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Creating positive change

Learning from different situations and from people around you can give you the chance to make a positive change to a community's culture, online and offline.

In short:

  • We all have our own superpowers for creating positive change.
  • Each of us can contribute to creating a more equitable, positive, respectful community, online and offline. 

How can I be the positive change I want to see in my community?

How can you be the change you want to see, both online and offline? The participants in this video talk about their optimism for a future led by young people and their superpower for creating positive change. 

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Really trust your gut. 

If something doesn't feel right, if something doesn't look right, if even... like, I know, experiences culturally, everything, kind of, I can feel it in my gut, and I'm thinking, 'This doesn't feel right. Is this OK? Why is it normalised? Why is no one reacting the way that I think they should be reacting?'

To young people, trust that feeling, you know. 

Trust it and run with it.

And there are people out there who also feel the same way, and will want to make that kind of change.


I think we're starting to see a little bit of it, by flipping gender norms.

I think that's kind of one way.

You know, women can do whatever men can do, and men can do whatever women can do.

Yeah, I think we start thinking that way. Just be positive.


I think there's more safer spaces now for people of all different backgrounds. 

And I feel like even though we're just beginning, there needs to be more, especially now with all the movements that are happening around us, like Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQ+ community.


We collectively need to be able to support one another.

The mobilisation of youth is crazy.

Every time I'm a part of it, I get excited, because there's that genuine energy for we know that this is going to benefit our future and our ability to thrive in the different areas and pathways that we're going to go through in life.

And that's what we all want.


You're the future generation after all, you know.

Forty years from now, you guys will be setting the mean for what society looks like.

You guys will be setting the standard for how we treat other people.

And if you do want to live in a better, nicer world, well, it starts with you.

You've got to be a good role model.

Use your superpower.

Creating positive change


‘You're the future generation after all…it starts with you. You got to be a good role model. Use your superpower.’ – Cosmin.

Angelica is an advocate and researcher for youth affairs and equality. Angelica's advocacy has included being a Youth Ambassador with Multicultural Youth Affairs Network (MYAN NSW), founding member of the African Australian Youth Suicide Prevention Committee, and a Youth Activist for Plan International Australia supporting their work on online and street harassment. She is the 2022 Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations. 

Aroha is a proud Darrriebullum, Kuku-Yalnji, Ngāphui and Ngātiporou woman from South-East Queensland. She is a graduate of NAISDA Dance College, co-founder of contemporary dance theatre collective, ‘Lost All Sorts Collective’ and is exploring writing and dance on film.

Domina is a South Indian woman occupying Darug Land. She works in the disability sector and is interested in equity and justice. She studies Social Work at University of Sydney and is a Youth Ambassador with Multicultural Youth Affairs Network (MYAN NSW).

Nathan is a proud Worimi man from Karuah in Port Stephens. He is a production coordinator/producer in news and current affairs, and loves helping his Mob tell their stories. Nathan is a huge advocate for diversity behind and in front of the camera.

Things to think about

  • What are all the positive changes you’ve seen led by young people online and offline? Why are they important? 
  • We all have our own superpowers within us. What superpowers do you have that you could use to contribute to creating a more equitable, positive, respectful community?

What does it mean to be a positive role model?

What issues of safety do you need to consider for yourself and others when striving to create positive change? The participants in this video talk about how to be a good ally and ways to speak up if you see something wrong online or offline. 

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Being a good ally, making sure that you are hearing about what's going on and making sure that you're actively doing your part, not only to change your behaviour, if your behaviour, you know, has been seen, or if your behaviour isn't something that's right, but also to call out wrong behaviour in others as well, and not to be afraid of doing that if it's your friends.


Because it starts from one person, two, three, and that's how it gets wider and more people hopefully can hear it. 

More people can understand, and more people get inspired and empowered to join that, I guess, chain of movement.


I think it's important to be aware of your own privilege.

You might not be part of the issue, but you should definitely be part of the solution.

You should utilise that privilege to find a suitable solution for whatever the issue is.

As Cosmin mentioned, you should speak up if you see something wrong and you can do something about it, you should speak up. 

You should try to change it. 

If it doesn't impact you, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't do anything about it.


I think educating the young people, educating them on how to stand up, that's really important.

How do you do that?

It's not just standing up and saying, 'No, stop this.'

There are ways to manage the situation.

And I think that's really important, teaching young people how to stand up for themselves.


Yeah, stand up for each other. Stand up for themselves. 

Being able to call out things if they see it, say online, for example. 

Or maybe if they see it happening in their workplace, being able to say, 'Look, this is something that really does have an effect.' 

'You're being racist', 'You're being sexist', 'You're being homophobic'. 

'You need to change your behaviour', 'Here's some resources to help you out', 'Here's how you can improve what you're doing right now'.

'We don't hate you. It's not that we're attacking you. It's that we just noticed something that you're doing that is hurtful to other people, so how can we combat that? How can we work together to make this safer for everyone?'


And standing up for each other doesn't necessarily mean going to the person who's committing the act.

It also means going to the person who is the victim of the act, and talking to them, trying to see if they're OK, because that's also standing up.

Being a positive role model


‘It starts from one person, two, three, and that's how it gets wider and... more people get inspired and empowered…’ – Shahida.

Abdallah is a passionate youth worker, specialising in refugee resettlement with an educational background in Social Work. When he is not busy studying and working, Abdallah volunteers his time for the newly arrived young refugees, in their resettlement journeys.

Georges is passionate to provide value to young people of multicultural backgrounds in areas usually not highly prioritised. He works with youth soccer clubs on the inclusion and development of pathways to include more diverse young players.

Shahida is originally from Afghanistan and arrived in Australia in 2017. She is currently in university studying Bachelor of Business and Law.

Shailja is a young Australian of Fiji-Indian descent who is passionate about building community and empowering young women of colour. She is determined to create change through collaboration and innovative problem-solving.

Things to think about

  • What does it mean to you to be a positive role model online and offline? 
  • Why do you need to carefully consider whether it is safe to stand up and take action in a situation?  
  • What other avenues might you explore to support the person experiencing harm? For example, could you talk to the person affected and check in on their wellbeing to show your support?

Remember: it’s OK if you’re not sure how to help, or don’t feel comfortable advising others. Instead, you can point them to a trusted adult, another trusted person or support services.

Where to find more information

Get support from confidential counselling and support services

Kids Helpline

5 to 25 year olds. All issues. Confidential phone counselling available all day, every day. Online chat available 24/7, 365 days a year.


12 to 25 year olds. All issues. Phone counselling and online chat available 9am to 1am AEST, every day.

More support services

Are you an educator?

View SBS Learn's Connect with Respect classroom resource.

Last updated: 25/01/2024