Adelaidean - News from the University of Adelaide The University of Adelaide Australia
December 2006 Issue
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Young agent of change


Two things stand out in Skye Riggs's personality: the first is her positive outlook, the second her boundless energy. This is a young woman on the move.

The 20-year-old Bachelor of Arts student, who is majoring in Politics and Anthropology at the University of Adelaide, is passionate about more than her studies. In between juggling assignments and tutorials Skye has immersed herself in youth programs and voluntary work.

In 2004 she was named Youth Ambassador for South Australia in recognition of her work with World Vision, an organisation she joined in high school.

Last month Skye (pictured) also represented Australia at the International Youth Volunteering Conference in Delhi, India, giving a speech on the importance of empowering youth.

It's a subject close to her heart and reflected in the extracurricular activities she chooses to pursue - host of Radio Adelaide student show, Stir, and chairperson of Vision Generation (VGen).

The latter's motto - to inspire, educate and empower young people in the fight against global poverty and injustice - sums up her individual philosophy as well.

"It's important for young people to have a voice in the community because they are the future leaders. If we don't engage youth now, they will not have the knowledge, passion and skills to make a difference when they are older," Skye said.

The theme of the United Nations-sponsored conference was "youth as agents of change" with the focus on the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the Make Poverty History Campaign.

The eight MDGs - which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 - form a blueprint agreed to by all the world's countries.

"These goals have been endorsed by our leaders but have not translated into policies at this stage," Skye said.

Skye is involved in youth forums that publicise the fight against poverty in a positive way. "Most young people are passionate about music, so we have a lot of fund-raising gigs, which support our cause."

Skye is keen to see volunteering opportunities developed for university students in partnership with the corporate world. "In this way, students can develop their skills in the commercial world, but also contribute to the community."

Story by Candy Gibson

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Skye Riggs
Photo by Candy Gibson

Skye Riggs
Photo by Candy Gibson

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