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Young Men & Women – A Community’s Greatest Asset. By: Peter Kenyon Director Bank of I . D . E . A . S (Initiatives for the Development of Enterprising Action and Strategies) Ph: 61 – 8 – 6293 1848 Fax: 61 – 8 – 6293 1137 email: [email protected] web:

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Young Men & Women – A Community’s Greatest Asset

By: Peter Kenyon


Bank of I.D.E.A.S

(Initiatives for the Development of Enterprising

Action and Strategies)

Ph: 61 – 8 – 6293 1848

Fax: 61 – 8 – 6293 1137

email:[email protected]



My Passions

  • Building healthy and inclusive


  • Enabling young women and

men to be seen, heard and



By far the most important factor in the ratings of success was …

‘How people feel about their community’

(The Success Factors – Managing Change in Regional and Rural Australia – Rural Women’s Advisory Council)


‘Volunteering has consistently been identified in the study as a critical factor of the future success of rural and regional communities. It has been the single most important factor in people feeling good about their communities, and hence working for their community’s greater success’

(Rural Women’s Advisory Council – ‘The Success Factors Managing Change in Regional and Rural Australia’)


‘Yet the rate of volunteering is

declining at a time when it is

most needed. Older volunteers are burning out and younger people are being discouraged from participating by the prevalence of barriers that make them feel negative about their communities’

(Rural Women’s Advisory Council –

‘The Success Factors Managing Change in Regional and Rural Australia’)


‘Younger people need more opportunities to create and implement their own ways of increasing the community’s options, viability and quality of life.’

(Rural Women’s Advisory Group, (2001)

The Success Factors Managing Change in Regional and Rural Australia)

Lesson 1.

See young people as a unique community asset, not a community problem


Historic View Of Young People

  • cause problems
  • have problems
  • are problems

SOCRATES (500BC) - ‘Our youth today now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority, disrespect for older people. Children now days are tyrants, they no longer rise when elders enter the room, they contradict their parents, they chatter before company, gobble their food and tyrannise their teachers. They have execrable manners, flout authority, have no respect for their elders. What kind of awful creatures will they be when they grow up.’

ARISTOTLE (300 BC) - ‘When I look at the younger generation, I despair for the future of civilisation.’


PLATO - ‘Of all animals, the boy is the most unmanageable.’

PETER THE HERMIT (1274) - ‘The world is passing through troubled times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age; they are impatient of all restraint; they talk as if they alone know everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are foolish and immodest and unwomanly in speech, behaviour and dress.’

DISRAELI - \'Youth is a blunder\'


‘The youth of the present day are quite monstrous. They have absolutely no respect of dyed hair.’


‘Youth is such a wonderful thing.

What a crime to waste it on children.’




Latin word from which

the word teenager originates.

It means ‘grief, strife and misery’


‘When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.’

(Mark twain)


‘Inside every older person is a younger person – wondering what the hell happened’



Unique Contribution By Young Women and Men

  • Fresh perspectives
  • Great collaborators
  • Make the dollar stretch
  • Passionate about issues, eg,

environment / sustainability

  • Idealism
  • Impatience
  • Attract the attention of the media
  • Best know what other young people

think and want


Young people have deficiencies

and needs

Young people

have capacities and assets


Paradigm Change RegardingYoung Men and Women

ProblemProblem Solver

ClientChange Maker


At risk populationLeadershipasset

to be dealt with to be cultivated

Tomorrow’s Part of today’s

Leaders Leadership team

Adult in the A citizen today



Oppose Adultism

‘Adultism is a term applied to any behavior, action, language or limitation placed on young people’s rights and participation that does not afford them the respect that they deserve as citizens. It is often predicated on the belief that because someone is young, they lack skill, intelligence or ability.’

Lesson 2.

Recognise the positive leadership contribution of young people


‘Youth are the leaders

of today, not tomorrow.

We are assets, not liabilities. We are solutions, not a problem to be solved’

(Sooraya Mentor, South Africa)


Consider These Facts

  • Joan of Arc lead 3,000 French knights to victory in the Battle of Orleans at age 17
  • Mozart composed his first symphony at age 6
  • Ned Kelly was hung at age 25
  • Ivor Evans designed the Australian flag at age 14.
  • Einstein wrote his first paper on the theory of relativity at age 16


Are You Making A Difference?

- An Initiative of the Education Foundation -


Three Levels Of Madness

Level One – Commit to a mad day

Level Two – Create a team or year long mad project

Level Three – Establish A Mad student Foundation

Lesson 3.

Structure creative opportunities for young people to lead, teach and do

Lead ON

Objective: to find ways of engaging, informing and connecting young people to the business and broader community, thereby exposing them to what is possible in their community.


Opening ‘doors and windows’ to enable young people to pursue personal, career and community dreams


Lead On Outcomes

  • Community interconnectedness
  • Enhanced community capacity
  • Strengthened personal capacity

(confidence, awareness, ability to engage

in conversation with adults, enterprise


  • Significant community development projects
  • Employment / career opportunities

The ‘Lead On ‘ name evolved from the notion of what each opportunity ‘Leads on to’.

Since 1999:
  • 3700 young people involved in 800+ Lead On projects
  • 15 communities now sponsoring

Lead On programs

  • 250 young people have found employment directly through participation

Lead On Kalamunda

  • Being launched in early September with –
  • - opening of shop front office / workspace
  • - 20 person Board (50 % young people)
  • - first project – launch of Community’s first local newspaper ‘Kalamunda Community Matters’
  • Community Door Program
  • Kalamunda MAD Day (>4000 students)
  • Community Passions and Skills Audit

Community Skills and Passion Audit

  • HANDS(things I know how to do and enjoy, e.g.

project organisation, gardening, painting, rock

climbing, cooking, jewellery making, using the

internet, sign language etc)

  • HEART(things I care deeply about, e.g.

environment, intergenerational activities, animal

welfare, women’s rights, youth unemployment etc)

  • HEAD (things I know something about, and would

enjoy talking about or teaching to others about,

e.g. local history, conservation, business

management etc)


‘There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our young people – one of these is roots, the other is wings’

(Hodding Carter)


‘We believe the children are the future…

Teach them well and let them lead the way…

Show them all the beauty they possess inside…

Give them a sense of pride…

Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be’

(Song by George Benson)


Contact Details

Peter Kenyon

Ph: +61 8 6293 1848 Fax: + 61 8 6293 1137

14 Bird Rd, Kalamunda WA 6076

Email for copy of presentation:

[email protected]

Website for bookshop & newsletter mailing list: