A Victoria Police partnership is cultivating Wyndham’s up-and-coming leaders.

The six-week Wyndham Future Leaders pilot program, which was run in tandem with Leadership Victoria, has involved empowering and training a culturally diverse group of young people by giving them communication, leadership and networking skills.

Acting Senior Sergeant Tim Jacobs from Wyndham North police station said the 15 youths who took part were selected based on recommendations.

“These kids are already leaders in their own right, but [this program] just gives them that leg up, and that voice,” he said. “We have youth from culturally diverse backgrounds in our community who understand what cultural exclusion means and they are motivated to use this experience to make their local area an even better place to live.”

Leadership Victoria chief executive Richard Dent added: “We run about 60 programs every year and I have to say this one is my favourite because of the difference it’s going to make”.

Participant Affy Akuey said the experience had made her keen to develop after-school programs for young people.

The 21-year-old Tarneit resident is studying a bachelor of nursing and manages a social enterprise, Twich Sewing Collective, which makes and sells clothes and bags, with profits helping the South Sudanese community.

The Future Leaders program will be reviewed for future funding.