Meet Bella, the youngest member of batyr's board - Batyr

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Meet Bella, the youngest member of batyr’s board

August 19, 2020

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We at batyr have been very focused on building our Herd into the governance of the organisation to ensure that young people are represented at all levels of decision-making.

The first step in reaching this goal was the establishment of the National Advisory Group in October 2019 at the Inaugural National Gathering of the Herd. The Advisory Group is made of young people from across the batyr community.

The final piece of the puzzle was to elect one of the Advisory Group members to the position of Board Director. We were looking for someone who could represent the collective voice of the advisory group, had a clear vision for what they wanted to achieve in the role, and could be a powerful conduit between the Board and the young people batyr works with.

It is with great pleasure that we announce the appointment of Bella Cini as a Board Director, the youngest member of our Board at the age of just 21.

Since completing Being Herd in 2017, Bella has already made such a big impact as a lived experience speaker, sharing her powerful story at 57 programs and reaching 5,992 young people. She is also a founding member of the Advisory Group.

batyr Chairman and Founder Sebastian Robertson said that as batyr grows, we must ensure that we embed not only young people at the core of our organisation but that we find individuals who can create a vision for where we must go and how we will get there. The appointment of Bella is a crucial step in this vision.

“After an extensive search, and interviewing a raft of incredibly talented and suitable young people, it is exciting to see Bella join the batyr Board,” Sebastian said.

“Her commitment to young people and changing the landscape for future generations is not only inspiring but is appropriately matched by her consultative, informative and always considered approach to opportunities and challenges.”

“She does this without compromising on the objectives that would best support young people across the country tackling mental health issues. We look forward to working with Bella as our newest Director and seeing her contribute and shape the future of batyr.”

Bella shares her batyr journey so far

How did you first become involved with batyr? 
I first became involved with batyr three years ago when I took part in a being herd workshop which led me to becoming a speaker. I saw two speakers share their story at a community forum when I was in high school and I instantly knew I wanted to be a part of batyr.

How does it feel to be a part of the ‘herd’?
I feel very fortunate to be part of this community. After leaving high school, I was searching for an environment that I could find support in and the Herd really became that for me.

I’ve been able to make incredible connections with so many people as a result of this community that batyr has built. It’s a community of people built off of foundations of respect, love and vulnerability.
 
I’ve been really fortunate throughout my time at batyr to be presented with a lot of opportunities to get involved. This includes speaking at programs and other events, facilitating being herd workshops, helping organise social events for NSW speakers and taking part in fundraising events.

How does it feel to be the youngest member on the batyr Board?
It feels pretty unbelievable – I never imagined myself having the opportunity to be in a role like this. I’m feeling very grateful and fortunate (albeit nervous) but I am extremely excited for the future.

I feel very humbled that I’m given the opportunity to be a representative for young people and am so excited to take in as much knowledge as I can from the brilliant and passionate people around me.

I’m looking forward to providing insights from a young person’s perspective, helping ensure that batyr is heading in the right direction to help young people and smash the stigma in the best way possible.

How has batyr supported you in your mental health journey?
The support I’ve received from batyr is overwhelming. As a speaker, it can be pretty daunting sharing your story and knowing how to deal with emotions that arise from doing so.

Knowing I’ve got someone waiting to give me a call once that program is over to check in with how I’m feeling is incredibly comforting. I’ve been lucky enough to create really positive and strong connections with
those who I’ve worked really closely with and I feel so supported by these individuals.

When I struggled with my mental health during my time at batyr, I had constant reassurance that there was someone there for me, I had someone to reach out too and someone who encouraged me to reach out for further support.

batyr encourages me to practice what I preach and to ensure I’m prioritising my mental health, practicing self-care and ensuring I’m checking in with myself.

I’ve felt a huge influx of support since being on the Board with regular check ins and reassurance that I’m not alone in this journey.