Introducing YARN - Our First Nations Youth Leadership Group

Submitted by Analytics oa on 26 May 2022
26 May 2022

We at Canteen acknowledge the Traditional and Cultural Custodians of the lands, waters and seas across Australia, pay our respects to Elders past and present, and recognise the role of current and emerging leaders in shaping better health and wellbeing outcomes for First Nations peoples. 

As we head into National Reconciliation Week, Canteen is excited to be recruiting bright young leaders for our new First Nations youth leadership group.

The creation of the Young Adult Reconciliation Network (YARN) is part of our commitment to invest in young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as leaders within our organisation.

Canteen was set up by young people, for young people, and youth leadership has always been a core part of what our organisation stands for. A vast majority of our Board of Directors are young leaders, who offer their distinctive voices and views of the world.

Young people have many opportunities to lead at Canteen, as mentors, ambassadors and advocates, and are supported and empowered by the opportunity. Meanwhile, the contribution they make to our organisation is critical because they bring with them unique insights into what it is like to be a young person affected by cancer.

Similarly, we know we need to hear more from young First Nations peoples to ensure their skills, knowledge, wisdom and social values perspectives are heard, respected and understood. Through the YARN, First Nations young peoples will have an opportunity to use their lived experience to help implement Canteen’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), taking sustainable and strategic action on reconciliation in our workplace.

Canteen’s Reflect RAP started an exciting journey for the organisation. This milestone set a framework that allows us to support the national reconciliation movement and strengthens our relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The creation of YARN is another important step in this process, with the YARN group to provide advice to Canteen’s RAP Working Group, ensuring Canteen’s reconciliation deliverables and initiatives are culturally appropriate. The YARN will be led by Jasmine Sarin, a proud Kamilaroi and Jerrinja woman, and an artist and graphic designer who walked alongside Canteen during our Reflect RAP, designing the artwork that represents Canteen’s commitment to reconciliation. Jasmine has previously worked with the First Nations community on improving health outcomes. As cancer is now recognised as the leading cause of death for First Nations peoples, Jasmine will continue to focus on this as she facilitates our YARN meetings.

At Canteen, we know more needs to be done to balance the inequity faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia, and YARN is part of our commitment to do more to address the imbalance. We want to work in partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth leaders, and their families and communities affected by cancer, to improve health outcomes, both physical, mental and emotional.

Our purpose at Canteen is to ensure no young person has to go through the experience of cancer alone. Incorporating YARN group voices into the discussion will ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young peoples are also heard, valued and considered, as we look to help improve the current rate of inequality-based adverse outcomes.

Continuing our commitment to advancing reconciliation, Canteen will be launching its next RAP, the Innovate RAP, in the months ahead.