YOUth exCHANGE: Tools to take participation to the next level

The language of youth participation has woven itself into policies, charters, frameworks and practice manuals across the welfare and support sector. From youth centres to residential care units, from agency boardrooms to government committees the notion of needing to ‘hear the voice of young people’ is considered a given.

Despite this almost universal commitment, the practice of engaging young people as informants is inconsistent at best, and (arguably) damaging at worst.

If we go a step further and look at where young people are not just heard, but are active participants in and drivers of action and change, the examples become even thinner on the ground.

With the rise of local and global social justice campaigns driven by the people most affected, young people are coming of age in a world where their experiences can be the key to social change. But what about young people who have lived through disadvantage? What about those for whom a lifetime of being cared for, protected and supported by agencies and systems has left them unaware of, ill-equipped for and without the confidence to claim their right to be heard and play a role in driving change on the issues that affect them most.

To create spaces for young people to step into their rights, there first has to be a perception shift. We must examine the way we conceptualise young people, how we understand our own roles as workers, carers and advocates, and how the systems and structures we operate within facilitate or impede progress.

Designed to radically shift your youth engagement practice from engagement to exchange, this new 2 day training has been developed with lived experience at its core. Facilitators Crystal Moon and Lauren Oliver have over 25 years of expertise between them drawn from lived experience and professional practice.

Attendees can expect to engage in a combination of reflection, discussion and action that:

  • Provides an insight into participatory practice from a young person’s perspective;
  • Challenges assumptions and preconceptions about youth work, young people, disadvantage and participation;
  • Addresses some of the key barriers to young people’s participation; and
  • Develops a set of strategies and tools to radically shift the way we engage and exchange with young people.

Workshop Dates

There are three YOUth exCHANGE workshops scheduled for 2018 in Melbourne.

23 – 24 April 2018
29 – 30 August 2018
5 – 6 December 2018

Tailored Training

The Youth Exchange training can be tailored for delivery to individual organisations in Victoria and Australia-wide. If you would like to discuss this option, please contact Lauren Oliver on (03) 9429 9266 or via


Time & Date

April 23, 2018 @ 8:00 am - April 24, 2018 @ 5:00 pm

Additional Info

The cost of this event is: Free

This event has been organised by: