MOST TEENAGERS ARE NOT AS AMBITIOUS AS JASMINE ELLIOTT, AND MOST DON’T REALISE THE DIFFERENCE SHE IS MAKING TO THEIR LIVES. SHE HAS INVARIABLY ACHIEVED AND DEMANDED MORE FROM LIFE THAN MANY ADULTS.
She’s conversed politics with Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, represented her generation at the UN Youth State Conference, she has shaved her hair to support fundraising for Blood Cancer. Politically, Jasmine is Deputy Chair of the Gladstone Youth Council and youth member for Gladstone on the YMCA QLD Youth Parliament.
Accolades for 16-year-old Elliott include a nomination for the QLD Young Achiever’s Cultural Diversity Award, founder of the Million Miles Project and one of the School Captains at Toolooa State High.
“I can never see myself without a passion for change or an interest in the affairs of the world,” she said. “I’ve been working really hard for a positive future.”
Like any teenager, Elliott radiates hope for herself, with aspirations to study and practice medicine. What sets her apart, however, is that she is longing for hope on a grander scale too, and currently her focus is on cultural diversity. As the world and even her hometown of Gladstone are divisive in opinion over cultural diversity, Jasmine is echoing the voice of her peers – a resounding call for tolerance and acceptance irrespective of religion or culture.
When quizzed on her thoughts of Gladstone’s plans to build a mosque, Jasmine welcomes the prospect. “I would hope that a majority of Australia would be supportive of equal rights for all, whether it’s religion, gender, sexuality, culture (or) disability,” she says. “These differences can often be used as a tool for division, but it’s important to realise that this diversity can bring us together. I hope to see myself in a more accepting, equal world- one where discrimination doesn’t plague mainstream media.”
Engagement with her peers across the nation fuels Jasmine with excitement – she is aware the momentum for equality and diversity amongst the youth of Australia is building.
“The number of youth aiming for acceptance is truly inspiring,” she says. “I believe that everyone has the potential to a leader for their generation. It’s never too early or too late to make a difference. If you have something to say, say it- use your voice. Get out there and commit.”
Jasmine says there is one quality that has seen her succeed thus far and it’s her message for Youth Week 2017. “Have a desire to make change and the persistence to deliver it.”
While grand scale plans of change and unity motivate Jasmine, the end goal is typical of any child who wants to make their parents proud. “Mum says I’ll be paying for her retirement which may or may not involve a 5-star caravan,” she laughs.
Check out our previous article on Jasmine’s achievements at http://gladstonenews.com.au/lions-youth/