We’ve made some fab changes!
Hey everybody, my name is Lavender, the SVN Keep-In-The-Loop (KITL) coordinator! For those who don’t know, SVN (the Student Voice Network) has been undergoing some changes recently and we’re proud to launch the new and improved SVN! I’ll be taking you through the key highlights of what has changed in SVN, with important information for both current and new members. For anyone who doesn’t have time (or doesn’t want to read through the entire thing) feel free to skip to the tl;dr at the end, where I summarise what every member needs to do thanks to these changes.
The Student Voice Network?
For those who don’t know what SVN is; SVN stands for the Student Voice Network! SVN was established to support young people to build, lead and amplify projects that make a difference. That’s still our mission. We do this by bringing together passionate changemakers to learn from each other, fostering a friendly community and preparing members for a future of advocacy, leadership and involvement in changing the future of Australia and the world for the better.
This starts with our projects. All SVN Members are expected to be involved in at least one SVN project. What kind of projects do we run? Well... any social or environmental topic close to your heart really. SVN serves as a space where young people can step up to lead projects that make a difference on the issues that are important to them. Whether they want something to be changed for the better at their school, they want to do something in their community or they simply want to change Australia’s national policy. Through our new and improved Project Architect Program, all members have to do is have an interest in the subject and want to do something about it. We also run an Ambassador Program which allows members to bring SVN news, opportunities and projects to their schools while also providing SVN with a wider range of student perspectives to improve our projects and resources. Finally, we have upskill and social programs, but I’ll talk about that more when I mention what has changed.
The Changes (bringing a better, brighter SVN and opportunities to you):
Basically, SVN has revamped the basis of its membership to better support the projects and skills that are generated via SVN. We’ve revamped membership so that there’s only one type of member: Member! This is both to simplify things and allow people to have more freedom within SVN. It’s basically your one-stop-shop, golden ticket to unlocking what SVN offers you! Now, if you are a member and want to run a project or become an ambassador for your school, you simply need to complete an orientation course and become one. For those who have aged-out, don’t yet have a spare moment or two, or keep on being bugged by a friend or their kid to learn more about us, we also have the ‘SVN Besties’ option which allows you to receive updates and stay in-the-loop with SVN goings-on without committing to being a member.
We’ve also slightly adjusted our project-building system. We now have two types of advocacy:
First we have clear-cut events with a start and end date which will be referred to as ‘projects’, as this is what most people expect. I.e. a one off event. That’s not to say you can’t then take everything you’ve learnt to repeat your project or make it long-term later on!
On top of that, we will also have ‘collectives’ which represent ongoing projects with no clear end in sight. I.e. similar to your enviro team at school!
Both of these will fall under the ‘project architect’ header, but will allow for a more diverse range of projects and ways to get involved. There are also two options for weekly project meetings, on Mondays and Thursdays. This allows members more freedom, if they are unable to attend Monday meetings, they can attend on Thursdays - and still be met by plenty of other changemakers to work and chat with! How often members need to attend meetings is decided by the project they are a part of.
As well as Project Architects we also have the previously mentioned SVN Ambassadors who are part of our Ambassador Program. This has also been adjusted slightly. Becoming an ambassador is now considered a 6-month commitment to SVN, this includes sharing at least one thing with their school each week and attending a special Ambassador meeting once every 3 months. All this is designed to put a stronger focus on the school-side of Ambassadors, allowing them to inform their peers on things they care about.
We’re also going to run in-person and online social events for all SVN members to attend if they wish. This will grow and maintain the sense of community and friendship we’ve worked hard to build within the network, while offering fun opportunities to chat with like-minded people.
Our Upskill Program has also been revamped to be more focused and expertly-structured to better inform and train members in all aspects of life. From learning about the Australian political system, to how to create your own non-profit, the new Upskill Program aims to set up young leaders for life.
Because a lot of awesome changes have been made for SVN, we also felt it best to adjust the executive team to reflect this. As such, we’ve created a more organised and larger exec team to run SVN. Everyone on the team is enthusiastic, talented and dedicated to SVN’s mission and will be properly introduced in just a few days.
We’re also currently looking for partners! Both for profit and non-profit organisations. If you or anyone you know is interested in spreading your message to a community of dedicated young people, please contact us.
What you need to do:
All existing members will need to re-sign up to SVN via this link. Let us repeat, all existing members will need to re-sign up to SVN via this link. We need all existing members to do this so they can stay in the loop and make the most out of the new and improved SVN. As well, all members will need to undergo a new orientation course to reintroduce them to the new SVN - so you know exactly how you can best be part of SVN to boost your own growth and impact journey. Any member who wishes to be involved with the Project Architect Program or the Ambassador Program will need to also complete a separate, tailored orientation to get them ready to run in their desired program.
Thanks for your time,
Lavender Neesham ^-^ (KITL coordinator).