Hannah Opeskin is Health Promotion Officer, Haemophilia Foundation Australia
2015 AUSTRALIAN & NEW ZEALAND CONFERENCE
Almost 25 young people from across Australia with bleeding disorders attended the 2015 Conference. They took part in the youth social activity and played an active role in the Conference, participating and presenting their stories during conference sessions alongside health professionals.
They told stories about the struggles they have had to endure, medically and personally as well as their amazing strength harnessed to assist overcoming a myriad of obstacles. Many of these young men and women had never participated in a conference in this capacity before and it was fantastic to see our youth so well integrated into the sessions.
One of the sessions held during the conference was a youth session which covered the topics of risky behaviours, disclosure and being on the move. As well as covering issues such as travel, moving out of home, transitioning across a broad range of areas and looking for an employer that suits you, part of the panel was made up of Jade and Tim, youth representatives sharing their life experiences in these areas. Not only were youth in attendance, the session also attracted many parents.
As a result of this session, HFA is evaluating existing resources on Factored In to ensure they cover all the issues raised during the session and some, for example, those on employment and disclosure, will be developed further if necessary.
It was fantastic to see so many young men and women attend the conference, the sessions and take part. I hope that everyone returns for the next conference and many more join to discover what a fantastic experience it is.
FACTORED IN UPDATE
As many youth may already know, the Factored In website is going through a redevelopment where the aim is to make the site more user-friendly and dynamic. As part of the redevelopment, Factored In will also have a few new features, so stay tuned!
For those who don’t know much about Factored In:
- Created by young people for young people
- Local events and latest news in the youth community
- Lots of information about living with a bleeding disorder
- Lots of personal stories from young people living with a bleeding disorder
- You can read all the info without being a member
- If you want to join the community, you can sign up to be a member (free!) which means you can tell your own story and make comments on other people’s stories and interesting news
- You can become a member if you have a bleeding disorder, carry the gene or have a sibling with a bleeding disorder
Thank you to all the youth who have kindly helped support the redevelopment by giving their honest opinions at the Conference and through email.
YOUTH LEAD CONNECT
HFA is introducing Youth Lead Connect - a new Youth Leadership and Mentoring Program! The program will help build young people’s skills and encourage engagement in their local community.
You are eligible for the program if you are aged 18-30 years, have a bleeding disorder, carry the gene or have a sibling who has a bleeding disorder.
The program will involve a training weekend in February and then some tasks involving engagement with your local Haemophilia Foundation. The tasks may include attending an event, helping organise or maybe even helping run an activity and writing a short reflective piece for Factored In – working to your strengths and helping build on the ones you wish to improve. Should you complete all your tasks you will receive a formal certificate!
Entry to the program is through application, so head to the Factored In website to apply via the application form. Applications close 15 January 2016.
I encourage all young people to apply!