It was the autobiography of Malala Yousafzai that really started it all.
Exeter's Lola Stravoskoufis, 13, was only eight years-old when her mother read her the book I Am Malala, and it lit a spark for women's rights and social justice in Lola that now, five years later, she's fanning into flame.
Lola, a student at Moss Vale High School, has been selected as a member of the NSW Government's Regional Youth Taskforce, joining seventeen other young people from across regional NSW.
She feels strongly that young people should be speaking up in the current climate.
"The government should be listening to young people as we are the future, and we'll be the ones left to deal with this society," said Lola.
"The world is changing a lot at the moment and we're the ones handling a lot of that change."
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Lola had heard about the regional youth taskforce from a family friend, who thought her intelligence and passion for social issues would equip her well for the role.
"I drafted application in November, filmed it and found out in late February that I'd been selected," Lola said.
"I feel strongly about gender equality, LBGTQI rights and mental health issues, and I'm hoping to spread awareness and get more people involved.
"I want to see more young people engage with these issues."
The group, which includes two young people from each of the state's nine regions, will meet for the first time later this month in Coffs Harbour to discuss the topic 'work-readiness', one of the pillars outlined in the Regional Youth Framework.
Lola said she expected her background in public speaking and debating would give her some skills when it comes to discussing issues among the group.
Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman congratulated Lola on her appointment to the taskforce.
"Lola will be part of a really important initiative and will work with peers from across the state to deliver real change and practical benefits for regional young people," Mrs Tuckerman said.
Minister for Regional Youth Bronnie Taylor said the second-year cohort will build on their predecessors' achievements, which included improvements to education, digital connectivity and public transport.
"The incredible young leaders from our first ever taskforce were integral in pushing for an online licensing scheme which cut a lot of red tape and is already saving young people a long trip to a Service NSW center," Mrs Taylor said.
"The 2019/20 Taskforce also helped shape holiday programs that gave hundreds of young people in drought and bushfire affected areas the chance to attend recreation camps, skills programs and community activities for free.
"The new taskforce will have big shoes to fill, but I am really excited by their potential and am eager to hear their views on how the NSW Government can continue to make life better for young people living in the bush."
"Our 18 new members will drive policy change and advocate for real outcomes for young people, continuing to be the voice of regional youth at the highest level in their state," Mrs Taylor said.
For more information on the Regional Youth Taskforce, visit: nsw.gov.au/regional-youth-taskforce.