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Victorian Young Leaders: Emerging Leaders Forum 2023



We are crossing borders…or are we?_Feature Image

This program is an initiative of the Victorian Department of Education and facilitated by Asia Education Foundation at the University of Melbourne. All Victorian Year 9 student places are fully-funded by the Victorian Department of Education and Training. 

Connecting Year 5-8 Students Across Victoria and the Asia-Pacific


The Victorian Young Leaders: Emerging Leaders Forum is an interactive three-part learning program for students in Year 5-8 Victorian schools to connect with peers from a range of schools and countries across the Asia-Pacific including; China, Thailand, Japan, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines
The forums are designed on the successful Global Youth Forums that are facilitated for Year 9 students. The Youth forums are designed to deepen student understanding of identity, belonging, culture, globalisation, and what it means to be a global citizen.
Victorian students will have the opportunity to connect with peers from across the State and Asia-Pacific online during this 3-part program to collaboratively explore topics. Throughout the program students engage in a range of activities and regular breakout rooms in small groups with peers from a range of other schools and countries.


This opportunity for Victorian students is an initiative of the Victorian Department of Education and all places for students are funded under this initiative. There is no cost for student places in the program.

Places are limited to a maximum of 60 students. Each Victorian school can express interest for a maximum of 5 students.

Two cohorts will occur in 2023:

  • Cohort One in Term 2 - May, 2023 will be for Year 7 and 8 students
  • Cohort Two in Term 4 will be for Year 5 and 6 students.


As a participant of the program, students will engage in and contribute to three online components and have the option for a face-to-face post program focus group held on campus at the University of Melbourne. The three forum events will include numerous breakout rooms opportunities in small groups to meet peers from a range of Asia-Pacific countries and discuss global citizenship.

  • Pre Forum Event: A live conference style forum incorporating keynote, guest speakers, opportunity to connect with students overseas and begin to explore and discuss key themes for the forum.
  • Online Forum: A full-day event where students will be led through a series of online and offline activities with peers from other schools and their own school to collaboratively explore themes of Globalisation, Global Citizenship, Identity and Purpose. Students will also use a process of design-thinking to explore a global issue that impacts on their local communities and develop some solutions to take positive action on this issue.
  • Post Forum Event: A final showcase where students will present to their peers and receive feedback on their proposed solutions or initiatives to support the issue they selected in the forum.  

  • Post-Program Focus Groups: As this is a pilot program Victorian students and teachers are asked to attend either an online or one-day event held at the University of Melbourne campus in Parkville to engage in feedback focus group activities to provide input into future iterations of the program.


  • Expressions of Interest close - 5pm Friday 10th March, 2023


    Teacher Briefing via ZOOM - Tuesday 4th April, 2023, 3.45-4.30pm
    Student Briefing via ZOOM - Wednesday 5th April, 2023, 3.00pm-4.00pm

    Pre-Forum Event (attended by all students): Monday 8th May, 2023, 09.00 am - 3.00 pm

    MAIN Online Forum: CHOOSE ONE of the following to attend (same day repeated 3 times to provide scheduling flexibility) -
    Forum OPTION 1: Tuesday 9th May, 2023, 9.00 am - 3.00 pm
    Forum OPTION 2: Wednesday 10th May, 2023, 9.00 am - 3.00 pm
    Forum OPTION 3: Thursday 11th May, 2023, 9.00 am - 3.00 pm

    Post-Forum Event: Friday 12th May, 2023, 9.00 am - 3.00 pm

    Post-Program Focus Group Debrief Sessions (opportunity to provide feedback and shape future iterations of program) :

    Thursday 18th May (online) 12.00pm - 3.00pm
    Friday 19th May (face-to-face at University of Melbourne) - 10.00am to 02.00pm


Expressions of Interest for Cohort Two (Year 5 and 6 - November, 2023) will open later in the year.




Cohort One open to all Victorian Year 7 and 8 Students. Up to 5 students per school. Cohort Two open to all Victorian Year 5 and 6 students.


This forum will be delivered online via Zoom.


With funding from the Victorian Department of Education, participation in this forum is free for all Victorian schools. 

For all enquires, please email

Further Information

Enabling students to interact with different global perspectives, experiences, cultures and apply knowledge and skills to take action and solve problems is an essential step in building capabilities to be active and informed global citizens.  

This forum assists students to explore with their peers from across the State and the Asia-Pacific region what it means to be a global citizen, what skills, knowledge and understandings and capabilities are needed and how we can take action on a global issue to have a local impact.

Throughout the forum they will hear from experts and guest speakers, hear stories of their peers from across the Asia-Pacific, critically examine global citizenship and debate with their peers issues facing education and schooling in the current global context. 

These activities will culminate in a final presentation where students will create a short presentation to each other to address their chosen issue in education.

Prior to the forum, teachers and students are provided with a comprehensive information pack with all activities and learning materials. 

Learning Outcomes

As a result of their participation students will: 


  • appreciate and understand what it means to be a global citizen by critically interacting with the concept of globalisation, comparing diverse perspectives, and identifying the ways that globalisation influences their life. 

  • deepen understanding of the impacts of globalisation by identifying key issues today, and their role in shaping global citizenship. 

  • strengthen awareness of their own assumptions and stereotypes and recognise that this awareness is needed to create inclusive communities

  • identify ways to respond to challenging global and local issues and the role they can play in making their vision for the local and global community a reality. 



2016 AEF Autumn School


  • Dr Kathleen Turner, Strategic Partnerships Manager, Griffith Asia Institute
  • Mr Mohamad Abdalla, Professor of Islamic Studies at the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences, Griffith University
  • Dr Indigo Willing OAM, Adjunct Research Fellow, Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research
  • Mr Aaron Seeto, Curatorial Manager of Asian and Pacific Art at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) and previously Director of the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in NSW
  • Mr Keith Shangare, Diversity Coordinator, AFL Queensland

Additional speakers will be announced over the coming weeks

Program Funder 

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The Victorian Young Leaders: Global Youth Forum is funded by the Victorian Department of Education and Training and implemented by the Asia Education Foundation at Asialink, The University of Melbourne. View a copy of our Privacy Notice here

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