A small group of thoughtful, concerned youth workers changing the world.

A little over twelve months ago I was part of a small group of youth workers at their wits end with how the youth sector was progressing. We were concerned about the current curriculum for youth workers. We were concerned about the lack of good ongoing professional development for the sector. We were really concerned that there was a lack of mentors and solid professional supervision in youth work organisations. In short we were worried that youth work was becoming a lazy profession.
We discussed these issues many times and eventually we challenged each other to do something about it. most of us on that fateful night decided to stop whinging and to do something about the issues we saw. Some of us became youth work teachers in university, TAFE and private registered training organisations. Some of us began internal change in our own organisations. Some of us embarked on the development of the Ultimate Youth Worker organisation. 
As I have embarked on the journey that has been the Ultimate Youth Worker I have found that there are a number of thoughtful, concerned youth workers changing the world. We are all coming at the issues in the youth sector from slightly different perspectives and using different ways of communicating but we all want to see youth work become more professional, more caring of our young people and more supportive of staff.
There are a number of canny outlaws in the youth work sector at the moment who we have been supported by and who we have great respect for. We have been phenomenally supported by Shae and Stephen Pepper of www.youthworkinit.com in the USA, they have promoted our blog and allowed us the honour of posting on theirs. But in their own right they promote best practice through knowledge sharing and support the sector through resource development. We have also been supported by an awesome youth minister from South Africa in Neels Redelinghuys. Neels runs a youth ministry in Bloemfontein, South Africa and a great blog and twitter account and has promoted pretty much everything we have said for the last six months (we wonder if he isn’t angling for a job).
These are just a small group of thoughtful, concerned youth workers changing the world, and as once was said:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. —Margaret Mead

Aaron Garth

Aaron Garth is the Executive Director of Ultimate Youth Worker. Aaron has worked as a youth worker in a number of settings including local church, street drug and alcohol outreach, family services, residential care, local government and youth homelessness since 2003. Aaron is a regular speaker at camps, retreats, & youth work training events and is a dedicated to seeing a more professional youth sector in Australia. Aaron is a graduate of RMIT University and an alumnus of their youth work program. He lives in Melbourne with his wife Jennifer & their daughters Hope, Zoe, Esther, Niamh and son Ezra.

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  1. You make a good point that there is a lack of professionalism in the Youth Work sector. I know the Youth Workers Association is vying for this and holds regular panel discussions.

  2. Any sector that is self regulating will struggle with professionalism. Youth work in Australia isn’t even self regulated though. The YWA will need to develop a stringent set of policies and regulations for its members if it is to gain a real foothold in the professions.

  3. Pingback: Youth work change makers: rebellion or resurrection - Ultimate Youth Worker

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