Future Voices: building young people’s skills, aspirations and connection to community

Future Voices Incorporated is a not for profit charity established in 2016, working with the diverse communities in Shepparton, Victoria to meet an identified need voiced by the newly arrived African refugee community. Research tells us that most extensive types of volunteer work conducted by refugees and humanitarian entrants involve helping with the settlement of their own communities. Future Voices has grown from this grassroots concept and from the community itself, with African community leaders, in developing the program concept. Critical to success has been the building of trust, listening to the real needs of the communities and helping them to make their ideas grow.


Abstract: This presentation will outline the history,’ motivation, projects and achievements of Future Voices.

Future Voices Goals:

Building young people’s skills, aspirations and connection to the community.

Future Voices contributes to:

  • the building of peace and harmony
  • the eradication of poverty
  • sustainable development and intercultural dialogue
  • learning through education
  • understanding different cultures
  • communication and information

Future Voices is underpinned by the Nelson Mandela Legacy and the following values:

  • collaboration and tolerance
  • sharing knowledge through education and forgiveness
  • respect for diversity and social justice
  • positive social participation and inclusion
  • strong leadership and accountability
  • empowerment
  • honesty and integrity

Our learning and leadership programs are underpinned by:

“an emphasis on cognitive, metacognitive and affective skill development making it an enhanced youth leadership program, which is quite unique.”

Cognitive skills include memory, attention and problem-solving.

Metacognitive skills are skills associated with an understanding of how learning occurs.

Affective skills are skills that are related to feelings and emotions, such as developing a value system, then internalising and acting on these values.

Motivation is considered the most important affective skill.

The development of a Mandela Learning Centre:

Education and learning contribute to social cohesion by developing skills for participation in society and extending understanding of different ways of living.

This includes skills in communication for living, working and investing in a national and global context.

The Mandela Learning Centre will:

  • Have a strong brand and base for the work of Future Voices
  • Link with the Mandela legacy in a concrete way
  • Be a space to deliver seminars and training on leadership, innovation, international affairs and global opportunities
  • Be a community collaboration
  • Foster innovation, creative thinking and dialogue on important issues
  • Foster international opportunities and partnerships

Rashidi Sumaili

Rashidi is Congo-born and spent nine years in refugee camps before moving to Australia. Rashidi is a Shepparton-based community leader and the Project Manager for Future Voices Inc and the Shepparton Nelson Mandela Learning Centre Project. Rashidi is a member of the African Union’s Pan African-Australasian Diaspora Network (PAADN) and a recipient of a Universal Peace Federation (UPF) Award making him a member of the Global Network of Peace Building.

He is extensively involved in community services, has successfully developed and managed a number of projects, innovative strategies, and has established different organisations and external partnerships.

He has undertaken study and a range of other educational opportunities to increase his skills and experience. He holds a Bachelor of Human Services from La Trobe University and is in a process of completing a Masters in Social Work. He has a Diploma in Community Welfare from GOTAFE and a Certificate 4 in Front-line Management from Victoria University.

Rashidi has also participated a number of prestigious leadership programs including the African Community Leadership Development Program Victoria University; the Orientation to Not for Profits Board Program Victoria Leadership and other extensive experience on board and community. Rashidi is currently undertaking the Fairley Leadership Program.

In 2016 Rashidi was appointed to the Hume Regional Advisory Council to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship in Victoria. His duty is to advocate on behalf of the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) community in the Hume region. Rashidi has a professional focus on capacity building, education, family, individual and community engagement, effective policy development and leadership. You may contact Rashidi on rashidi — at — futurevoices.com.au


Social Cohesion in the Goulburn Valley




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