Cityzens Giving Young Leader Spotlight: Kay

Cityzens Giving and Official Technology Partner Cisco have joined forces to digitally connect a global network of Young Leaders, all using football to improve lives in their communities.

To mark each of this season’s Global Young Leader Forums supported by Cisco, we are shining a light on a different Young Leader in our network.

Following on from our spotlight on Chiara in Manchester and Valeria in Mexico City, we are sharing the story of Kay, who has been a Young Leader with Melbourne City FC’s community programme – City in the Community (CITC) – since January 2022.

We spoke to Kay in the run-up to our third Global Forum of the season on project management, engaging more than 400 Young Leaders across 45 cities via Webex by Cisco.


What is your earliest football memory?

My earliest memories of football are when I came to Australia in 2006 and was watching the World Cup. For me, football is a lifestyle. It can change a community’s lifestyle and give people a focus or a goal and that I think is powerful.

How did you get involved with Cityzens Giving and the Young Leader Programme?

I got involved with City in the Community through the Young Leaders programme in January. As a Young Leader, I think that I’ve really developed my leadership skills and communications skills, and that has helped me deliver programmes that are more impactful.

Can you tell us about your experiences connecting with other Young Leaders in the global network?

The Global Forum by Webex has really given me the opportunity to understand the global network and the bigger picture that we operate in.

One idea that really resonated me that I learned from the global network was understanding kids individually. In Melbourne we focus on social inclusion, and we’re working with young people from the Afghan community. Every kid has their own challenges that they face and everywhere around the world these challenges are different.

How has technology helped you to adapt your programmes?

Technology plays a massive part in connecting people around the world, especially if you are scattered across different cities and countries.

For us, I think connecting, networking and sharing ideas through Webex has really enabled us to motivate each other and share ideas to come up with programmes that suit our own individual communities.

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership means to me: empowering others, stepping out of my comfort zone, and trying something new.

Nick Schmull, Social Inclusion Coordinator for CITC Melbourne, has worked closely with Kay since he joined the Young Leaders programme. Speaking about Kay’s dedication as a Young Leader, he said: “Kay has been a brilliant Young Leader for CITC Melbourne.

“His commitment and passion for community is outstanding, particularly when dealing with his own local Afghan community.

“Having Kay helping run our programmes also inspires young Afghan boys and girls to see someone from their own community connected to a professional football club. He is a superb role model across our CITC programmes.”