A lover of travel and exploring new cultures, Lenard Sciancalepore is studying a Bachelor of Languages and a Bachelor of International Development at The University of Adelaide to better appreciate global diversity of the world we live in, and make a tangible difference in the lives of others.
“I have a deep passion for human rights advocacy through mixing with a range of people, mainly migrants who have made Australia colourful and exciting,” he said.
“I enjoy community engagement and interculturalism. I was co-opted onto the MCCSA board along with being involved in Rotary, Rotaract, and previously with the UN Association of Australia (UNAA) as Peace Representative (SA Division).”
“I joined the MCCSA as I see immense value in bringing people together to better understand perspectives and how different people think, and to demonstrate how positive collaborations can effect meaningful change,” he said.
Thankful for the support provided by the MCCSA, Lenard would like to see the annual signature charity fundraiser of the Adelaide University Rotaract Club, Cultural Night, continue to grow in size and community impact. It’s a positive expression of peace, belonging, and identity which is very much needed in the current political climate, Lenard said.
Coming from a second-generation Southern Italian family, Lenard says he understands how it can feel to be disconnected from one’s cultural background.
“This is very much the case with many young people across Adelaide, which results in a lower sense of belonging, identity, confidence and participation in society as a whole,” he said.
Through the MCCSA, he aims to assist in providing opportunities and initiatives which allows Adelaide’s young people to reconnect with their traditions, language and heritage.
An avid volunteer, Lenard has become involved with and supported initiatives across South Australia including TEDx Adelaide, the Salvation Army, Multicultural Youth SA, the Zahra Foundation, and Shelterbox Australia.
Lenard is also volunteering his time in advisory roles with various non-government organisations including the Children’s Welfare and Opportunity Network (CWON), PAN South Sudan, Amicus Global, and Roma World United.
Lenard has frequently travelled to Nepal, by hiking on mountainous treks to remote indigenous villages and running programs to assist local people in finding ways of self-help.
His favourite quote is from the late Nelson Mandela: “If you speak to a man in a language that he understands, that goes to his head. If you speak to a man in his language, that goes to his heart.”
Lenard says: “Language is more than just a means of communicating with people, it’s a form of connection that speaks volumes of the human spirit”.
Lenard’s long-term goal is to work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in securing and protecting the rights of minority languages of oppressed and displaced ethnic groups.
In the meantime, Lenard will be focusing on building connections of Adelaide’s multicultural youth to programs of the MCCSA.