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an opportunity to lead youth education, empowerment and representation

Become a Board Director

Board Directors at UN Youth Australia are the organisation’s strategic leaders. They are young people who have the passion to apply their skills and experiences towards leading and growing Australia’s largest youth-led education and representation organisation.

Applications now open for:

The Board of Directors

The Board of Directors, or the Board, is the senior governing body responsible for the strategic direction of UN Youth Australia, its corporate governance, and oversight of the National Executive (UN Youth’s senior operations staff), particularly in the areas of finance, ethics and welfare. The Board ensures UN Youth Australia fulfils the objectives set out in our Constitution. The Board is collectively made up of 12 members of UN Youth, 6 of which are Divisional Representative Directors, 4 of which are Independent Directors, and the National President (CEO) and National Secretary who sit ex-officio.

Several committees exist within the Board that monitor and set the strategic direction in areas of finance, risk, human resources, governance, and diversity and inclusion. The Board works closely with various working groups and the National Executive of UN Youth Australia, which is the senior day-to-day operations staff consisting of the National President, National Secretary and executive officers across various portfolios including finance, development, operations, education, communications, human resources and youth representation.

Divisional Representative Directors

Divisional Representative Directors represent all Divisions (states and territories) on the Board by ensuring UN Youth’s strategic direction and governance supports the programs and operations carried out by Divisions.

Independent Directors

Independent Directors serve a critical role on the Board by bringing diverse and external perspectives which improve our strategic decision making. They also contribute under-represented skills to the Board that help fulfil its function.

An opportunity to lead

The role of an Independent Director

Independent Directors bring diverse and external perspectives, skills and experience to UN Youth’s strategic decision-making capacity. Independent Directors are ‘independent’ because they have not had prior experience with UN Youth Australia, allowing them to bring an impartial and new perspective to current and future organisational strategies and direction.

Independent Directors have the same responsibilities and obligations as any other member of the Board. As a Director, you will serve on 1 to 2 Board Sub-Committees that focus on finance, audit and risk, human resources, governance, and diversity and inclusion. Directors may also serve on project-specific task forces and selection panels for various positions within the organisation.

Insight into the Board

Independent Directors Rebecca Rowland (she/her) and Tanya Han (she/her) have been on the Board of UN Youth Australia since December 2020. Rebecca and Tanya share with us what it’s like to be an Independent Director, including the high-level strategic work they have been involved with and led, and what motivated them to apply.

Insight into the Board

Independent Directors Rebecca Rowland (she/her) and Tanya Han (she/her) have been on the Board of UN Youth Australia since December 2020. Rebecca and Tanya share with us what it’s like to be an Independent Director, including the high-level strategic work they have been involved with and led, and what motivated them to apply.

What are some of the highlights of the work you’ve been involved in as an Independent Director?

Rebecca: As an Independent Director, I have been involved in the review of UN Youth’s organisational structure, the development of the Development Portfolio, provided support to key National Executive members, and advocated for the review of the Board’s Sub-Committees. The review of UN Youth’s Board Sub-Committees ensured the realignment and refocus of the Boards work with the organisation’s strategic pillars. Implementing new reporting mechanisms allowed the Board to think more strategically and focused on the importance of the ongoing evaluation of the overarching strategic plan. 

Tanya: We’ve established a brand new Diversity & Inclusion committee as part of the review and improvement of UN Youth’s Board Sub-Committees. I chair this committee and find it really encouraging to see young people not only valuing and celebrating diversity amongst our volunteers and participants, but also their commitment to making the organisation a more inclusive, welcoming place – that genuinely values people for their uniqueness.

How has being an Independent Director at UN Youth Australia strengthened you as a young leader both personally and professionally?

Rebecca: Being an Independent Director at UN Youth has provided many opportunities for personal and professional growth. I have noticed significant growth in my financial skills, mentoring skills, and ability to holistically analyse key matters. The role has also allowed me to connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds and learn new professional perspectives that I wouldn’t normally have access to. Coming into this role, I already had significant experience in risk management, compliance, human resources, and organisational planning. However, working closely with other young leaders, I was able to enhance my current skills and gain a new level of understanding on these matters.

