Name: Hue Man Dang
Pillar: Business, Leadership and Community
Sponsor: First Seeds Fund
What is your dream?
My dream is to make a positive impact on the lives of young Australians by delivering leadership, education and life skills programs in areas where they face financial hardship, discrimination, or a lack of opportunity. I believe all students should be given a ‘fair go’, which is why I aim to deliver these programs free of charge to schools and communities so that cost doesn’t become a barrier for young people’s experiences, success and their futures. Each program would be designed specifically to meet the needs of participants from different backgrounds; in schools with a high proportion of students from migrant backgrounds, the education program would be tailored to account for non-native English speakers. For students with lower socio-economic backgrounds, the leadership program would be designed to build confidence and leadership skills, and equip participants to take on challenges. The life skills program would teach students about finance, rights and responsibilities and consumer affairs as form of preventative measure, which allows young people to make informed decisions when it comes to credit cards, superannuation, tenants’ rights or even returning a consumer product.
Tell us a bit about you.
I am a values-driven young women studying science at the University of Melbourne. My parents are immigrants from Vietnam, and my father arrived in Australia after the end of the Vietnam War. As part of the academically accelerated program in high school, I developed the foundations for a love of learning, volunteering and leadership. My passion for community health and medicine led me to study science, and I also dedicate time to youth work and community service. In 2016 I worked with a group of young women in the western suburbs of Melbourne on The Young Women's Leadership Mentoring Program, and in my spare time I also pursue independent learning on paediatric, adolescent and maternal health.
How have you demonstrated commitment?
The Young Women's Leadership Mentoring Program is a six-week program I delivered and designed from scratch, and the first of its kind in mycommunity. I worked with nine young women to build their confidence, leadership skills and understanding of the ways in which they can contribute to their community. Through this, I gained the knowledge and skills to build on the program and designed the Change Makers Program and Lead Now. Learn How. These are two programs designed to meet the needs of new leaders as well as more experienced ones. The programs I have designed while consulting young people in Hobson’s Bay are evidence of my commitment in meeting the needs of young people. I have been to countless forums, listened to world-renowned lecturers and professors, and consulted other leaders to make sure the programs delivered are the best that they can be and can have a maximum impact. My commitment to my community as a whole can be seen in my ongoing volunteer work, my contribution to the organisations within my community, and the leadership positions that I have taken on.
How will you use the money?
The grant money will be used to purchase the materials and resources to implement my programs. Firstly, I will purchase the web-based online conferencing tool Zoom so that students who can’t access the programs in person (due to travel or family) can still participate. The grant will also allow me to purchase materials and hire venues to run the in-person sessions, starting with a three-day leadership intensive in the term one holidays, followed by a six-week program during term two in partnership with a school. In the mid-year break, term three and the term three holidays, I plan to deliver life skills and leadership programs entirely via conference, as well as talks and conference calls to help students prepare and feel confident during their exam period. The grant will also allow me to build a website where I can display all the material and resources that I have created.
How do you plan to give back?
My goal has always been to give back to the community, using mentoring to build confidence and empower young people to step out into the world and make changes. Growing up in a poor, immigrant family, it took blood, sweat and a whole lot of tears to finally make it to University, the first person in my family to do so. I understand hardship and struggle, but through immense support from my community I have been able to find the success that I have today. I want to give back all that love, kindness and support to my community by offering free programs toyoung people so that finance does not become a barrier for them in any way. I have seen leadership programs that cost hundreds and thousands of dollars, and educational programs costing the same amount. A poor family, an immigrant family, or a struggling mother can’tafford the same opportunities as those who are well off, and that is why my focus is in providing to disadvantaged young people first. I don't believe that the size of your bank account should determine where you go in life, which is why I won't take a cent from any of the participants. I'm happy to give up my time for young people, and to bring a positive change into their lives.