“I love finding connections with other people, I love asking questions and I love pushing for new limits and being uncomfortable.
I spent seven years as a facilitator with the Reach Foundation, running workshops and training sessions. It was a privilege to connect with young people beyond the kids that others see them as. I had so many honest and unlikely conversations regardless of their background, age or experience.
In the last five years, Australia’s young people have changed. They’ve switched on to what’s happening in the world because it’s been shaken up — by people like Trump, climate change, politics in Australia, the bushfires. Young people have to grow up in a much more hostile world. So we’re having more of an opinion. We ask ourselves what we can do to address issues rather than relying on the older generations to fix things for us. There has been a loss of trust in leaders and business plus we have greater access to information than ever before.
I think Australia needs to start closing the gap between generations — between young people wanting to help and older people in positions of power. Rather than dismissing people because they’re young, I think we need to channel their energy. We need to be better at listening, to all people — people of colour, Indigenous people, young people, the elderly. The art of listening has been lost.
And s p a c e is all about listening. The focus isn’t on what you do. My favourite thing about the experience last year was that everyone was responsible for contributing. There were no bystanders or passengers. Imagine if everyone around us was this active and intentional all the time.”
*Interview and write-up- s p a c e storyteller, Sian Gooden