Submitted by: International Youth Foundation
Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions
Posted: May 12, 2005 – 12:00 AM EST
An Australian, Smith is the founder of Directing Potential, a dynamic social enterprise established in 2001 to maximize the potential of Australia's youth. This has enabled Smith to engage with more than 10,000 young Australians and those working within the local youth and education sectors. He was recently appointed as Deputy Chairperson of The Foundation for Young Australians, a member of IYF's Global Partner Network of youth-serving NGOs. Smith's dedication as a youth leader has taken him around the world. He has worked with the Coalition for the Homeless in New York and held the position of Australia's Youth Representative to the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2003.
"I believe the world should not be bound by roles, rules and responsibilities determined only by chronological age," said Smith, age 24. "Young people can be active agents for both change and sustainable development in their own communities - if given the chance. The International Youth Foundation, through its network of partners and programs, gives youth just this chance and I am honored to now be a part of such a far-reaching organization."
The current IYF board is made up of an international group of business, government and civil society leaders, all deeply committed to address the challenges facing today's young people. Board members come from Brazil, Finland, Jordan, the Philippines, Switzerland, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, the United States, and now Australia.
"Effectively promoting the positive development of youth is clearly a priority at IYF," said David Bell, Chair of the IYF Board and Chairman of the Financial Times Group. "Given his outstanding advocacy work in the area of education reform, his keen understanding of the issues impacting young people today, and his commitment to ensure that the youth perspective is recognized and valued, asking Adam to join our IYF governing board was a natural choice."
Smith has held a number of senior positions within Government and the not-for-profit sector and has developed and implemented a range of effective programs to engage, challenge and inspire young people and the communities around them. He is currently a trustee of the Skills Plus Youth Foundation and has held positions on the Adult, Community and Further Education Board. Smith is an Australia Day Ambassador, recipient of the 2004 Celebrating Melbourne Award for his outstanding contribution to Victoria's youth sector and has been nominated three times as Young Australian of the Year.
"Where ever he goes, Adam Smith challenges common perceptions of young people and what they can accomplish," said William Conn, Chairman of the Foundation for Young Australians. "His long-term and passionate commitment to expanding the role of youth in shaping our world has been an inspiration to all of us who have seen his efforts up close."
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