Youth Leadership and Governance
Youth leadership is a part of our DNA.
Canteen was set up by a group of young cancer patients in 1985 and we still have young people involved at every level of the organisation. Not only do our young leaders ensure that we truly understand how cancer is different in a young person’s world, they are developing the skills, resilience, and confidence to contribute meaningfully to the world around them through their experiences of leadership in Canteen.
There are many opportunities for young people to get involved as valued contributors to the organisation. Every young person is empowered as an expert in their own wellbeing and can also sign-up to become a Member (there’s no charge) to exercise their vote on matters which affect them and the future of Canteen.
Members participate in local leadership groups which enable them to get involved (according to their interest and skill) in governance, advocacy, fundraising and as a powerful support to one another online, in person and on programs.
Canteen is also unique in that the majority of the Board of Directors are young leaders elected by the Member Advisory Council (as outlined in the Canteen Constitution). The Board Chair is elected by the Board and must also be a young person.
Underpinning all youth leadership and governance at Canteen is the Executive team, led by CEO Peter Orchard.
Canteen is currently in the fourth year of its five-year strategic plan. The plan is based on four pillars:
- Treatment and support – everything Canteen does to support young people living with cancer.
- Research – understanding the impact cancer has on young people and working out the best ways to respond.
- Sustainability – raising funds to support young people, having the best possible team of people, fostering high levels of awareness in the community, and ensuring we have cutting edge digital assets such as Canteen Connect.
- Leadership – guiding governments in what they fund, driving international collaboration and thought leadership, our valued partnerships and our Youth Leadership Framework.