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Proving Millennial Stereotypes Wrong

Kate Crowhurst

In May 2013, the front cover of TIME Magazine read “Millennials are lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents”.

It’s meant to be funny, and you can see the underlying joke, but the problem is when we don’t disprove the stereotype. Yes, we all have those friends who upload more pouting selfies than hours in the day but ultimately if they have a cause or issue that goes so deep, they’ll pin you to the wall to articulate its importance.

As a Young Social Pioneer with the Foundation of Young Australians, I’ve met some amazing young people from around the country. What I observed from working alongside them is that they are all driven to make a difference on issues that could better the world around them – hardly what you’d expect from the millennial stereotype.

In the current age of political uncertainty, it’s never been more important that we disprove the stereotype and step up as young Australians to engage with those who make decisions on our behalf – politicians. And that’s why I created Advocate.

Advocate aims to connect young people like me – aged between 18 and 30 – with their local politician, starting right here in Canberra. In doing so, we can directly communicate and advocate for the issues we care about to political decision-makers. It also provides the opportunity to humanise the politicians we read about and to understand more about why they put their hands up to represent us. We’re also getting community leaders to come and talk to young Canberrans, and in doing so, develop their ability to advocate. 

We’re in our first year, and we’re taking small steps to shift how the millennial generation is perceived by those who are making decisions for our future. By facilitating direct discussion, the Advocate program has huge potential to ensure that politicians consider the youth voting demographic at a local level when making key decisions.

We want to contribute to a culture in which more young Canberrans put their hand up to talk about what matters to them and that they communicate with politicians who can help shape the future of key policy areas.   

Ultimately, we’re working toward a new Time Magazine cover in a decade that reads as follows: “Millennials are passionate, contributing and ready to take on the world that they will inherit.”

Applications for the first Advocate cohort are open until 12 March 2018, with rolling recruitment for the next intake of participants.

Head to www.advocate.org.au to apply or to support the Advocate program, get in touch at [email protected]

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Kate Crowhurst

Originally from Bahrain, Kate first arrived in Canberra extremely cold and in need of coffee. She runs the Global Shapers movement in Canberra, a network of young leaders from different fields and is on the Executive of the ACT National Council of Women. Kate was a Young Social Pioneer with the Foundation of Young Australians, who helped develop Advocate. She is currently focused on building the Advocate program, to ensure more young Canberrans get the opportunity to meet regularly with their Territory politicians. More about the Author

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