With nominations open for the 2022 Young Canberra Citizen of the Year Awards (closing 8 August), we reconnected recently with young people who were honoured in the past and see what they’ve been up to.
We start with Jahin Tanvir, aged 21, founder and CEO of Breathe, a social enterprise providing public speaking education to marginalised communities around Australia.
Jahin was named one of the ACT’s 2022 Young Australian of the Year finalists while also receiving the 2021 Young Canberra Citizen of the Year in Individual Community Service. He’s a Board Director of the Adolescent Health Association of Australia and the Youth Coalition of the ACT.
Jahin finds time to be an advisor for the Australian Department of Health, where he advises on healthcare communications and serves as a consultant for leading anti-racism and health research organisations.
Jahin was recently named as a Young Ambassador at UNICEF for 2022.
So tell us, what inspired you to get into this line of work?
My philosophy in life has been “You can't be what you can't see.”
Growing up as a first-generation migrant, I've always yearned to see diversity and representation for young people of colour.
From the media to leadership positions, I've always hoped someone would speak out for the issues that concerned my community.
When I graduated high school, I moved to Canberra, and had a moment of change in my life where I told myself, “What's the point of wishing something from others, when I can strive towards it myself?”
Be a role model, a torchbearer, and an example that through actions, hard work and perseverance, anything is possible.
Sounds like you have a lot on your plate!
It's been a rollercoaster, and I've enjoyed every inch of the journey so far.
I feel very privileged for the people that I have met, the opportunities that I've come across, and the lessons that I have learned.
I'm immensely excited for what's to come.
What’s next for you?
Those who know me personally and professionally know that I have a very ambitious personality.
I'm always looking at different opportunities, and how I can serve my community, and generation.
At the moment, my main goal is to finish university, continue my youth advocacy, and grow my social enterprise around Australia.
I want to be both a life-long learner and a life-long advocate.
Do you have any advice for the next group of Young Canberra Citizens of the Year?
My advice comes in the form of the quote: Attitude, not aptitude, determines your altitude.
It doesn't matter what you have right now, or how hard the uphill journey may seem; if your attitude is strong, if you’re hardworking, and have pure intentions to do good, and serve others, you will ultimately always be able to achieve your goals.
It may sound very romanticised, but it's the truth.
Be yourself, be authentic, and most importantly, enjoy the journey. The world needs your honesty, and who you are.
What’s your favourite part of the work you do?
The people I meet on a weekly basis is always my favourite part. Whether it's my team at Breathe., the people I've met through youth advocacy, or the hundreds of people that reach out via social media. Being able to have these conversations has been immensely eye-opening, and enjoyable.
It's the people that make the work rewarding.
What do you love about living in the ACT?
My favourite part of living in Canberra is definitely how tight-knit the youth community is. I've found such a supportive family of like-minded young people that I'm truly grateful for.
To connect with Jahin you can visit his website, and remember to nominate the next Young Canberra Citizen of the Year before 8 August.
Page updated: 06 Jul 2022