COVID and Young People

Youth voices, COVID-19 video competition for high school students 

This is a particularly challenging time for our communities including children and young people. Children and young people are more connected to media/social media than any other age group and often find it hard to make sense of all the COVID-19 messages that they’re exposed to.

The Prevention Education and Research Unit (PERU) in partnership with the School of Population Health, UNSW are running the Youth Voices COVID-19 Video Competition for high school students in Western Sydney.

The competition was launched Monday August 23rd and is closing 5.00pm Friday 17th September (please see flyer at bottom of this email for easy sharable details) 

This competition was developed after conversations with schools about the difficulty in running external workshops for students during lockdown, and the need for innovative strategies to both disseminate COVID-19 health and wellbeing information, and encourage student engagement, leadership and voice.

Students are invited to submit a short video addressing one of three topic areas:

1. COVID-19 Vaccinations: encouraging people to protect themselves

2. Looking after your wellbeing during the pandemic

3. Tackling COVID-19 misinformation and myths

Click the link below for all competition details: https://sites.google.com/education.nsw.gov.au

The competition is key to ensuring that adolescents are supported, acknowledged and empowered to have a voice in this pandemic. This is a challenging time for our community and it is important that we support young people. I encourage you to share this opportunity with the young people in your networks, so that they will have an opportunity participate.

Thank you for supporting this initiative and for empowering young people to lead the charge in protecting themselves and their communities throughout this pandemic.


Young People

The Illawarra Centre for Enablement (ICfE) Youth Council have decided to focus on youth experiences of COVID-19, and to explore what the issues of concern are to youth in the Illawarra, aged 18-26 years old, they have created an online survey. 

The survey includes questions on a range of issues including COVID-19 vaccination; impacts on mental health and well-being, and personal and community concerns. The survey seeks to gain engagement from youth from all backgrounds, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth, youth with disabilities; multicultural youth and youth who identify as LGBTIQ.

They intend to publish their findings and recommendations in a Report which will be released online and distributed to relevant organisations.

Can I please ask if you can assist by sharing the Youth Council Survey link to youth in the Illawarra and any youth organisations you know.  I am also attaching a flyer. 

Information about the Survey and the link to it is at: http://illawarracfe.com/youth-council/youth-survey/

More information about the Youth Council is at http://illawarracfe.com/youth-council/icfe-youth-council/


Young People

Mental Health and Education Forum

This Wednesday, 25 August at 4:00pm ACYP together with Multicultural NSW are hosting an online forum for young people where they can listen to NSW Government leaders answer COVID related questions from young people, with focus on Mental Health and Education

This forum will feature:

  • The Hon. Bronnie Taylor MLC, Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women;
  • The Hon. Sarah Mitchell MLC, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning; and
  • Ms Deb Summerhayes, Executive Director, School Performance, Department of Education.

This is a challenging time for our community and it is important that we support young people. This forum aims to equip young people with accurate knowledge to assist them in navigating current Public Health Orders.

Registration link for young people:

https://www.acyp.nsw.gov.au/covid-forum-25aug

Thank you for supporting this initiative and for empowering young people to lead the charge in protecting themselves and their communities throughout this pandemic.


Young People

Flexible Learning Centre

If you have or know of any young people who are disengaged from education, we would be willing to support them to reconnect.

Online link to referrals/enrolment here

We have bacon and egg breakfast every Friday between 9:00am to 10:00am


Beyond Empathy

We’re reaching out to let you know that we have created a short video all about our new podcasts (we may be biased, but we reckon it’s really inspiring!) and it’s just been released on our Facebook page.

One simple action that would really help us spread the word about our podcasts would be to jump onto our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/be.org.au/posts/4012387412130424 and watch, like, comment and share this video.

You can also click on the picture of us below and it will take you there.

If you’re not on Facebook, not to worry! Jump onto our website and support us by having a listen to our podcasts.

Chuck us on while you drive, or go for a walk… or clean the house. We promise we will entertain and give you something to think about too.

Thanks again for all of your support, Sharif and the BE Podcast Crew


Unpacking complex trauma
21 July 2021

Complex trauma – the impact of early life, repeated trauma and loss often involving trusted relationships

Youth Health Forums (YHFs) are stimulating, half-day forums that cover a wide range of adolescent health and wellbeing issues, appealing to health, education, community, welfare professionals and students. The Forum provides an opportunity for attendees to meet, update knowledge and skills, exchange information and strengthen the youth health network, in order to provide the best possible support for young people in NSW.

