the other watch members is leading a youth multicultural networking event,  specifically for international students, or people that have recently settled in Australia. We have some BMX stuff coming up and then at the very end of the year and you tell them what’s going on

[00:58:15] Zane

at the very end of this year. We’re excited to announce again, we will be doing a battle of the bands in the city of Marion at the Marion cultural center.

[00:58:26] Shannon

Applications for that will open soon if you have a band or you want to join a band or you want to start a band. Now is absolutely the time, regardless of whether you win or not, you will be paid for your gigs. So this is a paid gig on a professional stage. The prizes include mentorship, it includes a little bit of cash dollars, and it also includes the opportunity to record a demo. So definitely get involved with so lucky, the city of Marion is backing us and the event will be entirely organized by theMarion youth collective committee. So some of that is going great.

[00:58:57] Josh

That is awesome.  And if the esteemed premier, as Peter malinauskas was, was here he’d be saying, just like you said at the gala dinner, say leading the way again with what you’re doing at local Council. What’s amazing, really good job. Thanks so much for being part of the inspirational Australian’s podcast and look forward to following your journeys and seeing all those amazing events come to life in the year ahead.

[00:59:19] Shannon

Thanks for having us

[00:59:20] Zane

and serving us today.

[00:59:24] Christine

The inspirational australian’s podcast is brought to you by awards Australia; we recognise, celebrate and share the stories of inspirational Australians through our awards Programs across the country. To find out more, to nominate an inspirational Australian in your life, or to partner with our awards, visit awards Australia dotcom. If you enjoyed today’s story, we’d love it if you could subscribe, rate and review to make sure you don’t miss an episode and to help our guests reach more people with their inspirational stories.