Gen Y is often referred to as Generation Me. A cohort of young people labelled selfish, apathetic and maybe even a little bit lazy.

However, step into a United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) Young Professionals (YP) event and you will realise our country is home to many passionate, caring and motivated young Australians committed to making a difference in the world.

The UNAA YP involves young professionals throughout Australia in international affairs and the work of the United Nations around the world, through fundraising, awareness-raising and advocacy campaigns. 

The UNAA YP fills the gap between enthusiastic students and the baby-boomers involved in the UN. 

The YP cater to 20-40 year olds, providing relevant events that spread the word of the UN and creates connections for them with charity groups. 

The group also focuses on raising much needed funds for its sister organisations, including UN Women, UNICEF, and UNHCR and their vital initiatives.

Founded in NSW 2011, the YP was piloted for 12 months in NSW. Following the success of the Inaugural National Conference on UN Day in 2012, the network is now rolling out nationally in selected states.

The events are varied and cater from the educational, such as refugees stories, to the tangible, such as how to establish a charity. An upcoming event is in support of International Women’s Day and will focus on violence against women and what this means to Gen Y. 

As a member of the Leadership Team, I’ve seen firsthand the commitment young Australians have to continuing the good work of the UN and I truly believe the future is safe in Gen Ys hands.

The next UNAA YP event is ‘Insights into an unspoken culture of violence... What Gen Y'ers don't Tweet about’ on Tuesday 26th February 6.30pm in Sydney. It aligns with International Women’s Day and will raise funds for UN Women Australia's main project Critical Services Initiative in Papua New Guinea (PNG).