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The importance of youth voices for powerful advocacy

By April 24, 2023No Comments

Last year, we announced the expansion of our Youth Advisory Group alongside, Chair of the Group, Lucy Stronach.

Lucy’s extensive advocacy and human rights endeavours meet no bounds, from being the 2020/21 Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations, as well as a University Lecturer and Youth Programs Officer from Perth, WA (Whadjuk Noongar land). In February 2023, she was fortunate enough to travel to Geneva to pursue further work with the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and her experience was nothing short of captivating.

CEDAW is a body of 23 independent experts that work to monitor the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Adopted by the UN in 1979, this Convention seeks to oppose all forms of discrimination, including violence, poverty, and a lack of access to leadership and other human rights.

In Lucy’s two years of work with the CEDAW, she has supported Natasha Stott Despoja AO through triannual engagements with the States parties (or countries) who have ratified the Convention. Working through a series of General Recommendations (GR), 2022 was a breakthrough year for Lucy:

“Excitingly, in 2022, our newest GR (40), examines women’s leadership, and I’m sure it will be an invaluable tool for countries to improve the participation of women and girls in decision-making bodies.”

The significance of youth voices plays a key role in everything Lucy does, whether for the UN Committee or in their course of her duties as Chair of the Foundation’s Youth Advisory Group:

Lucy shared, “In my years working with this Committee, I have noted the absence of youth voices in key policy making bodies. The role that young people play in continuing advocacy efforts & pushing for change on local and global levels cannot be understated.”

Despite the challenging nature of the Committees work, Lucy is proud to be working amongst the brilliant individuals that are improving spaces for women and girls around the world. She says their next challenge will be in finding ways of including youth voices in this space in a substantive and meaningful way, as “without our youth involved, we will fail to progress.”

We are delighted to have Lucy Chair our Youth Advisory Group. She is an incredible young leader who continues to contribute her deep insight and experience towards Sir David Martin Foundation’s mission to give safety, hope and opportunity to all vulnerable young Australians.