About Walking the Talk
The “Walking the Talk – designing youth advocacy with young people” project is a collaboration between The Association for the Wellbeing of Children in Healthcare (AWCH), Health Consumers NSW (HCNSW) and young people. The project began in 2022, funded by grants from Multicultural NSW and the Consumers Health Forum of Australia.
The main objectives of Walking the Talk in 2022 were:
- Engage with a diverse group of young people, creating and fostering a welcoming and safe space to share experiences, ideas, opinions, and thoughts
- Listen to young people’s experiences with the healthcare system and health engagement
- Collaborate with young people to identify ideas and solutions to address the issues brought up through these experiences
- Identify and discuss young people’s experiences with regard to COVID-19, identifying issues, themes, and examples of resilience
- Develop a Youth Engagement Strategy for AWCH & HCNSW based on the findings of the engagement process
Through the work done by AWCH and HCNSW a substantial need has been identified for engaging with young people more effectively and co-designing engagement strategies, processes and priorities with them. This need is particularly salient within engagement with young people belonging to marginalised groups such as culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Walking the Talk aimed to begin to address this gap, laying a foundation for future youth engagement and health advocacy.
Prior to engaging with the young collaborators, a White Paper was created in order to gain insight into the current landscape of youth engagement and advocacy, as well as the needs and desires of young people in Australia. This offered a sound foundation for our engagement, to ensure we were using best practice in the lead up to asking our collaborators how to improve future engagement.