Mary Harm

Mary is a proud Samoan/Chinese/Fijian who grew up on the sunny coast lines of Brisbane. She is a recent communications graduate passionate about community and the notion of storytelling in creating social change. During her studies Mary played a key role in establishing The University of Queensland’s first ever South Pacific Islander Association – UQ SPIA and is the first female and current president of the Asia Pacific Youth Parliament for Water. She recently joined the climate justice space as a Pacific Climate Warrior, using her passion for storytelling to educate and mobilise communities to achieve global action on climate change. Mary is a content writer for Cultural Pulse sharing the achievements of multicultural Australians and through a highly competitive application process, was recently selected as a delegate to MYAN Australia’s national youth summit – FUSE 2019.

By Young People, For Young People – speaking out about safety

Much of the current thinking about and approaches to child safety flow from adult notions of what we would like to protect children from. In this instance, ‘adults’ can mean people working with children and young people or parents and family members. In contrast however, most young people are able to understand the ideas of threat and protective behaviours, even if they are do not always know how to protect themselves. They are also likely to have an individual concept of what ‘safety’ means for them and how this might be achieved. Greater appreciation of the world as it looks and feels to young people and the personal frameworks they use to understand the nature of risk and threat must help us design and implement effective organisational strategies to give young people a ‘safe place’.

This panel session will be facilitated by a young person who will engage other young people in a conversation about their individual perspectives; their concepts of safety, examples of times and situations which have made them feel unsafe and what would have made those situations feel safer and more comfortable for them. Panel members will bring a diversity of personal experiences, study backgrounds, skill sets and cultural heritage. Delegates will gain unique insights into what safety is, and feels like, for these young people and hear in their own words what has and hasn’t helped to keep them safe from abuse in organisations and government systems.

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