I wanted to bring images that celebrated the identity of LGBTI youth.Micah Scott
Micah Scott is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minus18, Australia’s youth-driven charity for LGBTIQ young people. Minus18, which aims to create an Australia free from homophobia and transphobia, has supported more than 60,000 young people since 2011 and provided inclusive support to hundreds of thousands of students.
In 2011 Micah was named finalist for the Victorian Young Australian of the Year, and named the Victorian LGBTIQ Person of the Year in 2017.
Micah told Monash Lens that his university journey gave him the experience, skills and confidence to build Minus18 into the influential charity it is today. In particular, he credited his final-year design lecturer, Dr Gene Bawden, who gave him the idea that Minus18 could be a career, rather than a volunteer activity.
“At the time, I was thinking I would work in the graphic design industry, start as a low-level designer and work my way up. He said, ‘What are you doing? You could create a career out of this. This is really special!’
“Up until then I had never considered that Minus18 made sense as a career progression pathway from my studies.”
Meanwhile, his academic design work was not only supporting his volunteer work, but also giving him a new perspective on how to be a more effective activist.
“I found the LGBTI ‘industry’ rather linear and set in its ways. All the graphic design around LGBTI youth was very ‘problem-focused’. The graphics and the imagery used was young people with their heads in their hands – posters of kids looking like they were sad. It painted them as victims. My own understanding was that I was associated with people who celebrated their identity, who loved those parts of themselves. I wanted to bring [images that] celebrated that identity.”
Micah has also worked as Creative Director and advisor for organisations nationwide, including the Shannon Company, Behaviour Change, the Oaktree Foundation, The Foundation for Young Australians, La Trobe University and The Victorian Government.