Five minutes with youth advocate Yasmin Poole | HerCanberra

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Five minutes with youth advocate Yasmin Poole

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ANU student Yasmin Poole has been described as a ‘human megaphone for Gen Z’.

Indeed, you may have previously seen Yasmin on ABC’s The Drum and Q&A discussing key generational issues—or even last night, when Yasmin was featured on The Project where it was revealed that she had been named the recipient of the Youth Influencer of the Year award from The King Center, which honours the legacy of Martin Luther King Junior, a massive achievement for the young activist.

On The Project she described Martin Luther King Jnr as the “one of the first historical figures that really made me think about my place in society…it’s a ‘pinch yourself’ kind of moment.”

Yasmin is also currently the National Ambassador for Plan International Australia and a Board Member for YWCA Australia, a proud intersectional feminist organisation focused on improving gender equality for women, young women and girls.

For 140 years, YWCA has challenged the systems, structures and policies that act as barriers to women, especially young women, achieving their full potential.

Yasmin developed a strong sense of justice at a young age. After growing up in a low-income family in country Victoria, she decided she would stand up for disadvantaged communities and create a fairer Australia. Yasmin began her journey at 17 years old volunteering for several youth-led NGOs. Through this experience, she realised the power of youth voice.

“I’m passionate about supporting and amplifying the voices of young people,” says Yasmin. “Often, the youth of Australia are completely disenfranchised. They’re not included in ordinary decision-making.”

“Instead, decisions about their well-being and future are made in boardrooms by people completely disconnected from their reality. I want to shift that paradigm and make sure young people’s voices are heard.”

Yasmin, who is set to graduate with a Bachelor of Law and International Relations from the ANU in 2022, has previously been the Chair of the Victorian Government’s Youth Congress, representing over a million young Australians.

She also led the global business development of 180 Degrees Consulting, a youth-led social impact consultancy that spans across 30 countries. She has represented Australian youth in conferences such as APEC and the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

“I’m here to make a difference. Working with organisations like YWCA means a lot to me,” says Yasmin. “YWCA is a national not-for-profit organisation with a strong and positive reputation. They have the expertise and experience to understand the systemic issues and barriers faced by women, young women and girls in Australia. YWCA is respected by governments, corporate partners, and other not-for-profit organisations as a leading voice for young women across Australia.”

For now, Yasmin is looking forward to returning to Canberra. “It’s the home of Australian democracy and a key place for changemakers to be.”

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