It has been one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by Leader Community News — ask every Year 12 school captain in Melbourne to tell us how they and their generation can make a difference to the community in the future.
The words on the following pages are their own in response to one question we put to them all: What difference can your generation make to the world?
The answers — like the students themselves — are insightful.
Students from local schools are featured in this paper, but more than 160 responses are online at.
To capture the fantastic picture on the front of this paper we invited captains from 26 schools across Melbourne to the city.
It was an uplifting experience, as we watched how they all interacted.
Just minutes after meeting for the first time they were chatting like they had known each other all their lives, comparing war stories.
And when quizzed as a group on issues such as mental health or social media bullying, they were measured and thoughtful in their answers.
They all showed a maturity well beyond their years. Our future is in very good hands.
Andrew Rennie Editor in chief
Leader Community News
Alex Walsh, 17
Change can sometimes be a scary word. Most of the time, people are more than happy to stick to the status quo.
But it is the status quo that can be the most damaging to our progress as a society.
The biggest difference our generation can make is to not be afraid of change — to seek betterment in everything we do. To break the status quo. Our generation will be the change that we want to see instead of waiting for others to make a difference.
Amelia John, 17
A difference, that is already occurring in modern society, is that issues are advocated. We can thank social media platforms for creating opportunities for young people to voice their opinions and advocate for unspoken issues.
For example, the #metoo movement aims to inform the public about sexual harassment and seeks to provide an outlet for survivors to obtain support from the services provided.
I have no doubt that my generation will continue to strive and collaborate to implement strategies to progressively minimise these issues.
I have no doubt that my generation will continue to strive and collaborate to implement strategies to progressively minimise these issues