Youth Spotlight: Jayden Crozier

A photo of Jayden Crozier outside

“We need young people to share their opinions on the world.”

I’ve always had a keen interest in politics and international relations. In high school I was much more geared towards the humanities over things like science or mathematics. When I first started at Monash University, I knew I wanted to study political science and I subsequently enjoyed all the subjects I was doing. I found it really interesting looking at the election system, the party system, how the Australian government is set up and how it differs to other jurisdictions. However, I also thought that law would be a good degree to compliment that because it looks at the underpinning laws and constitution. Because of this, after my first year I ended up transferring to a double degree in Arts and Law, majoring in politics and international relations. I’m particularly interested in the areas of public law and enjoy public policy. I’ve been at university for six years now and finish my double degree next year, but I’m hoping to go on to do further study. I am hoping to complete some research in politics or public policy.

I like to have the option of a legal career, but I like politics more. I’m currently working as a public affairs adviser at Bupa. I was originally a paralegal working in an aged-care legal team, but since late last year I’ve come over into public affairs, which is all about government relations, stakeholder management, and looking at how we can advocate to the government. I find it really interesting seeing how the study of politics and an understanding of the legal system can be applied in a corporate context. I’m still keeping my options open in terms of potential career paths, but I have at least narrowed it down to my key interests in politics and public policy.

I think it’s generally important for people in the local community to be involved in politics because policy decisions affect everyone, whether that’s state or federal government. Looking at political parties, membership has gone down so low that the parties almost fail to represent people, because they seem to have such a small base that they pull from and that base is self-selecting. When it comes to young people, there are some who are politically active, but unfortunately a large majority aren’t engaged at all. I think it probably comes down to a general disillusionment with the political system. I also think people follow politics in a secondary sense, but in a primary sense of going to branch meetings, attending conferences and voting, it can be fairly onerous, especially as young people are quite busy working multiple jobs and studying.

With issues like climate change, I think young people have to be involved so we can advocate for energy sources that aren’t going to damage the environment or the planet. If young people were involved in the decision making process, then maybe we’d see some of these decisions reversed or not made in the first place. Even looking at the higher education sector where the government is increasing fees for a number of degrees; I hate to think that someone would have to pay high fees for an arts degree when I have loved studying mine. I think it will disincentivise people from following their true passions. I guess that by having young people involved in the political process and the political system, you can have policy changes across so many different areas. We do have politically active young people, but we definitely need more.

My message to young people is to get involved in the political process, even if it’s local council. I love seeing people in the community running for council and advocating for what they want changed. It would be wonderful to see more young people getting involved in the political system.