When it comes to inspiring young people, Annika is right up there for us.

As part of our inaugural Young Thinker in Residence program, Annika has spent the past months researching and developing a piece of advocacy to address the topic of family violence and its impacts on young people and our communities.

Annika YTiR

“My project is about empowering and sharing hopefulness to children and young people who are/have been affected by family violence and involving young people in the family violence discussion.” 

As well as being guided and supported by the YACVic team, Annika has worked closely with mentors from Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria, Domestic Violence Victoria, Our Watch, Berry Street and the University of Melbourne. She has conducted extensive research into current literature, statistics and news reports, and identified a challenge: research discusses the impacts of family violence on young people but puts little in place to address it.

“I am passionate about this topic because of my lived experience, but also because children and young people are often disadvantaged and aren’t treated as victims of family violence in their own right. They don’t have the privilege to stand up for themselves, and this needs to change.” 

Despite having little experience in video production, Annika vowed to give something new a go and decided to develop a short film as her piece of advocacy.

The result is exceptional. The Young Victors video shares messages of hope for young people, from young people. It aims to speak to those who may feel as though their voices aren't being heard, offering them a new frame of reference for their experience: from ‘victims’ and ‘survivors’ to ‘victors’. We and Annika hope this film can clearly demonstrate how young people with lived experience of an issue can positively change it.

The project has so far received media coverage from the ABC, and continues to be shared far and wide on social media.

We encourage you to also share the video and support Annika’s call for young people’s voices to be foregrounded in conversations surrounding such a critical social issue.

What’s next for this Young Thinker?

Annika is finishing her Diploma of Justice as well as continuing to advocate for young people affected by family violence. She hopes to be able to involve young people's voices in the family violence discussion and is interested in working in the justice field.

She is a powerful emerging voice in the discourse around family violence experiences from the perspectives of young people, and we wish her the best of luck for her bright future.

"I loved everything about the Young Thinker in Residence program and enjoyed every minute of it. It was an amazing opportunity for me to advocate for an issue I am so passionate about and make it into something big. There’s no program like it!”