Eloise Aiken

Black and white portrait of Young Leader 2020 Eloise Aiken
Eloise Aiken - Cheltenham Girls' High School Captain

Cheltenham Girls' High School Captain
17 years of age

“I would really like to encourage young women to be okay with having strong opinions, being okay to share them and being confident enough to stand up for themselves and what they believe in. But also, in saying that, encouraging them to have open minds, understanding, or at least listening to multiple perspectives and being willing to change their minds. Also encouraging them to feel compassion for others and make change for those who are not as privileged, or have access/know-how to do so.”

From Eloise:

  • As a leader, I truly believe compromise is my strong suit. It doesn’t matter the issue, or whether or not I’m the subject matter expert, I try to listen to as many opinions before casting a verdict/making a decision.
  • I am always looking at ways we can come together and create new ideas and solutions from a plethora of mindsets.
  • There are people in power, that are discriminatory and have opinions that are racist or sexist, which is really disappointing to see in the 21st century. I would love for that to go. For people to feel like their government represents them and that they can feel comfort, support and reliability in the people that are leading them. I think that's the kind of change I would love to see in the world.
  • The mental health of my age group is a big issue. A lot of people I know suffer from mental health issues that stem from many different things. I think someone my age, and
    doing the HSC, sustaining friendships and understanding who you are more, trying to figure out your identity and also battling things like social media - it takes its toll. I think social media is a really interesting platform, it can be great, but it can also be really detrimental. There’s a lot the average 17 year old needs to fathom, and I don’t believe it necessarily gets easier the older you get.

Something that stands out about this young leader?

  • Completed a project on the impact Aboriginal theatre can make on Australian society and how it can progress it.
  • Is considering journalism for future career so she can talk to people who are being affected by certain issues, and then amplifying their own voices through her publications; or policymaking (making meaningful change).
  • If she could talk to anyone dead, or alive, she’d want to speak to Vida Goldstein - an Australian suffragette and social reformer who ran for parliament five times and was unsuccessful every time, because she wanted to remain an independent as she didn’t want to get caught up in party politics.

She’s our future, why is her leadership and influence on society something to talk about?

  • After school, Eloise is looking forward to breaking out of the bubble that she finds herself in. She considers herself highly privileged, born into privilege, has access to education, a roof over her head, and food on the table every night.
  • It’s really disappointing to see a country like Australia not pulling its weight with climate change.

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