Cost: Free of charge

When and where
Date:  21 July 2021
Time: 9am -12.30pm (AEST)

Where: live streamed to where you are

Live Stream details (including technical difficulty issues)

To watch the live event go to: https://www.thestreamingguys.com.au/production/youth-health-forum-unpacking-complex-trauma-210721/

Remember to add this to your calendar, no password is required

RSVP: Register by close of business 16 July 2021 to receive a reminder email (registration is optional)

Direct questions to Forum speakers during the live stream

  • Text questions to 0452 378 112 stating location and question. For example “[Dubbo], my Q to Speaker A is….”
  • For technical difficulty on the Forum day, please refer to live stream details above (this number will not be able to respond to technical issues)

Forum’s speaker notes

The speakers’ presentations will be available on the NSW Health website (www.health.nsw.gov.au) within two weeks of the Forum (search for ‘Youth Health Forum’) , or go to: www.health.nsw.gov.au/kidsfamilies/youth/Pages/speakers-presos.aspx

Forum’s evaluation

Program includes presentations on:

This forum will be chaired by Ms Sue Foley,  Director, NSW Children’s Court Clinic, The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (SCHN)

  • Sue is currently the Director of the (NSW, Australia) Children’s Court Clinic, and is a senior Clinical Social Worker. She has worked in Health, Community Services, NGOs and private practice since graduating in social work in 1975. She has a combination of post graduate qualifications, including social work, adult education and childhood and social policy. She is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children and enhancing the capacity and safe care of children by parents and other carers, using prevention, trauma informed interventions, appropriate assessment and intervention strategies that are developmentally, culturally, and therapeutically respectful. She has been working with colleagues to ensure that the work of clinicians and others is respectful and collaborative with our indigenous colleagues and clients.   Sue has been working in the field of children’s safety  and wellbeing since being an undergraduate and volunteer in 1973 in health, welfare, NGOs, legal settings and in private practice.  Sue’s special interest is in education, films, prevention of injuries and harm to children, children’s voices, factitious disorder, strength based casework and therapy.

Speakers include:

  • Impact of complex trauma: Ms Stephanie Helfer, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Complex Cases Consultant, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, SCHN
  • Integrated Trauma-Informed Care – mitigating the impacts of trauma, preventing re-traumatisation and promoting healing for children and young people: Ms Katherine Barnes, Acting Manager, Child Protection and Wellbeing Team, Prevention and Response to Violence, Abuse and Neglect Unit (PARVAN), NSW Ministry of Health; and Ms Helen Freeland, Managing Director, ACER Associates
  • Trauma, cognitive development, and social and emotional wellbeing: Dr Paul Gray, Associate Professor, Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, University of Technology Sydney
  • Intensive Support Services for out of home care children and young people: Mr Andrew Schacht, Principal Project Officer, Intensive Support Services, Department of Communities and Justice
  • Trauma responsive practice for our youth – the Australian Childhood Foundation approach: Ms Karyn Robinson, Senior Advisor, Professional Education Services, Australian Childhood Foundation
  • Voice of youth: Ms Emily Backhouse and Ms Sienna Acquara, CREATE young consultants, CREATE Foundation
  • Panel discussion: Panel will include all program speakers

Please see the attached program for more details.

Don’t miss this forum and let your networks know

Hope you can join us on the Forum day! Please feel free to pass this onto your colleagues and networks.



Young People

The online Youth Empowerment Tool (YET) is now live!

This online tool has been designed to empower young people to engage with health professionals

and to increase their knowledge around sexual and reproductive health.

The YET was launched in Youth Week April 2021 and features:

  • Stuff to know before you go-accessing a health professional, obtaining a Medicare card and bulk billing
  • Going for an STI test-what’s involved in going to a health professional for screening
  • Knowledge is Power- provides links to trusted and reliable websites

Scan the QR Code to go to the YET

Or visit https://www.caddyshackproject.com/


Young People

Youth Empowerment Tool (YET)

Registrations are now open for the online launch of the Youth Empowerment Tool (YET)

Wednesday 21st April at 11am for 45 minutes.

This online tool has been designed to empower young people to engage with health professionals and to increase their knowledge around sexual and reproductive health.

The YET will officially launch as part of Youth Week April 2021 featuring:

  • Stuff to know before you go-accessing a health professional, obtaining a Medicare card and bulk billing
  • Going for an STI test-what’s involved in going to a health professional for screening
  • Knowledge is Power- provides links to trusted and reliable websites

Hear about the project background, input from headspace Wollongong Youth Reference Group and the QR code that will take people to the online tool.

Register here or cut and paste the URL if that’s easier for you: https://www.stickytickets.com.au/5FI2I


Young People

Whether your client is thinking about quitting, ready to quit or would like some information, the free Quit Smoking Clinics can provide support. 

The service includes:

  • Brief advice to stop smoking 
  • An assessment of the smoker’s interest in quitting 
  • Sample of Nicotine Replacement Therapy where appropriate 
  • Provide self-help material
  • Offer follow-up visits at the clinic or referral to external support such as Quitline 
  • Offer referral to text messaging service

Email referrals to Janet.Jackson@health.nsw.gov.au Phone or Text 0459 898 302


Young People

Following the sun: shining the light on Aboriginal mental health 3 March 2021

Youth Health Forums (YHFs) are stimulating, half-day forums that cover a wide range of adolescent health and wellbeing issues, appealing to health, education, community, welfare professionals and students. The Forum provides an opportunity for attendees to meet, update knowledge and skills, exchange information and strengthen the youth health network, in order to provide the best possible support for young people in NSW.

