Caring for the Community

Whitehorse News - April 2021

Making a difference is key to community Helping youth in the community realise their potential is central to Nathaniel Diong’s approach to life.

Vermont South local Nathaniel Diong has a message for young people: that you can make a difference.

“Today we’ve helped 11,000 youth learn 21st-century skills through business. We work directly with schools and help their students build business with positive impact,” he said. “It’s easy to feel like we’re not smart enough or good enough to make a difference. But the reality is, you are good enough.

“Young people today are more creative than ever. It’s a matter of having the right skills to turn simple ideas into reality.” Nathaniel, who received the 2021 Young Citizen of the Year award for Whitehorse in January, founded the Future Minds Network when he was aged 16. The now 20-year-old attributed some of his passion for making a difference to his experiences in Whitehorse, when attending sustainability fairs and taking part in events like Clean Up Australia Day.

“What started as picking up rubbish taught me the impact that people can have. Alone I could pick up 20 pieces of rubbish, but together we could pick up 20kg,” he said. “Alone we move one rock, together we move a mountain. That philosophy helped me.” Studying commerce and global studies at Monash University, Nathaniel said he could not have done any of his work without the support of community.

Nathaniel believes community is more than people, it’s people who come together when times are tough. “Everyone has different skills, ideas and perspectives to bring to the table,” he said.

“If we can work together, we can shape a better future.”