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Photo of Mark, a 22-year-old person (he/him) with short black and grey hair. Mark is smiling at the camera, wearing round glasses and holding his hand up in a peace symbol. Mark is photographed on the Flinders Street bridge with the Yarra River in his background.

Name: Mark
Age: 22
Work: Youth engagement professional
Studies: Honours of Criminology
Location: Moonee Valley
Pronouns: He/Him

It's important young people recognise what we can do as a community. The number one thing is to let young people lead the way. Make sure they're given resources to actually lead and design things.

At his uni radio station and through his own podcasts, Mark, 22, loves giving others the opportunity to connect and be heard.

Mark believes it's vital that young people's voices are part of decisions that'll shape their lives: "so many decisions are made about us, without us".

For Mark, a healthy, connected community means a collective sense of empowerment, and young people not being dismissed because of their age.

"The number one thing is to let young people lead the way. Make sure they're given resources to actually lead and design things,” he says.

"The biggest thing is really creating those opportunities for young people to lead the types of programs and activities that will reach their peers, their communities, their friends - people who share the same experiences as them."

Giving young people access to such leadership "is really, really critical."

And Mark wants his own voice to be appreciated and used to make a difference.