Left Right Think Tank

Last week ESSA proudly announced its new affiliation with Left-Right Think Tank, a youth-led non-partisan public policy body. Founded by Thom Woodroofe and Richard Newnham in 2008, Left-Right was created to provide young people with the opportunity to contribute to public policy discussion without being limited by the constraints of the political spectrum. In doing so, it aims to create a society where young people are consulted and lead discussion on national issues.

Comprised of 70 young Australian volunteers aged between 16 and 24, led by CEO Ryan Harvey, Left-Right Think Tank has already provided young people with the opportunity to have their voices heard. In 2009, Left-Right brought together prominent industry, government and academic experts for the Ennovate Conference on the future of Australia’s sustainability. In 2010, it hosted the Australian Youth Led Convention, which saw delegates provided with professional skills training and advise on how to run organisations.

Along with running conferences, Left-Right provides young Australians with opportunities to develop their skills in public policy by offering Policy Fellowships at the beginning of each year. Fellows take part in 12 workshops, consult the public and meet with Ministers and Shadow Ministers as they seek to raise the concerns of Young Australians. In accordance with this fellowship, Left-Right has four Policy Projects it is undertaking in 2012, each pertinent to a particular state. In Western Australia, its focus is infrastructure, in Queensland it is researching into governance, in New South Wales it is contributing to the education debate while in Victoria it is exploring ideas of economic sustainability. These policy areas build upon the success of Left-Right’s report into the future of Innovation in Australia released in 2011.

ESSA looks forward to what it hopes to be a long and valuable affiliation with Left-Right Think Tank. If you would like to learn more about Left-Right Think Tank, check out their website http://www.leftright.org.au/ or meet representatives in person at ESSA’s Q&A on Thursday August 16