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Roving Reporter Profile : Steph R, NYW Victorian Young Member 2011/12,
Hi, I’m Steph and I like drinking pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. Actually, I don’t enjoy getting caught in the rain that much, as the last time I did I got whipped in the face by my umbrella. Ah, Melbourne weather.
After that seemingly irrelevant introduction, you’re probably a bit confused as to what that has to do with anything. Well, I got picked to be the Young Member for Victoria for NYW 2012. When I got the call, I asked twice if they were sure. It seemed so far removed from my reality, that I had trouble believing it.
Turns out, I hadn’t heard wrong, and I was in fact going to be working closely with the Office for Youth for the next 12 months. I panicked briefly, but then reminded myself that this was an amazing opportunity to represent the young people of Victoria, and it was something I genuinely cared about being involved in.
So, who on earth am I? Until I landed this gig, you couldn’t even google me. You couldn’t search the fact I call Frankston my home town, or that I am currently studying community services and work as a Youth Support Worker. I’m hoping to finish a Social Work degree and then work with a humanitarian organisation on projects in Asia and the South Pacific.
I’m a member of Youth Affairs Council of Victoria, Amnesty International and Sea Shepherd, and I volunteer with the Salvation Army Youth Street Teams in the Melbourne CBD. I donate blood regularly and it doesn’t even freak me out.
I finished Year 12 in 2007, and I spent my 21st birthday this year on a pirate ship (I was in Bali and they have some interesting establishments over there). I’ve been playing netball since I was 6 (except for the last 12 months because I went and tore my ACL and had a knee reconstruction, so I’m part bionic woman now coz I have two titanium screws in me). I think I’m amazing at Singstar but it’s a contentious issue among my family and friends.
So, I’m just like every one of you, trying to figure out my five-year plan and how to make it happen. I am passionate about the issues facing young people, and overcoming the negative view that is generally applied to us. By becoming the Young Member for Victoria, I get to stand up and make sure young Victorians get their ideas, opinions and views across to the people planning NYW. By being the gateway, it means NYW will be a celebration of young people, for young people, by young people.
So, if you see me in the water at Phillip Island trying to becoming the next Steph Gilmore, or at Swinburne Uni, don’t be afraid to come and say hi. I’ll probably try and figure out where I know you from at first, but as long as you’re ready to handle how fast I talk, I’m always up for a chat and would love to hear what you have to say.