Two young Wyndham residents will have their story shared on the ABC next week.
Jumess and Alexander are the Wyndham region recipients of Takeover Melbourne, an ABC storytelling competition for young Melbournians aged 12 to 18 years.
Designed to amplify the voices of young people, the competition aims to paint a picture of what it’s been like living in the city in 2020.
Thirty-two winners from all of the local Government areas of Greater Melbourne were selected by the ABC, including six from Western Melbourne.
Jumess, a Truganina resident wrote a story about her experience of overcoming internalised racism to inspire fellow African Australians to love their culture.
“Sharing my story means so much to me.” Jumess said.
“It means that people want and are interested to hear what I have to say and that people care about matters like this and are able to give a platform for stories like mine to be shared to the world.”
“I hope to achieve an understanding from a different perspective to my audience. I hope to achieve unity and acceptance. And I hope to be the voice for the voiceless.”
Alexander, a Werribee resident wrote about making real change for LGBT rights after overcoming mental health struggles. He said he was surprised to be announced a Takeover winner.
“I was really excited to be chosen to be able to share my story and knowing that my voice was going to be heard,” Alex said.
“I was also quite shocked, as LGBT young people, people like me, aren’t generally prevalent in the media.”
“Being able to share my story publicly means I’m able to further the work that I’m doing as a public speaker by continuing to develop my platform and hopefully get exposure in industries I would otherwise be unable to reach.”
“The work I do involves telling the full story to young people to inspire them to be themselves and that they too can face adversity and come out stronger, but also parents, educators and professionals to teach them about what it’s like being a transgender young person and the difficulties I have faced and continue to face day to day.”
Wyndham City Mayor, Councillor Adele Hegedich said the stories demonstrated the strength and talent of the city’s youth.
“Wyndham has an amazing community of young people who are using their voice to bring awareness to the issues they’re facing,” Cr Hegedich said.
“These stories remind us of the enduring strength and resilience of young people in what has been a challenging and unprecedented year.”
The Takeover Melbourne stories will be showcased across ABC broadcast platforms next week, including on ABC Radio Melbourne and on ABC TV.
Recipients will also be celebrated in a virtual Gala event on December 3, streamed live on the ABC Melbourne Facebook page.