Working with Youth

It doesn’t feel that long ago that I once thought of myself as Youth(ful), and so it should come as no surprise that as we progress through life and grow, that our own growth might develop into sharing our experiences with the next generation.  Helping others, by virtue, is something that we can all aspire to do more of.

I have worked alongside youth and in particular, Indigenous youth (Aboriginal and Maori) for over 20 years in various capacities in between my home of New Zealand and my adopted home of Perth, WA.  I have been a tutor, composer, workplace mentor, teacher, support coach, tuakana (elder brother) and kaimanaaki (advocate) in my time.

The resilience and determination of the youth today differs from that of mine, my parents and grandparents times.  There are obvious differences in technological advancements spanning these age groups that drive much of the youth of today, in all they do – but the essence, at the core, remains for those of us in support, supervisory or mentoring roles, which is: to genuinely support; engage positively and help a young person to make lifelong and lasting good choices.

The growth and change seen in an emerging young person when they engage, either through training, employment, skilling themselves, or a combination of all of those things, is very powerful and purposeful.  For them, for their families, communities, employers and for our shared futures – and at the end of the day, for us all as a truly global community.

To that end, and from my vantage – I choose to work with youth, warts-and-all, come-what-may, thick-or-thin, because I believe in their greater potential.  I advocate that they will go on to things brighter then I shall ever see.  If I can help them to do so, then I’m more than happy to walk with them supporting along the way.

In ending MY perspective of working with youth, let me pose a thought for you to consider, when we think about the youth in our workspaces, homes and lives – “What counts as support, and what support, counts”…

For more information on Nudge, and the ‘Nudge way of Working with Youth’, please visit us at our website: or call us on 9323 6378.

Best regards:

Matt Paki


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