Global Citizen's Action Taker of the Week: Samantha Wilson From Geelong, Australia

Author: Madeleine Keck

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Global Citizen is a movement of engaged citizens who use their collective voice to help end extreme poverty by 2030. On our platform, Global Citizens learn about the causes of extreme poverty, take action on those issues and earn rewards. The collective voices of Global Citizen action takers have been integral to Global Citizen securing over 100 commitments to date worth $48.4 billion USD, enough to impact  880 million lives. Join the movement and take action now.

Individual actions can, and do, change the world. That’s why taking action is at the heart of the Global Citizen movement.

The actions of Global Citizens across the globe have accumulated over the past decade to almost 25 million — which, combined with high-level advocacy work, have resulted in over 100 commitments by world leaders aimed at ending extreme poverty by 2030.

Thanks in part to the work of Global Citizen, the Australian government has made two massive commitments in the past year alone. In 2019, Australia pledged millions to help rid the world of polio, as well as hundreds of millions to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria

None of this could have been achieved without dedicated action-taking by Global Citizens in Australia.

One particularly committed Australian action-taker is Samantha Wilson — pictured above left with Australian Country Director Sarah Meredith. Wilson is a 20-year-old International Studies and Commerce major from Geelong, the second-largest city in Victoria. Since becoming a Global Citizen almost exactly four years ago, Wilson has attended countless Australian Global Citizen events, often travelling hours to get there, as well as being an extremely dedicated action taker online. 

Growing up below Australia’s relative poverty line meant Wilson was particularly drawn to Global Citizen’s mission.

The reason she takes action, Wilson explained, is not only to help improve things for herself, but to improve things for people across the globe. 

"I want to make sure that my potential children and future generations do not have to deal with the same problems I have had,” she told Global Citizen. “Because, if we don't drive for change, nothing will happen. However, if we as people go ‘this is unacceptable’, then that is where change is created.”

We spoke to Wilson to find out more about the issues that matter most to her, and how being a Global Citizen has changed her daily life. 

When did you first become a Global Citizen?

I became a Global Citizen on March 27, 2016. I was 15 at the time. I strongly remember watching the Global Citizen Festival on TV and Beyoncé started performing. I remember being so excited. I was excited not only because of Beyoncé, but also because there were people that felt the same way about social change across the globe. It was honestly one of the most memorable moments of my life.

Why did you become a Global Citizen?

I remember when I was younger, I wanted to have a positive change in the world. No one wanted to listen to my ideas or solutions because I was “too young to understand” and “I would be influenced too easily.” Global Citizen allowed me to really make a positive difference, regardless of my age.

Do you remember the first action that you took with Global Citizen?

One of the first emails that I got and took action on was the “Poverty is Sexist” petition. It is quite overwhelming when I think about it because now I have 938 points [earned by action-taking with Global Citizen] and I am ranked as a “Visionary” [on the Global Citizen platform]. I remember being so excited to take action and achieve positive social change.

What issues do you care about the most?

I care about the empowerment of people. I know that once people are empowered to make a change, they will. I also care about reducing inequality. When you remove inequalities, people can step up and influence change within their community. Lastly, I care a lot about creating sustainable cities and communities. I think cities need to think about how they are going to deal with growing populations and new ways to grow food.

Cities have a lot of power when it comes to creating positive change — I’ve seen it personally in my city. 

Has taking action with Global Citizen inspired your daily life?

It has, in so many ways. Global Citizen has helped me realize that you can do positive things for this world. While I was creating change with Global Citizen, I was also trying to create meaningful change in my high school — and now I am looking for ways I can make a difference within my city of Geelong. 

I hope that, over time, I may be able to grow my influence to help create change for my state of Victoria. Who knows, maybe I could even help out at a possible Global Citizen Festival one day. 

"Action Taker of the Week" is a new Global Citizen series that focuses on the everyday Global Citizens taking action around the world. We’ll be featuring a Q&A with a new action taker every week. You can start taking action here. Want to be the first to know about updates and conversations about our campaigns and advocacy? Join our community of action takers in our Facebook group here.