Global Youth Advocacy Forums: Equality and equity


Online forum


Global Youth Advocacy Forums (GYAFs) consists of four one-day online youth leadership forums for Year 9 students and have been developed in response to the cancelation of the Victorian Young Leaders Program in 2020. GYAFs have been designed and will be delivered by Asia Education Foundation (AEF), in partnership with High Resolves and under guidance by Emeritus Professor Fazal Rizvi (The University of Melbourne: Melbourne Graduate School of Education) in collaboration with the Department of Education and Training.

More and more schools and teachers are interested in their students “thriving” and “flourishing”. But what these words actually mean are quite unclear. There are in fact many unanswered questions: What does it mean to do “well” and “succeed” at school? Can everyone “thrive” and “flourish” equally? Who decides what sort of students are “good” and should be seen as “leaders”? Should we all be learning the same thing (if so, what?) and aspire for the same thing? Whose voices tend to be heard and more than others, and why?

COVID-19 has significantly disrupted schooling in 2020. Education in Australia and elsewhere in the world will no doubt be different in the future. However, students are often left out of critical discussions about issues affecting them.

The forums provide an opportunity for your team to join with other students in Victoria and the Asia-Pacific, listen to each other, form new connections and start developing actions.

Questions and provocations should be student-led, but below are some of the discussion topics that teams may consider at the outset:

Equality and equity

  • How equal and/or equitable are our education systems?
  • Why do some schools consistently perform better than others?
  • Why is inequality bad in the first place?

Learning Outcomes

The forums are open to all Year 9 students in Victoria. There will be four forums, two in late October and two in early November. Each forum can host up to twelve teams of up to six students to:

  • Create and share stories from Victoria and Asia Pacific that demonstrate the diversity of identities, experiences and challenges, and produce high quality material for classroom discussions and teacher PDs
  • Engage in Citizenship and Independent Thinking learning experiences facilitated by High Resolves
  • Receive a university-level lecture and workshop on theoretical frameworks relating to the topic of each forum
  • Gain critical insight into complexities of globalisation and education by using stories from Victoria and the Asia Pacific, High Resolves immersive experiences and key theoretical frameworks
  • Come up with new questions and challenges concerning education in today’s world
  • Identify and connect with like-minded teams from other schools to work on shared goals
  • Learn about and be connected to organisations such as Melbourne Graduate School of Education, VicSRC, and Global Journalism Exchange.

Visit the Asia Education Foundation site for more details.