QIYLP Post Program Report

QIYLP Post Program Report

Overview of QIYLP Participation and Post Program Opportunities

What is QIYLP?

The Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program (QIYLP) is a seven-day residential program held in Brisbane, providing young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders (ages 18–25) with a unique opportunity to strengthen their leadership skills and drive positive change in their communities. The program is a flagship initiative of the Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Strategy, offering intensive leadership workshops, mentoring, networking opportunities, and guidance on community project proposals and grant applications.

QIYLP recognises that leadership comes in many forms, whether it's as a sports team captain, a school leader, an older sibling, or through one's work. The program provides a space for young people of many different skill sets to come together and recognise their potential. It acknowledges that leadership is not confined to traditional roles but can be found in everyday actions and responsibilities.

Participants in QIYLP come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, and the program celebrates this diversity by providing tailored support and resources to help individuals grow as leaders. Whether someone excels in public speaking, community organising, or artistic expression, QIYLP offers the tools and opportunities to develop these skills further.

By recognising and nurturing the various forms of leadership, QIYLP empowers young Indigenous Queenslanders to realise their potential and become catalysts for positive change in their communities.


My Experience at QIYLP

 From September 16 to 22, 2023, I had the privilege of participating in the program. During this week-long residential stay, I engaged in a series of workshops facilitated by Indigenous community leaders and experts, focusing on leadership development and self-growth. Additionally, I had the opportunity to network with high-profile politicians, respected Elders, and community leaders, gaining valuable insights and connections.

Highlights of my experience included inspiring speeches by the incredible Leeanne Enoch, who shared her journey and insights as a prominent Indigenous leader, and Michael Berkman, whose advocacy for social and environmental justice resonated deeply with me. These encounters reinforced the importance of Indigenous representation and activism in shaping our communities' future.


Eric Deeral Youth Parliament

 As part of QIYLP, participants engage in the Eric Deeral Indigenous Youth Parliament, an immersive experience delivered by the Queensland Parliamentary Services. This one-day event provides a firsthand understanding of parliamentary processes and the opportunity to deliver speeches in the chambers.

During the Eric Deeral Youth Parliament, I had the opportunity to address the chamber on a topic close to my heart: the ongoing effects of colonisation on Indigenous communities. I spoke about how historical injustices, such as forced removal from traditional lands, the suppression of Indigenous languages and cultures, and systemic discrimination, continue to impact Indigenous peoples today.

Drawing from personal experiences and historical examples, I highlighted the enduring struggles faced by Indigenous communities and the importance of recognising and addressing these issues. I emphasised the need for meaningful reconciliation, acknowledging past wrongs, and working towards equitable solutions that empower Indigenous peoples and respect their rights.

My speech aimed to raise awareness among fellow participants and parliamentarians about the complexities of colonisation and its lasting impacts. It was an opportunity to advocate for change and challenge existing attitudes and policies that perpetuate inequality and marginalisation.


 Finding Family

 One of the most significant aspects of my QIYLP experience was the connections I built with fellow program attendees. Among them were @_artbycassie_ Cassandra Melville, a proud Aboriginal woman from the Northern Territory, and @blkstrength_ Phillip Jose, a proud Kuku-Yalanji man and Zendath Kes man from Cairns.

 Cassandra Melville is a dedicated advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Currently studying at Griffith University, Cassandra is passionate about pursuing a career in policy and governance to advocate for her community. In addition to her academic pursuits, Cassandra is an incredibly talented artist, specialising in acrylic on canvas. Her artwork reflects her deep connection to culture and community, and she uses her talents to inspire and empower others.

Phillip Jose, based in Cairns, is a dynamic force within his community. Proud of his Kuku-Yalanji and Zendath Kes heritage, Phillip is a Senior Project Officer for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Association. Beyond his professional role, Phillip is an advocate for his community, using his platform to address issues affecting Indigenous peoples. In his spare time, Phillip is also a powerlifter and a talented dancer. Recently, he launched his fitness and apparel brand, Blk Strength, which promotes health and wellness within Indigenous communities.

The connections I formed with Cassandra and Phillip, among others, were invaluable. We shared experiences, aspirations, and challenges, forging bonds that will endure beyond the program. These relationships have become a source of inspiration and support, driving us to continue our journeys as leaders and advocates within our communities.


Post Program Support

Following QIYLP, participants receive support through various post-program opportunities, empowering graduates to continue their leadership journey and implement positive changes in their communities. Throughout the QIYLP program, it was made clear that I would be supported not only in my professional endeavours as an early career lawyer but also in my personal endeavours through my business as an artist.

As an aspiring lawyer and artist, I expressed my goals to expand my business beyond retail and art-based ventures. Specifically, I aim to facilitate free and accessible community events such as culture and craft weaving and painting sessions. These events would not only promote Indigenous art and culture but also provide opportunities for community members to engage in creative activities and connect with their cultural heritage.

With the support received from QIYLP, I plan to realise these goals by developing and implementing community-focused projects that align with my aspirations. This includes accessing post-program funding to organise events that promote cultural awareness and celebrate Indigenous art forms. Additionally, I intend to leverage the skills and knowledge gained from the program to establish partnerships and secure resources that will enable the realisation of my vision.

By expanding my business to include community events, I hope to create spaces where individuals can come together, learn, and express themselves creatively. These initiatives will not only benefit my community but also contribute to the broader goal of fostering understanding and appreciation for Indigenous culture.

- Amelia 



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