Rotary Club of Brighton’s Rotary 100 Project -

creating the next generation of CHANGE MAKERS!

To celebrate 100 years of Rotary in Australia and NZ, the Rotary Club of Brighton in parrtnership with the Young Change Agents will launch the “Be Your Own Boss” program. This initiative will build the next generation of social entrepreneurs and change makers in Bayside & Kingston. This exciting opportunity will empower our local youth to solve social challenges with business solutions, create a positive difference and lead to better youth employability outcomes.


‘Be Your Own Boss’ is an innovative new program series encouraging young people to bounce back from the impacts of COVID, by learning valuable enterprise skills and making a difference in their community. The program will launch this July, with young people between 12 - 25 in Bayside and Kingston invited to take part. The program is in celebration of 100 years of Rotary in Australia and aims to build the next generation of social entrepreneurs and future leaders.

The Victorian Government’s Commission for Children and Young People describes the massive impact on the lives of Victorian youth across safety, mental health and education as a result of Melbourne’s COVID lockdown, revealing a picture of growing uncertainty and isolation, combined with diminished visibility in our young people. Youth have also been disproportionately affected in their employment, with more than half of Victorians between 18-24 unemployed during the height of the lockdown. Promisingly, research by the Foundation for Young Australians shows youth with enterprise skills are 17 months ahead of their peers in gaining full time employment. 

To tackle this challenge, the Rotary Club of Brighton in partnership with not-for-profit social enterprise Young Change Agents, will aim to create the next generation of social entrepreneurs through the ‘Be Your Own Boss’ workshop series. The series launches in July 2021 and gives young people the opportunity to create business solutions that tackle social problems, aiming for outcomes that improve communities, provide people access to employment and training, or help the environment. The Be Your Own Boss workshops will empower young people with the mindsets, skill sets and toolsets to become social entrepreneurs and catalyse change. 

More than 200 youth aged 12-17 from four local high schools, and 100 youth aged 18-25 across Bayside and Kingston, will participate. Young people will start with an Explorer program in July, where they will develop enterprise skills through identifying a community problem and reframing it as an opportunity in the form of a social enterprise. The next-stage Youth Incubator (YINC), in September, will see youth working with experts and attending masterclasses to test, model and pitch their idea. The workshops will culminate in a Community Showcase, in October, where youth will present and celebrate their work with a prominent panel of industry and community.


About the Be Your Own Boss Initiative 

The Be Your Own Boss project, co-led by the Rotary Club of Brighton, and Young Change Agents aims to build the entrepreneurial mindsets, skillsets and toolsets of young people between the ages of 12 - 25 years in the Bayside and Kingston areas. The project aims to raise the profile and visibility of what young people are capable of, how they can positively contribute to the local community and showcase that they are able to make a social impact that matters.
The program is divided into two blocks: one for 12 - 17 year olds and one for 18 - 25 year olds. Each age group will have the opportunity to participate in the Young Change Agents Explorer program. They will then be able to participate in a follow-on Youth Incubator (YINC) to grow and deepen their social enterprise solutions. A combined Community Showcase will then take place, inviting both age groups, so young people can showcase their solutions to the Bayside community and key decision makers for further support.
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Bayside “Be Your Own Boss” Launches in July!

The Rotary Club of Brighton and Young Change Agents will host social enterprise skills workshops across Bayside and Kingston throughout July and August. These opportunities will be focussed on involving young people from diverse backgrounds, experiences and skill sets into the program series.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Rotary on this initiative. The Be Your Own Boss series is intended to encourage young people to become entrepreneurs, learn invaluable enterprise skills and get a better understanding of how problem solving and innovation can lead to an exciting career,” said Margaret O’Brien, CEO of Young Change Agents.

“We’re very excited to have selected this project as our Rotary 100 initiative, and to be able to launch this workshop program in July with Young Change Agents. It will give our youth an opportunity to pitch their business ideas to some of Bayside’s most influential business leaders and policy makers and create change in the ways that matter most to young people”, said Dale Hoy, District Governor Elect of Rotary District 9800 and member of the Rotary Club of Brighton.

“We know enterprise skills will be critical in the future economy. More and more jobs are demanding enterprise skills, and it’s really important we give youth the chance to consider these options,” said Aruna Venkatachalam, Head of Partnerships at Young Change Agents.

“The Be Your Own Boss workshop series is all about giving as many young people as possible practical skills in design thinking, so they can understand what it means to be an entrepreneur and how they can develop these important skills for the future workforce.” said Jo Kwok, Director of Youth and Vocational Services at the Rotary Club of Brighton.

“With the 18 – 25 year old Explorer two day workshop kicking off on July 24th, we’re looking for expressions of interest from young Baysiders to sign up to be part of this opportunity. Skills gained will help youth see problems as opportunities through social entrepreneurship and give them the confidence and skills to dream big, achieve through entrepreneurship and create social impact.”


The Be Your Own Boss initiative is being generously supported by The Rotary District 9800 Foundation, Flora and Frank Leith Charitable Trust, Bayside City Council, Elwood Community Bank and Bendigo Bank Brighton.


About Young Change Agents  
Young Change Agents is an award-winning not-for-profit social enterprise that teaches youth aged 10-25 to see problems in their communities as opportunities, and develop solutions in the form of a social enterprise. We partner on a number of Federal, State and Local Government initiatives and have impacted more than 10 000 youth and 1200 teachers across Australia. Young Change Agents’ mission is to provide students with the mindsets, skillsets and toolsets to think creatively, build critical thinking and communication, and empower them to believe they are good enough to be entrepreneurs, leaders and world changers. We equip youth for their future and enable them to create their own economic pathways.
About the Rotary Club of Brighton
Established in 1973, the Rotary Club of Brighton Inc (RCB) are a not for profit community organisation, who embody service above self and actively lives up to the ideals of Rotary in its community service, fundraising and social programs. RCB is part of Rotary International, a global network of 1.2 million neighbours, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who come together to make positive, lasting change in Bayside, communities around Australia and abroad. This year, to celebrate a centenary of Rotary in Australia and New Zealand, RCB’s Rotary100 Project are looking to create the next generation of social entrepreneurs and change makers.