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What is ‘Social Good’?

By Jazmine Matthews, Bachelor of Arts with a Bachelor of Education (Secondary)

The GLP has always been a challenge I’ve placed upon myself to become more educated, more inspired, and more aware. Until now, most things I’ve taken part in have been well within my comfort zone… which is why when I saw an email with an offer that put me outside my comfort zone – I took a chance!

So, there I was, a self-proclaimed night-owl, awake at 7:30AM on a Saturday morning, attending the Social Good Summit Australia (SGSA) as a delegate from Macquarie University – thanks to the GLP, and the chance I took in applying.

The SGSA is a United Nations (UN) affiliated event aimed at creating awareness and possibilities to address the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Going into the summit, I had 2 main questions in mind…

1. What can I do as an individual to address these goals?

2. How will I use this opportunity to become a more informed, global citizen?

With speakers of such a high calibre, it is intimidating sitting in a theatre (as beautiful as it might be), thinking how I stack up compared to the people surrounding me.

But, the beauty of SGSA was: there was not a single moment where I felt like I didn’t belong there. The inclusivity of the speakers and attendees really emphasised to me that not only can my individual actions help to achieve something great (something as small as shopping with a more environmentally friendly mindset, or making a new connection with someone with shared goals in mind) – but that the actions I once thought were inconsequential actually mean something in the large scheme of things.

So, what can I do as an individual? Anything! Anything I can do no matter how small or how big can make a difference (and there’s nothing quite like really important people telling you that, that makes you believe it).

Then, how will I use this opportunity? The speakers at the SGSA were all so inspiring and high-achieving, there were so many messages to take away from the summit. But it was what Nasir Sobhani said that really got me thinking about what I can do. Nasir said in his talk, “Find your skill to bring happiness to others.”. e spoke about how any person can use anything that they are good at or passionate about to make a change. It was this moment at SGSA that I realised my degree and future career in Education can do more social good than I once had thought. I can use the opportunities provided to me, my skills, my passion, and the education I receive, to pass along, educate and inspire future generations and groups of young people.

By becoming a more informed and global citizen, and taking opportunities where I can, I can in turn provide opportunity for more informed and more global citizens too. This idea of cyclical education and opportunity is how I will continue to utilise all the chances I get to for growth – starting with SGSA.

Part of GLP for me, is taking chances... so, if you see opportunities arise, and you question your ability, knowledge or comfort in the area – take the opportunity anyway! There are so many things to learn when you step beyond what you already know.

Take every opportunity for growth and education so you can get the most out of GLP.


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