High school storytellers share their journeys

16 November 2021

Be uplifted by real-life stories from 29 diverse young Melburnians, set to be shared far and wide through the ABC’s Takeover Melbourne project.

The teenage storytellers include musicians, athletes, a budding astronomer and even a Rubik’s Cube champion. Their stories traverse topics like neurodiversity, multiculturalism and finding the confidence to raise your hand in school.

Helen from West Melbourne shared a story about how she reconnected with her Vietnamese culture.

‘Pâté is my favourite Vietnamese banh mi filling. It’s a savoury, rich and creamy paste that’s spread in an airy burgette-style bread. It has a distinct taste because it’s made from liver. I loved when my grandma made it,’ Helen said.

‘But, in year one, I refused to bring pâté to school because my friends commented on the smell and refused to touch me after I ate it. Situations like these made me lose my culture. I started bringing ham sandwiches for lunch instead.’

Thankfully, things changed for Helen when her family moved to into the city for high school.

‘High school was so new and strange for me. For the first time, I was in a class with lots of other Asian students. When I went to buy lunch at the canteen, they sold ramen noodles, butter chicken and Mexican nachos,’ Helen said.

‘I started realising that “normal” could look different. My new friends listened to K-pop and watched anime. And, as time progressed, they helped me learn to accept and positively express my culture too. I have never felt so comfortable being myself.’

Takeover Melbourne is delivered by the ABC and major partner VicHealth, with support from the Centre for Multicultural Youth and the 32 local councils of Greater Melbourne, facilitated by the City of Melbourne.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp congratulated the Takeover Melbourne winners.

‘It’s been incredibly inspiring reading the words of these courageous young storytellers,’ the Lord Mayor said.

‘The future is in the hands of our young people, and initiatives like Takeover Melbourne prove that we can expect big things from the next generation.’

The winners of Takeover Melbourne will be showcased on ABC Radio Melbourne and through the ABC Listen app during November and December. In early 2022, there will also be a gala ceremony to celebrate the young storytellers.

To see the full list of winners, and hear their stories, visit Takeover Melbourne.

Share this story

You may also like
Young and old find their flow in Fawkner Park

Young and old find their flow in Fawkner Park

Meet the four-year-olds and older people who do tai chi together in South Yarra once a month. They’re keeping ageism at bay. Anticipation flutters through a group of tai chi students on a misty Thursday morning in Fawkner Park. All eyes are on the pre-schoolers who...

Celebrating our extraordinary Melburnians

Celebrating our extraordinary Melburnians

Entries are now open for the City of Melbourne's prestigious Melbourne Awards. For more than 20 years, we have celebrated inspirational individuals and organisations who have made a positive and valuable contribution to our city through the Melbourne Awards.Each year,...

Big win for beloved Kensington Neighbourhood House

Big win for beloved Kensington Neighbourhood House

Pop into Kensington Neighbourhood House for a warm welcome and take your pick from more than 99 inclusive events every week. The packed program brings together more than 1000 people from 70 countries each year to connect, learn and create. It relieves social isolation...

Passionate volunteers spread joy in Melbourne

Passionate volunteers spread joy in Melbourne

Celebrate the changemaking volunteers who help make Melbourne tick this National Volunteer Week. Then browse volunteer opportunities to enrich your life with friendship and purpose year-round. Whether you love sharing dining and entertainment tips with city visitors,...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the City of Melbourne by subscribing to the Melbourne newsletter.

You have successfully subscribed!