This month, the Youth Voice Creative reflects on changes that they’ve been a part of, can see happening around them, and are passionate about making a reality. From personal to global perspectives, the pieces below reflect events that young people across Victoria are experiencing and issues that they are passionate about.

  • Autumn - Maddy

    The change of the seasons is like the change in ourselves as we grow. We realise that it’s the little changes in things that mean the most, and make the most difference. As we grow, we realise our own potential and fight for the things we believe in. At the end of the day, the changes we make to better our society are like the changes in the colours of the leaves on the trees, and the crunching of the old, withered, dried up leaves are the societal standards we conquer and overcome to grow into the people we are meant to be, and form the world we want to see.


    By Maddy Boland

    Green trees turn orange

    Leaves crunch under soft slow steps

    T-shirt turns to coat

  • Change from within - Michaela

    Michaela reflects on the injustices faced by First Nations people in our country, and puts out a compelling call to action for visitors of Virtual Y.

    Content warnings:

    • Warning to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People as this contains the names of deceased people
    • This also contains mentions of gun violence and police brutality


    Change from within

    By Michela Mulenga

    When I was given the prompt of ‘Change’ my first thought was to write something about climate change and my fear as young person, who is being led by a government who don’t care enough about young people to protect us from this threat we’re currently facing. 

    And then I was on social media recently and I found out that a police officer in the Northern Territory was found not guilty, of shooting and killing an Aboriginal Teenager by the name of Kumanjayi Walker.

    I sat with that for a while. And I came to a realisation that while an issue such as Climate Change needs to be addressed and action needs to be taken to stop this prevailing threat, I can’t stop thinking about, and felt a sense of urgency to talk about this prevailing threat. This threat that is causing the loss of so many lives and so many more if action isn’t taken. So, on this note:

    Bla(c)k Lives Matter.

    It’s beautiful and inspiring to see the triumph of voices being heard at protests worldwide, through social media campaigns and through the hundreds of thousands of names being signed on petitions, when Black Lives are being lost at the hands of racist police in the United States. But where is the worldwide or even nation-wide attention, when First Nations people are the victims of violent police brutality on our doorsteps. It’s happening in our states, in our country, in the northern territory, it’s happening everywhere. First Nations people are dying at the hands of police officers and these police officers are going back to their families, to their homes, to their children, to work and juries are finding them ‘not guilty’ and they are getting away with it.

    They’re getting away with murder, manslaughter whatever you name it, people are dying, and nothing is being done about it.

    I remember I had the chance to speak with a Victorian Judge during a zoom call that one of our teachers organised for our Legal Studies class sometime last year. I asked this well-respected judge “What do you think about the Aboriginal deaths in custody, and how can we finally hold people accountable for this?”. He asked me if I knew someone by the name of ‘Tanya Day’. I’d never heard of her, and he told me her story. An Aboriginal woman, sleeping on a train and being arrested for ‘being intoxicated in a public place’. She died in police custody after falling and hitting her head in the cell, and not being examined like it was required.

    Why was she put in this cell in the first place?’ he asked me.

    Would she have been arrested if she wasn’t Aboriginal?’.

    He begged the question that maybe systematic change was needed, to solve the root cause of this issue and to finally start holding people accountable for these deaths.

    It wasn’t a coincidence that Tanya Day was arrested for sleeping on a train. And it’s not a coincidence there have been over 500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths in police custody since 1991. It’s also not a coincidence that Aboriginal Australians make up 29% of Australia’s prison population.

    Sure, let’s start to remove guns from Indigenous communities and areas of course, but I really do believe that it starts with systematic change. We need to change the racist power systems in place that allow Indigenous people to be killed by the bodies that are supposed to be protecting them. Australia is built off of racism. It is built off of Genocide. It is built into our systems and it needs change to put an end to this.

    Michaela Mulenga (17, VIC)
  • Changes overdue in Parliament - Lauri

    Lauri sits down with Sulia to hear about the importance of climate action and the School Strike 4 Climate movement.


