This post provides a link to a video where Carmen, a 15 year old young person who lives, works and studies across both Moreland and Yarra local government areas. Carmen shares their thoughts on schooling, the importance of their connection to the LGBT community and the role of public spaces and social groups across the inner north in her sense of belonging. Carmen speaks of anxiety associated with the potential health impacts of COVID-19 on their family, their expectations for the future of work, and hopes about social change.   

Carmen is considerate about issues of social inequity and climate change and is reflective about their life and their involvement with the community. At that time Carmen was anxious about contracting COVID-19, and feared this will impact on her ability to work and to attend school. 

Early in this video Carmen discusses the challenges of staying motivated and keeping up with schoolwork while learning online during the COVID-19 crisis. Carmen has been in “full lockdown since mid-February” before the extended lockdown that metropolitan Melbourne was placed under during the period of July-September 2020 in public health attempts to ‘flatten the curve’ of the 2nd wave of the COVID pandemic.1

Carmen hopes that the government can provide a ‘back-up plan for artists and musicians’ during times of crisis such as COVID-19. A plan which recognises the ‘really important role’ of these individuals and communities to the local economy. Carmen has their heart set on pursuing a career as a musician and expects to face a number of challenges associated with gaining access to knowledge and skills, support and opportunity across a sector which, they believe is not highly valued. 

In their future, Carmen anticipates working in casual or part-time employment across the retail or hospitality sector whilst studying at university within the next 5 years. 

Carmen hopes that the state of the world will be a ‘little better’ by 2025 with improvements to education and with ‘climate change hopefully being dealt with by then’. They speak to the likelihood of a more automated workforce by 2025, where-by humans required for ‘labour intensive’ work decreases. Meanwhile, Carmen speaks with some sense of despair when stating that ‘I can’t really imagine racism changing all that much unfortunately’. 

The COVID 19 Recovery Scenario’s for Young People in Melbourne’s Inner North Project 

The COVID 19 Recovery Scenario’s for Young People in Melbourne’s Inner North is a collaboration between the UNESCO UNEVOC Centre at RMIT University (in the School of Education), the Inner Northern Local Learning Network (LLEN), the Inner North Youth Employment Taskforce (INYET) and the education, training, business, youth service and advocacy agencies, and local government agencies and authorities that are members of the LLEN and INYET.  

Using a scenario planning methodology – see the links here to an outline of this approach – the project aims to develop a range of scenarios for young people in Melbourne’s inner north in 2025.  

Figure 1 below provides a summary of the scenarios as they have been developed to this point – and in relation to the intersections and entanglements between the four main themes that have emerged from the research: Health and Well-being; Education and Training; the Economy and Livelihood; Community. 

Figure 1: Three scenarios for 2025. 

The project involved interviewing more than 50 young people in Melbourne’s inner northern suburbs – in the City of Yarra, City of Darebin and City of Moreland. These young people are stakeholders in their own futures. We aimed to develop innovative ways of providing a space for their voices, and for their voices to have impact in their communities and beyond.  

The project conducted these video interviews via the VideoAsk platform, and we are gradually curating and uploading these videos to our YouTube channel

  1.  https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorias-restriction-levels-covid-19 ; https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-06/coronavirus-explainer-melbourne-roadmap-easing-restrictions/12634506 ; https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/sep/06/melbourne-stage-4-coronavirus-lockdown-extended-for-two-weeks 

By James Goring

I am a PhD Researcher at the UNESCO UNEVOC Centre in the School of Education at RMIT University.

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