For Young People

Taking Part:

Youth-led organisations

Over the last few years, youth-led organisations have had a growing impact on advocacy and activism in Australia. These organisations are run and staffed by young people, and their members are all young people. They are usually based around a main vision or issue.

Youth-led organisations are unique because they’re controlled by young people (mostly volunteers). Youth-leds generally have an age limit for membership, so they truly represent young people. Power and decision making is usually spread throughout the organisation. Youth-leds often aim for community development or social action. Or they may exist especially to provide services or training for young people, or to support young people’s interests.

There are a number of youth-led organisations operating in Victoria.

Here are three examples:


The Western Young People's Independent Network (WYPIN) is an organisation led by young people from diverse backgrounds. It’s based in the western region of Melbourne and it works to achieve a vision of an inclusive, multicultural society.

Watch Jamal and Abdul explain more more about WYPIN in this video.


SYN is a media organisation run by a community of young people. It provides training and radio, TV and Internet broadcast opportunities for young Australians. SYN volunteers can learn how to present or produce radio shows and TV programs, contribute online writing and podcasting, and join the leadership team to inspire how SYN looks and sounds.

UN Youth Victoria

UN Youth is a national youth-led charity. It aims to provide young people with knowledge of the social and political problems confronting the world and the skills to tackle them. Based on the ideas of the United Nations, it encourages young people to make a difference in their communities.

Watch Adam Pulford, the Australian Youth Representative 2013, speak at the UN General Assembly:

Some other youth-led organisations include:
  • Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) – a national youth movement dedicated to solving the climate crisis.
  • Batyr – a youth-led educating and empowering young people to speak out about social and mental health issues.
  • IMARA advocacy – a group of young people in Melbourne working to challenge racism and protect young people’s rights.
  • Left-Right – an independent, non-partisan ‘think-tank’ of young minds that wants to involve young people in public policy.
  • Minus 18 – Australia’s largest network for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans youth.
  • Oaktree – a national youth-led movement to end poverty.

* By featuring the people and organisations above, we're not recommending or endorsing them. Please read the Yerp disclaimer for more info.

If there are other youth-led organisations you think we should include in Yerp, just let us know!

What you can do now

Prasard, A. (2012),Youth-Led Organisations: Recruitment and Retention, Youth Action Policy Paper, Sydney: Youth Action.

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