Arika Appleby attends the 2020 Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program

Local North Queensland Gudjala woman and PCYC Queensland Indigenous Sport and Community Recreation Officer, Arika Appleby, was thrilled to be amongst 33 young Queenslanders invited to participate in the 2020 Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program (QIYLP).

Now in its 16th year, the QIYLP is the flagship component of the Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Strategy and is a key initiative of the Queensland Youth Partnership Initiative and provides an exciting opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged between 18 to 25 to come together to strengthen their leadership skills and build their capacity to drive change in local communities.

Arika Appleby was honoured to be selected to attend the six-day residential program which more than 560 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people have participated in since the program began in 2004.

“To be selected to attend the Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program is a huge honour and I was thrilled to meet a diverse range of attendees and collaborate on ideas on how to lead our own community projects and help drive improved outcomes in our local communities,” said Ms Appleby.

“The program has been incredibly valuable, and has included intensive leadership workshops, mentoring and networking opportunities and career development opportunities to improve our leadership and self development skills,” she said.

“One of the highlights was definitely the one-day Eric Deeral Indigenous Youth Parliament, giving us a true-to-life parliamentary debate, speech writing session and panel discussion on the importance of youth engaging with Parliament.”

“I was lucky enough to speak at Parliament House during this session and I mentioned my beautiful daughter Miss Sunny in my speech, and the important part my daughter will play in the development and future of Queensland.”

“I was pleased to support the motion of acknowledging First Nations cultures as I believe young Indigenous people should be provided with the opportunity to grow and prosper, where our culture and heritage is embraced.”

“It is about acknowledging the past, but more importantly acknowledging our future. A future where my daughter can fully embrace her culture whilst also influencing the wider community.”

“I learnt so much from the program and I cannot wait to take these learnings back to my community and implement ideas through my role as Indigenous Sport and Community Recreation Officer at PCYC Upper Ross.”