QLD Youth Week

QLD Youth Week

Source:Dæhæna – Radio 4EB Sri Lankan Group – Monthly e-Newsletter – April 2022

QLD Youth WeekMy name is Pumudi Widana Pathirana. I am a final year architecture student at QUT and I have been a part of Sinhala Association of Qld (SAQ) Youth in the past few years and this year I am the social media coordinator of the QUT Sri Lankan Students Association.

Queensland Youth Week is an annual event which celebrates the youth of Queensland. In 2022 it is happening from the 1st of April through to the 11th of April 2022. Every year the diverse youth of Queensland hold various events throughout the week, ranging from arts and crafts to science events and carnivals, attracting like-minded youth among the community. A few of the events happening this year include LEGO Club, Anime/Manga Club, Drumming Workshop, Skateboarding Workshop and Virtual Talk: Young, LGBTQI+ & Amplified and many more.

As a Sri Lankan youth in Brisbane, I have been lucky enough to be exposed to both worlds; the Australian youth culture as well as the vibrant and active Sri Lankan culture in Brisbane. Growing up I have heavily identified with Sri Lankan culture through dance and music and continue to do so to this day. 

Entering university, I became a part of SAQ Youth which allowed me to connect with a wide range of Sri Lankan youth within this city and it made me realise how much diversity there is among us. There are people with different personalities, beliefs and identities and we should celebrate the uniqueness of each and every person. Being involved in youth societies has made me more aware of the barriers that exist between different groups of people with different identities, such as people who have grown up in Australia or people who have grown up in Sri Lanka or other countries. Part of our goal was to break these barriers so that some people would not feel as excluded from certain groups. We were also able to invite guest speakers to our radio programs to speak about being a part of the LGBTQI+ community as a Sri Lankan, which I believe is a topic that is not spoken about enough in our community. On a more sensitive note, we wished to discuss about the mental health of the youth in our community, as this is something that affects a vast number of youths yet somehow is still a somewhat taboo topic.

Accepting these issues and talking about them is an important step in being able to embrace our youth and accept them for who they are. Throughout all this I hope that eventually our community will be able to celebrate the unique differences amongst our youth as well the extended community in Australia.

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