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November 10, 2021

The Minus18 Young Leaders Program has kicked off for 2021 – a 10-month program to develop the skills, confidence and experience to inspire the next generation of LGBTQIA+ youth.

Earlier in 2021, Minus18 completely re-imagined what “volunteering” at Australia’s peak charity improving the lives of LGBTQIA+ youth would look like. The result? The Minus18 Young Leaders Program.

Thanks to the generous support of the Victorian Government, the City of Melbourne, and – of course – our incredible supporters and donors, the inaugural Young Leaders Program commenced in October 2021.

This group of LGBTQIA+ young people aged 18 to 25 will learn leadership skills, connect with community, attend fortnightly workshops, work as a team to deliver their own event, and play a starring role in Minus18’s own life-affirming youth events.

We’re so proud to introduce this group of young leaders, and we’re so excited to share what they’re able to achieve in the next 10 months.

Meet the Young Leaders

Minus18 Young Leaders Program 2021

Aja

(she her) [pronounced Asia]

Identity/ies: Lesbian, Gay, Queer

Star Sign: Leo

Most streamed Artist: Stand Atlantic 'cause we love queer-woman fronted AUS bands

Queer inspo: Sonja and Char, not exactly queer leaders and are actually just my mum's friends, who are living the fantasy with their farm, kids and corporate work balance and who also gave me hope as a teen.

Minus18 Young Leaders Program

Amy

(she/they)

Identity/ies: Bisexual

Star Sign: Capricorn

Most streamed artist: Aurora

Queer Inspo: Audre Lorde

Minus18 Young Leaders Program

Anay

(she/they)

Identity/ies: Non-binary, polyamorous & pansexual

Star Sign: Pisces

Most streamed artist: Katy Perry

Queer Inspo: Jojo Siwa!

Minus18 Young Leaders Program

Andreas

(he/him)

Identity/ies: Queer

Star Sign: Virgo

Most streamed artist: Adele

Queer Inspo: My fav queer leader atm would probably be Troye Sivan

Minus18 Young Leaders Program

Chloe

(she/her)

Identity/ies: Bi

Star Sign: Taurus

Most streamed artist: Diana Ross (I’m Coming Out is one of my fave queer anthems!)

Queer Inspo: Nayuka Gorrie. I love their writing about black, queer, and feminist politics. Nayuka continually inspires and motivates me to strengthen my relationships and deepen my connections with the community

Minus18 Young Leaders Program

Dalton

(he/him)

Identity/Identities: Gay/Queer

Star Sign: Libra

Most streamed artist: Rex Orange County (love a chill vibe by the beach what can I say?)

Queer Inspo: I admire is Elton John, I love his story, tunes, and his work since establishing the Elton John AIDS Foundation. I’ll also jump on the Troye Sivan bandwagon though, as I remember his debut of “Happy Little Pill” watching the video while his voice synced into my soul!

Minus18 Young Leaders Program

Danny

(he/they)

Identity/Identities: Queer, Gay

Star Sign: Capricorn

Most streamed artist: Paul McCartney

Queer Inspo: Rufus Wainwright

Minus18 Young Leaders Program

Em

(she/they)

Identity/ies: wlw Queer

Star Sign: Aquarius

Most streamed artist: My favourite artist is Kishi Bashi, he's divine, just have a listen/watch of this genius of loop peddles in the most cinematic way possible ugh

Queer Inspo: idk about leaders, is it a cop-out to say all of you guys?

Minus18 Young Leaders Program

Finn

(he/him or they/them)

Star Sign: Aries

Most streamed artist: Orville Peck & Kacey Musgraves

Queer Inspo: My fave queer leader is my ex-high school history teacher who pretty much made me who I am

Minus18 Young Leaders Program

Imogene

(they/she)

Identity/ies: Queer

Star Sign: Leo

Most streamed artist: Yungblud (actually surprised by this, because it only very recently overtook Troye Sivan who had a three year reign as top artist)

Queer Inspo: I'm sorry but it's gotta be Troye Sivan, I'm forever in debt to the amount of representation he brought to my childhood!!

Minus18 Young Leaders Program

Izzy

(she/they)

Identity/ies: Gay, non-binary

Star Sign: Leo

Most streamed artist: Benee

Queer Inspo: Alok Vaid-Menon is awesome and Cara Delevingne holds a special place in my heart

Minus18 Young Leaders Program

Leonard

(he/him)

Identity/ies: Queer, Gay

Star Sign: Virgo

Most streamed artist: Still Woozy - can't exaggerate how much I love Still Woozy/ and Remi Wolf

Queer Inspo: Love Josh Thomas, Please Like Me has a big big place in my heart

Minus18 Young Leaders Program

Nat

(she/her)

Identity/ies: Poly & Bi

Star Sign: Libra

Most streamed artist: BTS. Fell deep into the hole last year because of lockdown.

Queer Inspo: At the moment, queer leaders I admire are Jezz Chung & Alok Vaid-Menon

Minus18 Young Leaders Program

Oliver

(he/him)

Identity/ies: Bi

Star Sign: Gemini

Most streamed artist: Julia Jacklin

Queer Inspo: A queer leader I love right now is @jenerous (on Insta). She’s an influencer and writer who just published her first book! It’s called GREEDY and it’s about all things bisexual.

Minus18 Young Leaders Program

Olly

(they/them)

Identity/ies: Queer, non-binary, trans

Star Sign: Aquarius

Most streamed artist: BENEE, followed by Harry Styles (credit to my partner for my music taste)

Queer Inspo: My fave queer leader is Nevo Zisin

Minus18 Young Leaders Program

Shanti

(they/them)

Identity/ies: Queer

Star Sign: Gemini

Most streamed artist: Vulfpeck

Queer Inspo: Sarah Ward!! Such a brilliant performer, went to see a show she co-created called "f\*ck fabulous*" this year and it BLEW MY MIND

Minus18 Young Leaders Program

Suzie

(they/them)

Identity/ies: Non-binary, queer

Star Sign: Sagittarius

Most streamed artist: Princess Nokia, Kelani or Nicki Minaj

Queer Inspo: My queer icon/leader atm is Sunny from Queerspace/Invisible, literally the sweetest person ever

The Young Leaders Program inspires the next generation of LGBTQIA+ Youth

We're so excited to introduce this passionate and diverse group of individuals as the first Minus18 Young Leaders and excited to see the impact they make on our community.

Stay up to date with our Young Leaders Program and all the amazing projects they’ll be working on over the next 10 months by following us on Instagram @minus18youth – trust us, there are some big things coming!

If you missed out on this round or want to get involved, don't worry this is just the beginning! We will have many opportunities for the next group of Young Leaders in late 2022.

Thanks to the support of the Victorian Government, City of Melbourne, and all of the generous supporters and donors (that’s you!) who’ve made the Young Leaders Program possible.

Find out more about how your donations impact LGBTQIA+ young people

Minus18 is located on the land of the Yalakut Weelam Clan of the Boon Wurrung peoples, Australia’s First People and Traditional Custodians. We acknowledge their continued connection and contribution to land, water and community, and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. Sovereignty was never ceded; this always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.

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