‘We are the future’: Leila Mangos appointed to the NSW Youth Advisory Council

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Greek Australian, Leila Mangos, is one of twelve bright young leaders from New South Wales who have been appointed to the 2021-22 Youth Advisory Council.

The 18-year-old tells The Greek Herald exclusively she feels very excited and lucky to have been selected to advise the NSW Government on issues that affect young people.

“It’s been quite a journey because I’ve actually been going for the council since 2016 when I was about 12 years old and I finally made it on this year,” Leila, who is a Year 12 student at Loreto Normanhurst, says with pride.

Leila Mangos. Photo supplied.

“I was over the moon when Zoe Robertson, who is the Advocate for Children and Young People, gave me a call and I was so excited and it still hasn’t really sunk in that I made it here because it’s something I’ve been aiming for, for such a long time.”

This passion for social issues and making a difference has been instilled in Leila from a young age through her Greek heritage and a personal belief that young people are ‘the future.’

“My Greek heritage has really led me to see the value of community and the importance of working person to person and valuing the individual,” Leila says.

Leila is a passionate advocate for mental health awareness. Photo supplied.

“I also think that young people are the future… and I think the capacity of using the inspiration, enthusiasm and eagerness of young people is something that should be used in a space like government because we’re the ones who can bring forth a whole new generation of ideas and issues.”

In her role on the Council, Leila aims to be a direct line to government on a number of specific issues she’s passionate about, including anti-discrimination and mental health.

“It’s our job to kind of not only represent the community but represent our own stories and our passions and interests, and our role is to kind of impact all young people throughout NSW through policy making and policy advising,” Leila says.

Leila is the newest member of the NSW Youth Advisory Council. Photo supplied.

“I definitely feel very passionate about mental health and the support that’s available for young people going through mental illness… especially during this time of COVID and everything being so uncertain and stressful.

“I’m concerned not enough is being done about it and I want to represent myself and all of my friends and peers who are going through something similar and try, within this council space, to try and do something about it.”

Other members of the 2020-2021 Youth Advisory Committee include: Mae Carroll, Alyssa Horan, Meika Lindsay, Shahim Shabbir, Jayden Delbridge, Lua Pellegrini, Joe Vu, David Ho, Katy Quinn, Oscar Ryan and Stassi Austin.

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