Since this page was published the Department of Education and the Department of Employment have been created out of the former Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).

AYAC is pleased to be able to provide support in 2011 to the United Nations Youth Representative, Benson Saulo. The project is funded under the Australian Youth Forum Initiative on behalf of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. The program is also coordinated and supported by UN Youth Australia.

Benson Saulo is the first Aboriginal Australian to be elected to the position, and we welcome and congratulate him.

Click here to download the Final Report (PDF – 5.5MB)

Click here to see Benson’s journey to the UN!

About Benson Saulo – 2011 United Nations Youth Representative:

“I am one of the 40% of Indigenous Australian’s under the age of 25 determined to promote positive messages about Aboriginal Australia and encourage an inclusive, progressive society.

I am 23 years old and live in Melbourne – my Grandmother is Wemba Wemba (Swan Hill) and Grandfather is Gunditjmara (Warrnambool). I grew up in Tamworth (Gomileroi Country) and began working at ANZ when I was 15yrs through the Indigenous Traineeships Program which I completed in 2005.

I moved to Sydney to study at the University of Technology of Sydney and worked in Business Banking as an Assistant Manager. I have recently undertaken a career break from my role as a Business Analyst to pursue a voluntary position with UN Youth.

I have had the amazing privilege of being appointed the 2011 Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations. It is a huge honour to represent such a diverse and optimistic demographic at a national and international level. I am the first Indigenous Australian to be appointed since this role began in 1999 while this is a great achievement I believe my appointment is a reflection on the aspirations of young Australians who want to see a more progressive and inclusive Australia.

Outside of work I have participated on 3 boards. Reconciliation Victoria, Aboriginal Advisory Board to the Victorian Electoral Commission and EastWeb; a youth lead philanthropic board focusing on Indigenous, Refugee and Asylum Seeker community initiatives. All boards have provided great exposure into organisations outside of the corporate world. I believe is important to have experience in both the corporate and not-for-profit sectors as they provide different perspectives on community relations, business operations and social responsibility.

Over the coming months I will be traveling throughout Australia attending and hosting various youth forums to gain a deeper understanding on the issues affecting youth today. This deeper understanding will better equip me with the information to represent such a diverse group of young people at the United Nations General Assembly in September.”

Benson at the United Nations General Assembly in New York:

On the 4th October 2011 Benson Saulo addressed the 3rd Committee at the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Throughout 2011 Benson has been engaging young Australians to gain a deeper understanding of what issues affect them at a local, national and international level. These engagements formed the basis of Bensons’ address. The key themes reflected on within this address is Education and Social Responsibility should form the basis for Social Development, particularly when engaging and supporting youth. You can view his address to the General Assembly here:


Left: Benson with Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr Ban Ki Moon. Right: Benson with Youth Delegates from around the world.


Roadtrip to the Northern Territory

The UN Youth Association of Australia undertook the annual Northern Territory Regional Engagement Road
Trip from Alice Springs to Darwin from the 15th to 25th of May 2011. The road trip is funded by the Grants to
Australian Organisations of the Attorney-General’s Department. Four members of UN Youth Australia and
the Australian UN Youth Representative to the United Nations travelled from Alice Springs to Darwin engaging
and consulting young people from a number of communities to identify issues they feel affect them most
as young Australians and as future leaders.

You can download the full report here ‘The Road to Change Report’  (PDF – 420kb)