Contextualising the self and social change making: an evaluation of the Young Social Pioneers program

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Naomi Berman
Emily Mellon


This article presents the findings of an evaluation of an innovative Australian social entrepreneurship and leadership program to highlight some of the challenges young social change makers face as they attempt to influence change in their local, national and international environments. Through an investigation of an innovative Australian social entrepreneurship program, this article demonstrates how reflexive, communicative and participatory practices position young people at the forefront of new forms of civic engagement and that there are certain needs relating to the development of self and community which must to be addressed in order that these young social actors can fulfil their civic aspirations. The findings of the evaluation reported here demonstrate that if social entrepreneur programs are to be successful in providing a service to young people, they need to foster the creation of environments characterised by collectivism, collaboration and opportunities for self development while providing practical solutions to common barriers faced by social entrepreneurs

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Articles (refereed)
Author Biographies

Naomi Berman, The Foundation for Young Australians

Naomi is Policy and Evaluation Manager at the Foundation for Young Australians.

Emily Mellon, Yarra City Council

Emily Mellon is currently Youth Development Officer, Evaluation and Research, Yarra City Council- Youth Services. At the time of the research study, she was employed by Foundation for Young Australians.