Youth Program

Youth Program

The AHCWA Youth Program is a program led by Aboriginal youth, for Aboriginal youth to advocate for Western Australia’s young First Nations people.

The AHCWA Youth Committee is comprised of Aboriginal young people between the ages of 18 and 29. Members come together to discuss current issues affecting young Aboriginal people across all the regions of Western Australia, and put forward options for addressing these issues to the AHCWA Board of Directors. The AHCWA Youth Committee members are also regularly provided with opportunities to contribute to and provide feedback on relevant policy and program development both on a community and government level.

The AHCWA Youth Committee provides oversight, support and guidance for the coordination and facilitation of the AHCWA Youth Conference program and can be used as consultants on policy, strategies and program development to ensure the work being done in Western Australia around youth health is inclusive and culturally safe for Aboriginal young people.

Youth Committee Cultural Camp

In March 2021, AHCWA held the 2021 AHCWA Youth Health Conference, which saw 70 Aboriginal Youth from around WA come together to discuss Aboriginal youth health. At the AHCWA Youth Conference, the AHCWA Youth Committee presented findings from the Youth Conference to the 2021 annual West Australian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector Conference.

One recommendation suggested from the gathering at the 2021 State Sector Aboriginal Health Conference, was for AHCWA to source funds for a gathering that encompassed culture and health for Aboriginal youth in WA and became an overall endorsed recommendation from the Members at the State Sector Conference 2021. The Department of Health provided a grant to AHCWA to create a cultural gathering for Aboriginal youth.

The AHCWA Youth Team, in consultation with the AHCWA Youth Committee, looked at the best approach in order to achieve desirable outcomes for the gathering.

Outcomes Recommended by the AHCWA Youth Committee

  • A space for Aboriginal youth to discuss the upcoming AHCWA Youth Conference;
  • A space for the AHCWA Youth Committee members to build working relationships in order to build stronger connection between youth in regions;
  • To learn about culture and the importance to health physically and mentally; and
  • A safe space to discuss problems within their communities and workshop strategies to overcome them.

Considering the recommendations, the cultural eco tour company Wula Gura Nyinda Eco Cultural Adventures, was the chosen location. Wula Gura Nyinda Eco Cultural Adventures have a focus on On-Country gatherings aimed at empowering young people to become future leaders. In Collaboration with the AHCWA Youth Team, Wula Gura Nyinda Eco Cultural Adventures created an agenda that targeted areas of importance such as:

  • Team Building;
  • Connection to Country;
  • Leadership;
  • Communication;
  • Culture; and
  • The important connection between the land and health.

Nine Aboriginal young people representing three regions and nine language groups within WA attended the gathering from the 8-10 November 2021. This saw a significant connection of regions through the gathering activities, which has led to better communications and decreased the shame factor as shown on the pre and post surveys attached.

These discussions will continue through monthly Youth Committee meetings, which ensured the momentum, confidence and self-determination shown from the Youth Committee members is sustained throughout the year.

“I feel more connected to each of the committee members and as a result more inspired and driven to get the results the committee is aiming to achieve for Aboriginal youth in WA” AHCWA Youth Committee Member

The AHCWA Youth Committee holds an AHCWA Youth Conference, and have dedicated Youth Director position on the AHCWA Board of Directors.