A GROUP of diverse, young Ballarat women are asking for the community's support in its mission to empower women.
Several months ago members of Ballarat's Centre for Multicultural Youth formed a small group known as LYLO (Lead Yourself Lead Others), funded by Our Watch.
The aim of the program is to empower its members through addressing the issues facing many young women from migrant and refugee backgrounds.
Through the program the participants have explored the correlation between racism, discrimination and gender and how it can create barriers to leadership and opportunity for young women.
Late last year the group hosted a workshop with the intention to train and educate other young women about what they had learnt.
From that workshop the young women, who are courageous leaders in multicultural social change, wanted to stage a bigger project - an art exhibition - that would educate and inspire the wider community about the issues surrounding gender equality and gender stereotypes while promoting respectful relationships and celebrating diversity and equality.
It is hoped the exhibition will start conversations in Ballarat and reduce the stigma often associated with the roles of young, multicultural women.
It's all about educating the current generation so it can lead the next to be a better community.Lamourette Folly
"We want to create communities that are respectful and challenge the gender binary."
An important part of the exhibition is that it is being led by not only young people, but young women from diverse backgrounds, whose voices are not often heard.
"It's important that the community recognises the voices of young people in the community," Ms Folly said.
It was decided to engage the community through artwork as it is a creative way to express one's opinions and feelings and for other's to view it.
Fellow group member Nyagak Yang said the exhibition was a chance for people to express themselves through a different medium to words - as language can often be a barrier for multicultural youth living in Australia - such as through painting or drawing.
The young women are encouraging artists from diverse backgrounds and others with diverse subject matters to enter their exhibition.
People of all sexes, ages, sexual orientations and backgrounds are encouraged to participate. Anybody wishing to contribute their work to be part of the exhibition can contact Kate Souter, of the Centre for Multicultural Youth, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registrations close next Thursday.
The exhibition will open on Friday, February 14 from 5.30pm at Barkly Square, Ballarat.
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