Four inspiring Gen Zs who'll make you want to get your sh*t together

June 28, 2016
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You know that feeling you get when you see overachievers like Lorde, Malala Yousafzai or any kid on MasterChef Junior? That feeling of “wow, I really should be doing something with my life, but I really can’t be arsed.”

Honestly, if I have to see another young gun to do some spectacular I’ll be well and truly done. However, there are inspiring young’uns all over the world who started off just like us. The best part? We can actually learn from their stories! Here’s four of the best. Yay… learning!

Matthew Ng, 22, National Deputy Director of Interns Australia

This absolute Australian legend is a unionist and progressive campaigner. He is a founding member and the National Deputy Director of Interns Australia, which is a body that is saving your arse from exploitation by providing much needed advocacy for the interns AKA us!

During his undertaking of a Business degree at UTS, Matthew completed two underpaid internships. Through this, he realised that interns needed far greater representation and advocacy so you know what he did? He did something about it.

The learning: It’s one thing to complain about something on a Facebook post, but it’s another to get up and do something about it.

Adora Svitak, 18, activist and author

This girl gave her first TED talk when she was 12 years old. Harry Potter hadn’t even done anything that great when he was 12. She was a prolific short story writer and blogger since she was even younger, and developed a love for reading and writing, as she grew older.

This then transformed into a desire to educate America about the importance of literacy and how so many underprivileged, poverty-stricken people live a life without it, so she began working with different groups before becoming a name in her own right.

The learning: There’s always something you can do to help fight for a cause. You don’t have to be a revolutionary right off the bat - everyone starts somewhere.

T.J. Evarts, 20, inventor

This kid is seriously on to something. He appeared on the American version of Shark Tank, with his invention SMARTwheel. This protective steering wheel cover lets off an annoying-arse buzzing sound and red flashes if the driver doesn’t have both hands on the wheel.

SMARTwheel will save lives as it stops you from touching your goddamn phone - in case the stats of people injured/killed by doing so aren’t already enough.

The learning: There’s inspiration in life’s everyday problems. Don’t overthink it.

Sean Russell, 24, conservationist

Sean’s family had lived in Florida for five generations, which means the ocean always played a pretty vital role in his upbringing. While he was growing up, an interest for protecting marine environments developed and Sean did something about it.

When he was 16, he created the Stow It-Don’t Throw It project, dedicated to protecting marine environments and their inhabitants while educating others to do the same.

The project, saw Sean and a team of volunteers repurposing tennis ball containers as fishing line recycling bins and distributing them to fisherman and anglers. The project has gained support from a large audience in the US and allowed him to project his message.

The learning: If you believe in a cause, chances are thousands of other people believe in that same cause. So go for it and make a difference!


Jackson Langford

Jackson is studying a Bachelor of Communication degree at the University of Newcastle and is the rightful heir to the throne.

Image: Matthew Ng, official Interns Australia website