young people and the future of work


Jan is a highly regarded social entrepreneur, innovator, influencer and author who has spent the past 25 years growing Australia’s youth, social enterprise and innovation sectors. The CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians and YLab, the global youth futures lab, Jan’s lifelong mission is to unleash the potential of young people to lead positive change in the world. 

Jan’s enlightening, challenging and entertaining presentations are pragmatic as opposed to idealistic, with the aim of transforming the way society talks about and engages with young people – from treating them as a problem to be solved to recognising that young people are contributing to and driving social change.


As CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians for the past eight years, Jan has led the organisation’s strategic mission to equip young people to create, lead and thrive into the future. This focus has included ground-breaking research regarding the future of work and education for young Australians, the largest in-school entrepreneurship and youth social enterprise programs in the nation and the development and launch of several new initiatives including YLab, FYA’s youth-led social enterprise.

Jan was recognised as one of Australia's ‘True Leaders’ in 2018 and the Inaugural Australian Financial Review and Westpac ‘Woman of Influence’ in 2012. Jan has been awarded honorary Doctorates from the University of Sydney and Murdoch University in Perth and was recognised as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2000 for services to the Australian community. She is the author of Every Childhood Lasts a Lifetime (1996) and The Future Chasers (2014).

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