Tanya: The role of Independent Director has been a great opportunity to learn how to successfully make decisions in practice – particularly in balancing the potential benefits to the organisation vs the risks. A board is often faced with decisions where there isn’t a straightforward or ‘right’ answer, but must make a decision and then effectively communicate that to the rest of the organisation. That strategic communication piece can be tricky – but learning the best ways of communicating in a large, complex, and diverse organisation is a skill that you will take into almost much any future role.

What motivated you to apply for the role of Independent Director?

Rebecca: With years of experience in the volunteering and not-for-profit sectors, I was able to personally connect to the values of UN Youth Australia as someone who strives for empowerment amongst young adults, advocates for people’s rights, and committed to pursuing equality and transparent support. I have also developed a strong interest in the strategic direction and governance of an organisation and the legislative requirements to effectively operate and deliver essential services to the broader community. Applying for Independent Director, I was, and continue to be, passionate about strategy and excited by the opportunity to learn and develop more skills with the support provided by other Directors of the Board. 

Tanya: The opportunity to work for a fantastic not-for-profit organisation in a high impact role was an opportunity I could not pass. I was also motivated by the potential to work alongside a really diverse range of young people on the Board, and to learn from people with vastly different professional backgrounds to myself.

Why is it important to have young people involved in governance and leadership?

Rebecca: The advice I would give to someone considering this role is to be open-minded and to fully connect with the values of the organisation. UN Youth Australia is an empowering organisation which drives leadership and change within the community and throughout the world. To be successful in this role, it is important that you draw upon the wisdom and knowledge of UN Youth’s inspiring young volunteers and be open-minded to new perspectives and opportunities. From the day I was appointed as an Independent Director, I have been in awe of how much impact young people can make (especially UN Youth’s volunteers) and the importance of their leadership and guidance to help drive change and strategy.

Tanya: To me, leadership is very much an important responsibility. Often, you will have people looking up to you to see what you do and how you act – and this sets the tone for the organisation. For young people considering this role, don’t take it lightly! But because UN Youth is such a fantastic organisation, you will get to look forward to working with some of the best and brightest minds from across Australia.

Why become a Board Director?

UN Youth Australia is run entirely by over 1,000 extremely dedicated youth volunteers. Becoming a Board Director is an opportunity to lead and strengthen the work of UN Youth. Your skills, experiences and vision will contribute to a wide range of strategic initiatives and directions, ensuring UN Youth is equipped to empower young Australians (12 to 25) to create meaningful change with their communities and throughout the world.

Becoming a Board Director is also an opportunity to gain skills and experience in the not-for-profit and youth sector. As a member of the most senior governance body of the organisation, you’ll be exposed to the operations of Australia’s largest youth-led educational organisation and relied upon to apply critical skills to ensure UN Youth carries out our functions in line with corporate and charitable governance requirements.

About UN Youth Australia

UN Youth’s activities are run for youth and by youth. We run a broad range of peer-education programs that give the students we reach a deep understanding of the social and political issues the world faces today, and the skills and drive to solve them. Within Australia, we organise a National Youth ConferenceEvatt (a national Model UN competition), Voice (a national public speaking competition) and a wide variety of state and territory events.

Important Documentation

UN Youth Australia makes our Annual Report and Strategic Plan publicly available.

You can read our Annual Report for 2019 to 2020 here.

You can read our Strategic Plan for 2021 to 2023 here.

About UN Youth Australia

We are a national youth-led organisation that aims to educate and empower young Australians on global issues. All of the work that we do is rooted in the belief that young people can and do make a difference in their communities. We foster ideas and innovation, and we give young people the inspiration and support they need to create change.

Programs & Activities

UN Youth runs a variety of programs and activities for high-schools students across Australia. You can view all these programs and activities on our website.

Support us

UN Youth Australia is run entirely by volunteers with no external funding. Help us run education programs for even more Australians by becoming a monthly giver.

All content is © UN Youth Australia Ltd unless otherwise stated. ABN: 351 650 807 95

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australia’s First People and Traditional Custodians of the land where we operate.