Although it’s challenging to host face to face meetings at this unusual time, the YHF Organising Committee recognises the value of extending YHFs to those working with young people both in Sydney and rural and regional areas; the scheduled March 2021 Forum will once again be live streamed to individuals to keep everyone safe. Note that there will be no video conferences held at the usual rural and regional sites.

Cost: Free of charge

When and where
Date:  3 March 2021
Time: 9am -12.30pm (AEST)

Where: live streamed to where you are

Live Stream details (including technical difficulty issues)

To watch the live event go to: https://www.thestreamingguys.com.au/production/youth-health-forum-aboriginal-people-and-mental-health-030321/  

  • Remember to add this to your calendar, no password is required
  • Ensure you have up to date browser installed for example Chrome, Firefox, or Safari
  • Check out page 2 of the attached program and the streaming tips if you encounter technical difficulty on the Forum day

RSVP: Register by close of business 26 February 2021 to receive a reminder email (registration is optional)

Direct questions to Forum speakers during the live stream

  • Text questions to 0452 378 112 stating location and question. For example “[Dubbo], my Q to Speaker A is….”
  • For technical difficulty on the Forum day, please refer to live stream details above (this mobile number will not be able to respond to technical issues)

Forum’s speaker notes

The speakers’ presentations will be available on the NSW Health website (www.health.nsw.gov.au) within two weeks of the Forum (search for ‘Youth Health Forum’) , or go to: www.health.nsw.gov.au/kidsfamilies/youth/Pages/speakers-presos.aspx

Forum’s evaluation

Program includes presentations on:

This forum will be chaired by Ms Kerry Smith, Aboriginal Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service Priority Advisor, Mental Health – Children and Young People, NSW Ministry of Health

  • Welcome to Country: Auntie Yvonne Weldon, Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council
  • Truth for Youth – what they’re teaching us – what we are learning: Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson AM, Patron We Al-li
  • Working with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) to understand the health of Aboriginal young people: Ms Kezia Aurora Blackledge, Public Health and Intelligence Officer; Miss Shana Quayle, Sector Support Unit Manager; Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AH&MRC) 
  • Staying Connected in the Outback: Ms Corina Kemp, Aboriginal Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol (MHDA) Clinical Leader; Mr Zacariah Henderson, Aboriginal MHDA Trainee; Far West MHDA Service, Far West Local Health District 
  • Mental health habits and rituals:  Mr Jeffrey Morgan, Nutritionist/Health & Wellbeing Consultant and Owner, The Lifestyle Program   
  • Voice of youth: young people
  • Panel discussion: Panel will include all program speakers

Please see the attached program for more details.

Don’t miss this forum and let your networks know

Hope you can join us on the Forum day! Please feel free to pass this onto your colleagues and networks.


Young People

In recent times NSW has experienced prolonged drought, an unprecedented bushfire season and floods. These disasters have directly or indirectly impacted hundreds of thousands of children and young people across NSW.

The Office of the Advocate for Children and Young People went to disaster affected areas of NSW and spoke directly to more than 400 children and young people face-to-face about their experiences of disaster. This was followed up with quantitative polling of a further 1,000 children and young people.

The combined results of this research informed the development of the Children and Young People’s Experience of Disaster Report.

A report like this would not have been possible without the support of both the Hon. Gareth Ward MP, Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services and the Hon. Bronnie Taylor MLC, Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women. We also appreciate the support given by the many government departments, organisations and service providers. We want to thank the 1,400 children and young people who gave their time, offered insight and shared their personal experiences on this topic.

This report gave children and young people a platform to inform decision makers and service providers about how to best continue to support their needs before, during and after a disaster.

The report also highlights the ways in which children and young people want to be included in the planning and implementation of solutions that relate to disaster preparedness and recovery as well as how to further support them now and into the future.

Underpinning this is the development of a Disaster Resilience Framework for children and young people.

Some of the key findings in the report include:

  • disasters and the life changes that follow have significant impacts on mental health and wellbeing
  • the destruction and damage caused to schools affects access to education, engagement, learning and academic achievement
  • disasters can impact the housing stability of children and young people including damage to homes and farms as well as displacement and relocation
  • disasters can create youth unemployment and heavy workloads for children and young people affected by drought and other social and economic issues
  • children and young people can feel invisible, forgotten and unable to influence the world around them, they wish to have a voice and be involved in disaster recovery
  • connection to land and community were raised as important concerns.

Click here to learn more and access the report.

We look forward to working with many of you so that we can heed the voices gathered in this report and implement the recommendations that have been so generously offered by children and young people.

Regards,

Zoë Robinson
A/Advocate for Children and Young People Office of the Advocate for Children & Young People
Ground Floor, 219-241 Cleveland Street
Strawberry Hills, NSW 2012