YOUNG Leaders of Tasmania (YLOT) participants put their school holidays on hold during July to support children living with disability.
During the school holidays, the Young Leaders assisted children living with disability to participate in Li-Ve Tasmania’s ‘Holiday Zone,’ a program that provides young people living with a disability and their siblings the opportunity to participate in a diverse range of community experiences, including sports, and to encourage inclusion.
This included play at Inflatable World, multi-sports days, an Aboriginal cultural experience and swimming session.
The Young Leaders’ involvement was an extension of the Future Leader’s All Abilities program, delivered at Southern Support School.
Young Leaders of Tasmania chief executive officer and founding director Keren Franks said YLOT was about giving Tasmanian youth the best opportunities for personal growth within a safe, structured program.
“We are very proud of the positive impact this program is having on the lives of young Tasmanians,” she said.
“It is wonderful to see students proving they have what it takes to be strong leaders.
“The collaboration with Li-Ve Tasmania’s school holiday program was an opportunity for our Young Leaders to extend their experiences of inclusion and acceptance while changing community perceptions about disability.
“It’s an opportunity for young people of all abilities to have fun and grow together.
“We are excited about collaborating with Li-Ve Tasmania, who are also doing wonderful work on behalf of those living with disability.
“There is nothing more rewarding than helping our next generation become the very best they can be.”
YLOT participant Chelsea Excell, aged 11, said she enjoyed meeting and having fun with children living with disability and their siblings in the holiday program.
“It was a privilege to be involved,” she said.
Fellow participant Joe Gregory, aged 11, said he registered for Inflatable World and the multi-sports day so that he could help other kids in the community who lived with a disability.
“I really enjoyed hanging out with the new friend that I made and helping him,” he said.
Launched in 2017 in partnership with Southern Support School, YLOT is now a statewide initiative that seeks to transform the lives of young Tasmanians, change community perceptions of disability, encourage inclusion and increase workforce participation in the disability sector.
For more information about the Young Leaders of Tasmania program, contact Keren on 0428 640 320 or visit www.facebook.com/YLOTas.
For more information on the Holiday Zone, contact Li-Ve Tasmania on 6227 5400 or visit www.livetasmania.org.
Caption: Young Leaders of Tasmania grade six participants from Bellerive Primary School, from left, Hannah Phillips, Joe Gregory, Ambilly Miley, Madison Gye, Chelsea Excell and Sophia Raudino at Inflatable World.