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Want to improve your leadership skills? Want to develop a project to make a difference? We run innovative and engaging programs that give you the opportunity to gain a deeper awareness of self and others as well as have the knowledge, confidence and resilience to make a contribution to society and have a say in your community.

Young people offer original insights, opinions and have the potential to provide innovative solutions to complex problems, but are rarely engaged to share these views. All too often they remain at the margins of the political, social and economic mainstream. This lack of youth involvement is often attributed to a lack of interest and disengagement. The real issue, however, is that they are excluded from the decision-making process.

The Huddle creates opportunities for young people to obtain the tools to participate in the political, social and economic debate and assist in for positive change for their community. Enabling pathways for young people to access decision making spaces, this helps lead to the empowerment of a generation of leaders and people who are not afraid to speak up and take action on the things that matter most to them.

Schools

The Huddle works in partnerships with schools to support the civic participation of young people in the community. Using extensive networks and partnerships, The Huddle facilitates opportunities for young people to participate in events, projects and committees on local and national levels. Through a range of programs offered by the Huddle, schools have the opportunity to collaborate with us and create opportunities for young people to speak up and have their issues heard in the community.

VCAL Personal Development Strand

The Huddle works in partnership with schools to support the implementation of the VCAL Personal Development and Work Related Skills Strands for Foundation, Intermediate and Senior programs. The Huddle uses a holistic approach to the learning by supporting project-based activities that integrate the learning outcomes within the projects. The Huddle works with the school to create innovative ways to deliver the lessons that encourage personal development and reflection. The lessons use student centred experiential learning activities in a fun and collaborative environment utilising the resources at the Huddle and the North Melbourne Football Club.

True North

True North is a leadership program which aims to empower a generation of young leaders who are not afraid to speak up and take action on things that matter most to them. Through participation, we aim to engage, support and empower young people to Learn, Grow and Belong in their community through a range of initiatives with a focus on leadership education, career aspiration and active civic participation.

The program is designed to increase community connection and develop the capacity of young people and their opportunities for participation in social, economic and community life. This includes raising cross-cultural awareness initiatives, leadership and citizenship. We work with a range of community groups, service providers and government partners to increase program scope, and the opportunity for participants to develop their understanding of their own leadership capabilities

Volunteering

The Huddle is uniquely positioned in the community to facilitate opportunities for young people to build their skills, confidence and sense of belonging through volunteering in the community.  Using the extensive partnerships of the NMFC, the Huddle creates pathways for young people to access volunteering opportunities in local business, not for profit organisations, community advisory groups and sporting clubs.

Voice Your Voice

Voice Your Voice is an initiative designed to enable young people to amplify issues in the community that are important to them. Through a range of workshops, participants develop a series of ideas how to address issues that impact on their mental health and wellbeing, resilience and social inclusion. These ideas are then workshopped and pitched to local politicians, philanthropists and community leaders to turn their idea into reality. This program has been developed in partnership with Vic Health and the Foundation of Young Australians.

Social Cohesion: Social Marketing Campaign against hate

The Huddle, City of Wyndham, the City of Whittlesea and the Centre for Multicultural Youth all teamed up together to deliver an innovative project where young people took the lead in a social marketing campaign against hate and racism and to promote social cohesion. Young people were guided, mentored and equipped with the skills to facilitate and launch these campaigns through social-marketing.

This initiative aimed to engage young people in a unique, innovative and exciting anti-racism/positive social cohesion campaign. The multi-faceted and cross-organisational venture aimed to empower young people to be able to:
• Take a stand against hate and racism
• Collectively launch and steer a major social marketing scheme
• Actively take part in an integrated communications campaign
• Use contemporary marketing based methodologies to tackle an issue of social significance
• Help prevent radicalisation and violent extremism

• Build resilience to prevent hate speech
• Empower them to create positive & constructive dialogue in their community
• Strengthen relationships between young people
• Highlight role they play in creating social cohesion in our community
• Increase the understanding of marginalised people
• Increase the inclusion of marginalised people
• Increase the trust in local community members
• Increase value of diversity & resilience

Meet Nawal…

“NAWAL HAS GROWN FROM A PARTICIPANT IN MANY OF THE HUDDLE’S PROGRAMS, TO AN ACTIVE VOLUNTEER, ADVOCATE AND LEADER.”

It’s with a wry smile that one of The Huddle’s strongest advocates admits she only visited the study support program for the first time because her friend dragged her there.

“My friend said, ‘You’re welcome here’,” 19-year-old Nawal Hersi reflects.

“Pretty quickly I realised The Huddle is not just about making friends; it’s about being part of something.”

Four years later, Nawal has grown from a participant in many of The Huddle’s programs, to an active volunteer, advocate and leader.

“I came in as a kid and now I’ve got a seat at the adult table,” she said. 

During Year 12, she started to take on more responsibility, becoming School Captain, and volunteering to write and edit The Huddle’s monthly newsletter. She applied to university that year and received an early offer from La Trobe to study Media and Public Relations.

“That was such a relief,” she said.

“To know that on the back of my work at The Huddle I’d been accepted into my chosen course took a lot of pressure off.”

As well as studying for her degree, Nawal is now a member of The Huddle’s Advisory Committee, and works as a peer facilitator in the Sisters Through Sport program. She also took the opportunity to step up as a spokesperson for The Huddle in a recent report for ABC News 24’s Australia Wide program, appearing along with The Huddle Chair, Peter Scanlon, and North Melbourne Football Club former Captain, Andrew Swallow.

Creating environments for young people to express their ideas and hone their leadership skills is a priority at The Huddle. “I hope the steps I take and the footprints I leave make it easier for others to follow,” Nawal says of her leadership role.

“I say to the girls in Sisters Through Sport ‘we can do this!’ It’s an attitude of having a go. If I ask my girls to run a mile, I will run a mile too. I put myself in their shoes, in their position, and I run with them.”

In 2015, Nawal’s connections through The Huddle led to her selection as one of ten young people to join the Australian Multicultural Foundation’s Leadership program in Canberra. Nawal researches issues impacting young people, including mental health and domestic violence and presents advice back to her peers in the program.

“I like seeing what can be changed for the better, and making things better for other people,” Nawal says.

Young leaders like Nawal provide inspiration for hundreds of people engaged in The Huddle’s programs, motivating the next generation of community advocates.

“The Huddle means a lot to me,” Nawal says.

“And the reward I get works both ways – I get it as a leader and as a participant who has had the chance to try so many new things.”