Young people plan actions to make shifts in the world

Sue Lennox AM, co-founder of OzGREEN and founder of Youth Leading The World at the YLTW congress in Toormina recently.

YOUTH Leading The World Coffs Harbour, an OzGREEN program, convened its 2023 congress at The Link, Toormina, on Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 July, with delegates aged 12-25 years.

Hosted by co-founder of OzGREEN, Sue Lennox AM, who founded YLTW, the two-day event connects young people locally and globally to help mobilise the next generation of social innovators.

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“They were really deep thinkers,” Sue told News Of The Area.

Their guiding thought was to consider, “what is the shift in the world that you want to be part of, and what are you going to do to be part of that”.

The program focused on identifying their top concerns and brainstorming these ideas to create a vision.

“Many of the young people said that this was the first time they’d had a chance to really talk about how they were feeling and think it through.”

This allowed them to learn and develop the skill of deep listening.

“We teach them this life skill for this type of situation, that when you’re asking questions, your role is to listen; it’s not a discussion.

“Listen and allow space and through this process thinking goes to a whole new level and deep ideas come up; they were very excited by this,” said Sue.

For many of them this was the first time being amongst other young people who are as enthusiastic as them about creating their future world.

“They may have been on the journey but now they are ready to move on with a vision and a focus; that is important.”

An eye-opening session during the congress was a live link to the YLTW group in Sierra Leone.

“That really captured their imagination and it demonstrated that they are part of an international movement, it’s not just something they’re doing on the Coffs Coast.”

Moving on to creating a workable outcome, the delegates formed groups and developed action plans.

Four of the top action plans they came up with were to run a ‘fun family climate music festival’, to organise Coffs Coast climate action rallies, to produce Informative videos, flyers and posters about climate change and create vegetarian cooking workshops and youth-led workshops, influencing others to reduce their eco-footprint.

“We know from experience gained over the last three decades that the success of these planned youth initiatives is greatly increased with regular follow-up meetings to support them to deliver their planned actions and designing actions they can achieve within three months.”

Youth Leading the World is part of a larger OzGREEN initiative known as Youth Inspiring Youth (YIY) that has gained two years of grant funding from the NSW government.

Both of these factors are built into YIY, with the important follow-up ‘Change Makers’ meetings taking place each Tuesday afternoon during term 3.

Young people aged 10-16 years are invited to join with the inspiring crew from Youth Leading the World to deliver these ideas, or their own ideas.

You can register at

OzGREEN’s Sam, Kaleb and Kathleen manage the Change Makers program, meeting every Tuesday at the Botanical Gardens from 4-5.30pm.

The program provides a mix of fun activities, new skills and project work, focusing on supporting young people to plan and deliver a project that is meaningful and youth driven.

In other OzGREEN news, the next Weather Watch 101 session takes place in Sawtell on Saturday 22 July, 2-3.30pm, supported by City of Coffs Harbour, the workshop is free.

Register at


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