    Changes Overdue in Parliament

    Written by Lauri J. Pavlovich, March 2022

    At a time in such desperate need of change our leaders look to us, their youth, for global solutions. Last weekend 25th-28th of March Melbourne’s School Strike 4 Climate (SS4C) ran a three-day strike. It was a jam packed few days full of workshops, a rally, a community dinner/music night and a scavenger hunt to finish off. In the week leading up to it I sat down with Sulia, a year 11 organiser, to discuss the climate crisis.

    Who are SS4C? What do they aim to achieve?

    SS4C is a decentralized, grassroots student youth movement made up of students all over so called Australia fighting for climate justice in their communities.

    How did covid impact SS4Cs efforts?

    Covid lockdowns have really hurt the movement. Organising online, you never get the same feeling of marching in the city with thousands of others. We had a new crisis on hand and living in the pandemic was exhausting and it's hard to hold onto passion and hope. Also with no in person events there weren’t many chances for new strikers to learn the skills of in person organising. I’m hoping that now we are out of lockdown people will want to come together and form connections and bring new amazing energy to this movement.

    Why did you decide to get involved?

    I got involved in SS4C as I felt that because I have the time and resources I have a responsibility to do what I can for the climate movement. Watching the school strikes take off gave me so much hope and I wanted to be help other people feel that way. Climate anxiety can be such a lonely thing and having a community of people around you fighting for the same cause makes all the difference.

    How much work has gone into this weekend?

    I cannot possibly put into words how much energy and passion has gone into putting on this weekend. One huge thing I learnt from joining school strike is that action like this doesn’t just happen. Conversations around doing an extended strike have been going since long before we had a date for this action. These things take an enormous amount of energy and I think that is so important for organisers and the public to realise.

    What do you hope will come from this latest strike?

    I hope our action this weekend has gotten people energized about our movement. A four-day strike is not something we have done before and it came out of the idea of doing something new, to show that after all has happened, school strike is still around and the climate crisis is a more pressing issue than ever.

    If you had the opportunity to speak to our leaders about real change what would you tell them?

    Being part of school strike has shown just how many people are willing to work so so hard to protect the future. I've gotten to speak to so many people who have inspired and taught me so much about what it means to fight for climate justice. If I got to meet our leaders I would tell them that they are the ones holding us up. Everyday people are ones who are making change and we are ready to build a better future with or without them.

    This year marks my 18th birthday but more importantly it will be the first time I vote. I have attended strikes in an attempt to have my voice heard and used music as an outlet for climate anxiety. Now I can actively have my voice heard with where I place my vote. So called Australia has a rapidly aging population; if labour and the coalition hope to remain in power they need to change their climate policies to match the passion of young voters. Our generation will not continue enabling fossil fuels and the 1% with the mistakes of our parents and grandparents. If you turn 18 this year don’t forget to register to vote and research the different parties’ climate related promises. We will continue to facilitate the conversations necessary for real change to occur.

  • Cultural Symbiosis - Emily

    Cultural Symbiosis

    By Emily Unity

    I was born in Australia, but my parents were a Vietnamese refugee and a Malaysian migrant. It has been both a challenging and rewarding journey to navigate finding myself within all three cultures. For me, this artwork depicts my experiences of intense diaspora, self-stigma, and multi-layered racism. However, it also shows the beauty in being a part of three unique cultures.

    I have chosen to represent these with the national flowers of my cultural identities, the hibiscus rosa-sinensis for Malaysia, the nelumbo nucifera (lotus) for Vietnam, and the acacia pycnantha (golden wattle) for Australia. As vastly different plants can be symbiotic in nature, so too can different cultures.

    I hope that this artwork can start conversations about multiculturalism and the beauty of cultural symbiosis.

  • Fleeting Landscapes & ‘Portrait of my dear friend Ria’ - Parminder

    Parminder's poem and photo consider the connection between the body and the earth.

