Sydney has become a hub for the Nepalese diaspora down under. The Australian city is home to a large Nepalese community, student population and experiences many Nepalese events ranging from arts, entertainment to politics. The Nepali Youth Leadership Forum is being organised for the very first time in Sydney with a focus on the Nepalese youths and young adults. Initiated by Pjay Shrestha, Mr Nepal Oceania 2016, the forum aims to maximise leadership potential, lead and achieve goals effectively and expand your network.

I caught up with Pjay for a quick chat about Nepali Youth Leadership Forum. Have a read.

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LEX: Hi Pjay! First off – great initiation! Love the idea. What is your motivation behind organising this event?

PJAY: Lex, with thousands of Nepali Students coming to Australia every year and much more growing up in Australia. It is more important than ever to start ensuring our Nepali Youths have the support and guidance they need to succeed in both the Australian and our Nepali Community. It can be very challenging for a youth to come to a new country and have to learn everything from ground zero from making new friends to learning how to get a job in their field. In addition to this, it is very challenging for many youths growing up in Australia to balance being connected with their Australian friends and pleasing the cultural norms of our Nepali society that is expected from them. It’s a real challenge many youths and parents face due to the vast cultural gap which often leads to many disagreements and disinterest to participate in the Nepali community programs.

I believe our youths have a lot to contribute. I’ve met a lot of our Nepali Youths in the past year and they are all very talented, hard-working and ambitious. This event is to help them connect with other talents who can support them achieving their dreams and goals. I think it’s very important we start fostering leaders beyond our own Nepali community and start creating international leaders who also contribute back to their roots. This is the type of conversation I’d love our Nepali people to have as the world becomes more globalised.

LEX: Each individual will attend the event with their own personal goal and mission, whether it be to meet one of the speakers, to learn about a certain field or just gain a different perspective on things – what would you want people to take away from the event?

PJAY: To meet great people who can support their dreams and goals. Idea’s don’t change the world, it’s the people. I’ve come to realise that it’s people who have ultimately supported me in achieving my goals, it’s people who have shown me what is possible in life and it’s people who have helped me continually push through new boundaries. It’s what I want people to ultimately get from the event, great people that can support their goals and dreams.

LEX: You’ve been living in Australia for a very long time and growing up in a culture very different from the culture in Nepal, do you feel that you had Nepali people as role models that you looked up to as you grew up or now?

PJAY: I’m always learning new things from people around me and there would be at least 5 full page books listing all the people I’ve learnt from as role models. I think in life everyone is a role model and a mentor we can learn from including mums, dads, uncles, aunties, cousins, friends, or even strangers.

Some of the Nepali people who I’ve met and believe are great role models are:

Shesh Ghale & Jamuna Ghale who are working tirelessly to ensure 1,000 homes for built for the villagers in Laprak to have a warm place to live before winter arrives. They are truly shaping what is possible for Nepali’s all around the world. Please check out Laprak Model Settlement and help out where you can. https://www.laprakmodelsettlement.org

Lex Limbu, I know we met briefly in Australia for some delicious Thia food and through our fun conversation, I could really tell you were living the life you love. It’s really great to see another young individual doing what they love and providing a platform for many youths to be engaged in what’s happening all around the world in an entertaining and innovative way. ????Bhoma Sanba who is also the President of UNAE is remarkable with the amount of support and time she gives to youth development both here in Australia and Nepal. She works tirelessly for the community in a genuine way and is a great role model for many youths growing up.

I could write much more, but let’s stick with the following three.

LEX: Thank you, that’s very kind of you… How are you currently reaching out to the youth to promote and attract them to the event?

PJAY: This event can only happen with the support of the whole community working together to let our Youths know about this exciting event. If you are reading this, please share about the event as you never know who you can make a difference towards. It might even be inspiring others to hold such events in your country or area in the future. I’ve been very lucky to have one of Australia’s Top Universities – Australian Catholic University supporting and promoting this event along with UNAE team helping me organise and promote this event. I’d also like to thank Binod Paudel helping me in regards to getting in touch with media and reaching our wider youths.

LEX: Finally, how can people register or get involved in supporting this cause?

PJAY: If you are interested in getting involved to support this cause of creating international Nepali youth leaders please email me on Pjayshrestha@gmail.com or FB message me on https://www.facebook.com/pramej.shrestha

If you are interested in registering or finding out more you can do so via https://nepal-leadership.splashthat.com

There you have it! That was the brief chat with Pjay regarding the upcoming event on March 11, Saturday. There’ll be a range of speakers from Nepal and beyond, including Harrison Uffindell who successfully made it on Forbes Top 30 Under 30.

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