Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Change, it’s a strong word. Change makers even stronger

This is an extract from an article written by Victoria Waid, a Year 12student. She is one of the brilliant young speakers at the NCWV student event My Vote My Voice 2015 at the Parliament of Victoria on Monday Aug. 10.

My name is Victoria Waid, and I am a change maker. My vision is to live in a world where all children can realise their full potential in societies that respect people’s rights and dignity. Change does not come to those that wait. Change happens when you put your heart and soul into everything you do, and everything you're passionate for. It happens when you go out into the world and bring about change.

On 30 September 2014, I had the privilege of representing Girl Guides Victoria and Plan International in Canberra, for the ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign that aims at unleashing the incredible potential of women’s empowerment. To celebrate the 2014 International Day of the Girl, I travelled to Canberra to highlight the importance of leadership for young women and girls and supporting their active participation in political, social, and economic spaces.

Educating and empowering girls to become leaders and change makers in their communities is critical to breaking the cycle of poverty and securing a better world for all. With the Millennium Development Goals finishing and a new set of goals being decided, right now we have a once in a generation opportunity to tell our leaders to put girls front and centre in our development priorities for the next decade and beyond. To do this, Plan Australia supported 25 young female advocates from around Australia, and from Pakistan, to stage a major parliamentary event in Canberra where we presented our call to action. Here, in Canberra, we presented to some of Australia’s top politicians, a book titled ‘Our Book of Ambitions’. This book is the heart and soul of our project. Contained in this book, is our declaration to include children's and women’s rights on the post 2015 agenda. Enclosed in this book, is the voice of Australia, and what they want to see change in the world.

Image courtesy Victoria Waid (centre) with friends, at the Because I am a Girl launch in Canberra, September 2014. Source: http://www.academy.vic.edu.au/_uploads/rsfil/00989.pdf, Victoria’s story is also in the Girls Guides Victoria publication GGV Guiding stories: https://www.guidesvic.org.au/Documents/GuidingCommunity/GGVGuidingStories.pdf