    Fleeting Landscapes

    By Parminder

    Fleeting landscapes
    Ephemeral feelings
    My heart swelling for the uncertainty
    Trying to survive the rupture

    Show me my ancestors before they burned
    I’m finding my family
    But mostly finding them dead

    becoming undone every day
    The demarcations of my body turning to dust
    Complete erasure of the soul

    imprinting myself onto the leaves of trees
    Blowing away with the meek whispers of the wind

    I leave quietly
    With grace and beauty
    Absolving myself of all past sins
    Having known I had nurtured
    And loved with as much courage


    ‘Portrait of my dear friend Ria’

    A bit about this piece:
    The poem 'Fleeting Landscapes' as well as the portrait of my dear friend Ria consider the body's connection to the earth. A dialogue between the landscape and the female body. For me, it is about connecting to the womb (nature) and re-establishing bonds with the material source. A lot of my work contains an ecological sensibility that emphasizes the reciprocity between the body and the land and resistance to colonialist ideas of land and territory.

  • How to find your feet at a new job - Savannah

    Starting a new job? No fear! Savannah has some tips and tricks to make sure your transition into the new workplace is as smooth as possible.

    How to find your feet at a new job - Savannah

    By Savannah

    Download How to find your feet at a new job pdf.


  • Making a big change is not impossible

    A summary of the message: making a big change is not impossible, it just takes time.

    Making a big change is not impossible

    By Anonymous

    This highlights the message of Anna Akana’s video on change.

  • New World?

    This short audio clip contains the recollections of a character about their discoveries of planet Earth, and why the world will not fall.

    New World?

    By Anonymous

    The idea of ‘New World?’ Is that an otherworldly message was intercepted by our team on earth. The short audio clip contains a recollection of a character who has experienced a tiresome journey on planet earth, or the ‘New World’, in hopes of finding a solution that can save their own world. However, realising quickly that the New World is heading to suffer the same fate as their world, the character is about to give up, until they discover the key to why the New World isn't going to fall. The key is the people raising their voices and taking action for change.


    I hope you’re paying attention, because you might wanna hear this
    The New World is not at all what it seems
    From our world, the New World looked beautiful, promising even
    The New World had been our second chance at life, you know?
    We would get our jewel blue rivers back. Our sweet aroma of air to fill our lungs again.
    All our hope that we pinned on the New World…
    It matters. It all matters.
    “The cost of living keeps increasing…”
    “Joe Biden has warned the Chinese president there could be consequences”
    “Fire still coming at us even though we were very well prepared…”
    It all matters
    Where you come from, what colour you’re born with, how much money you have…
    It hurts to see the fairy tale story about this New World we’re sold, our planet B… its all an illusion
    It felt like, the longer I walked on this planet, the more dirty secrets I uncover
    I guess what hurt even more… was the silence
    Was knowing that these terrible things were happening but feeling a static state of helplessness
    We came to the New World for a solution
    For the key to save ours from ruins
    But it seemed like this world needs help, just like ours
    I was ready to return to our world, with nothing but bad news and lost hope
    That is, until i heard a noise
    Loud noise that grew and grew
    Noise that grew from chatter to chanting
    I realised then that this New World has something we haven’t seen in a long time
    This world has empathy, this world has love, this world has people who want change
    This world has noise
    My friends, I’m afraid I’ll have to delay my return home
    This New World is changing and I am going to be a part of it
    To all the people of the New World who want to be a part of something bigger
    Who has that strange spark in you that’s driving you to scream out loud, that demands justice
    I hear you and I’ll find you
    Because this isn't just the New World, is it? It’s your world
    And you have a say in what becomes of it.

  • Small changes to reduce your carbon footprint - Cameron

    A short video about a small change that you could make to reduce your carbon footprint.


    By Cameron

  • Small changes towards zero waste (beginner's edition) - Tania

    Tania provides some easy examples of how you can also make your way towards zero waste.

    Small changes towards zero waste (beginner's edition)

    By Tania

    Small changes I've made in my daily routine to reduce waste:

    1. Reusable containers 

    2. Upcycling containers (e.g. glass jars)

    3. Regrowing food scraps (e.g. spring onions)

    . 4. Using produce bags whenever I go grocery shopping

    5. Using beeswax wraps instead of single use plastic

    6. Purchasing loose leaf tea and using tea strainers instead of tea bags whenever possible