Youth update


Hannah Opeskin is Health Promotion Officer, Haemophilia Foundation Australia


Factored In is a valued resource for the Australian bleeding disorders youth community. Recent evaluation from youth suggest that young people believe the website to be a valuable tool for information, reading and sharing personal stories.

Factored In is updated regularly – the latest content includes:

  • A personal story about travelling
  • A story about organizing and hosting a Red Cake Day event
  • The Youth Lead Connect weekend held in February 2017

The articles and personal stories written and shared throughout Factored In are generated by youth in the community and the Youth Lead Connect (YLC) participants as they share their experiences being leaders and mentors in the bleeding disorders community.

Many avenues in the community work to support Factored In; youth moderators continue to promote the website throughout their local community, and the Youth Working Group is involved in continual Factored In development by generating ideas for new content and contributing to content.

Sharing stories is a great way of keeping youth connected and is an integral part of Factored In. Become a member and share your story with the community.

I encourage everyone to visit


Youth Lead Connect

Youth Lead Connect (YLC) is a leadership program developed by Haemophilia Foundation Australia (HFA) to build education and life skills for young people with bleeding disorders. The program began in 2015 and follows an application pathway similar to a job application process. The program encourages youth to step up in their local community and while increasing both their personal and leadership growth.

The 2017 program began with an initial training weekend in February to develop leadership and mentoring skills as well as identify motivations of the youth to participate in the program.

An important part of the program is the ‘Leadership Achievement Goals’ component: after the training weekend youth develop ‘Leadership Achievement Goals’ in consultation with their local Haemophilia Foundation, and are required to work through these throughout the next 12 months before graduating from the program.

Youth Lead Connect program process:

  • Youth apply to the program with a cover letter and referee
  • HFA reviews applications and contacts all referees
  • Letter of acceptance from HFA Executive Director
  • Training weekend
  • Development of ‘Leadership Achievements Goals’
  • Follow up & completion of Leadership Achievements
  • Certificate of graduation.

The Youth Lead Connect training weekend was conducted in February in Glen Waverley.

Facilitators included the education team from HFA and Dr Moana Harlen, the Senior Haemophilia Psychologist from the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, along with expert youth trainers, The Frank Team and Reach. Sessions covered authentic leadership, how to be an effective mentor, boundaries, leading without telling people what to do and effective communication.

The participants were asked what qualities they looked for in a leader and the ways in which participants wanted to express their leadership. This made everyone involved in the weekend look more closely at themselves and what drove them. The session with Reach left everyone thinking about how we wanted to lead people in the community. Participants learnt about communication and ways in which youth leaders could express their leadership skills in the community and help support other young people.

Mantra workshopping with the YLC participants

The more personal side to their leadership and mentoring was explored in the hip-hop song-writing session with Australian rapper Mantra. It took the participants down a path of self-expression and emphasised that everyone experienced their bleeding disorder differently, yet everyone could relate. The participants each wrote an individual song about their experience of their bleeding disorder and then shared their song with each other. It was a very rewarding session which revealed a very supportive and enthusiastic group of young people committed to being a part of the community.

As part of the program the youth are required to develop a Leadership Achievement Goal to be completed over the next 12 months. A goal includes involvement by youth at a local level in a leadership or mentoring capacity as well as writing articles for the Factored In website.

In 2017 the Youth Lead Connect program has 6 participants from across Australia, with support during training from 2 mentors who had been involved in the program in 2016. One mentor who has been involved in international leadership training programs was also asked be involved during the weekend and provided invaluable insights and encouragement. We were really impressed with all the participants’ commitment to giving back to the community through leadership and mentoring.

Youth Lead Connect is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from CSL Behring.


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