Launch of Youth Entrepreneurs & Leaders Speaker Series

Youth-led, youth-focused diplomacy in Southeast Asia

PRESS RELEASE 16 July 2019 – Download PDF

Australia now is a public diplomacy program of the Australian Government, spearheaded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in a country or region of significance each year. The program celebrates Australia’s creative excellence, diversity and builds relationships for the future. This year, Australia now has a focus on youth, aiming to engage youth audiences and cement long-standing ties between Australia and surrounding member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Launching this month, together with women-led design agency, Social Good Outpost, Australia now will be hosting the Youth Entrepreneurs & Leaders Speaker Series; an 18-month program of events, run across a selection of ASEAN nations with the aim of showcasing and celebrating youth. It is hoped that this collaborative series will foster meaningful connections and promote networks between young entrepreneurs and leaders who are directing change and innovation in their communities. Events in the series will include workshops, panel discussions and conferences and will engage a selection of youth leaders, from Australia, to host these events.

The Youth Entrepreneurs & Leaders Speakers Series launches on July 20 in Laos, before heading to Cambodia, Brunei, Vietnam, and Malaysia in the months following. Co-founders of Social Good Outpost and sister team, Elise Stephenson and Lara Stephenson, are excited to curate the series and bring together some of the brightest young minds to pioneer solutions for the current and future challenges facing the Australasian region.

“We believe that youth are at the heart of solving some of the core issues facing our region. The Youth Entrepreneurs & Leaders Speaker Series is really an innovative way for Australia to showcase the excellence and innovation that is coming from our young people, as well as foster cross-cultural connections with our nearest neighbours,” said Elise Stephenson, Curator of the programme and Director of Social Good Outpost.

Keynote speakers include multi-award winning youth social entrepreneur and former Mental Health Commissioner, Nicole Gibson, and 2019 Young Australian of the Year nominee, Mikhara Ramsing.

“Young Australians are pioneering such interesting and innovative projects. To be able to share these with our nearest neighbours in the Southeast Asian region both benefits Australia, and youth across the region. We’re extremely excited to be bringing this program to life,” said Lara Stephenson, Creative Director of Social Good Outpost.

The series will continue into 2020 with events spanning across topics including social entrepreneurship, gender equality, sustainable fashion, mental health and many more.

For more information on the program and for all event updates visit:

All enquiries contact:

Elise Stephenson

Curator, Youth entrepreneurs & leaders speaker series and Director, Social Good Outpost


M: +61 409 210 131