Sondoos is a Campaigner for Change—part of a year-long transformative training program that brings young people together to build skills and drive social change in communities across the country. She has just completed her training and will be soon be campaigning in her community. We sat down to chat about the program and what it means to her.
Why did you put your hand up to become a Campaigner for Change?
Fortunately, I was raised in Australia and have spent my life blessed with a home, access to a great education in a private school, and easy access to all the basic needs in my life. In 2016, I was skimming through articles that ranked Melbourne as the most liveable city in the world and I came across an article that ranked the city of Damascus as the least liveable city in the world. Since my ethnic background is Syrian, I was struck by this contrast. It made me realise how I could have easily been on the opposite end of the spectrum living in the least liveable city in the world. This motivated me to participate in the Campaigners for Change program and learn the techniques and skills required to be a successful campaigner and to further practically apply those skills.
Why is fighting justice important to you?
I have always been very keen about social change and giving back to the community. I have studied how the law interplays with justice and social change, and how law can act as a tool for social change. Seeing the various methods that social change can be achieved in issues of domestic violence, economic abuse, and homelessness, I have learnt that there are equally a wide range of methods to tackling global injustices.
What have you gotten out of the program?
I have learnt the different campaigning techniques and media campaigning methods. I have learnt valuable leadership skills, how to build a personal narrative as a campaigner and the significance of personal narratives. In the second half of the program, I will be putting those skills into practice. Importantly, engaging with other campaigners taught me the value of teamwork and the group intellect.