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Last month hundreds of students from ARTHUR PHILLIP High School gathered for the Youth Hello Doctor Health Expo, held within the Eastern Campus of the school.
Attendees received free health check-ups on the day from health professionals and learned about preventative measures and health services available to them from health and community service providers.
Daniel Aptat, Multicultural Health Program Officer for NSW Health, remarked, “Events like this are important for young people because Youth Health Matters, and to teach young people how they can take care of their health is crucial for not only their well-being but that of society as a whole.”
Dipti Zakariya from the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD), representing the multicultural health service team spoke to the pre-existing knowledge that a lot of the students had, “It’s fascinating to see that young people know about their rights and where to look out for health.” The day saw students listen to keynote speakers and then break out into workshop sessions, where they had the chance to interact more personally with facilitators and professionals, to ask and learn about pertinent youth health issues.
Dr Michele McNab from Oral Health WSLHD stated that “Quite often we don’t get to interact with groups of community especially this age group (12-25) and to be able to tell them (student) about what services are out there and augment their knowledge is great.”
Given the proliferation of information through the internet and consumption of social media, events like this provide a great platform for young people to get to learn from qualified professionals, to sift through and differentiate between health and pseudo-health.
As part of the expo, Community Migrant Resource Centre’s Youth Activation and Special Projects Officer Bahram Mia engaged a core group of students within the school to train them to be the media and communications team for the event. “The students were great, we had the opportunity to engage with them to teach them how to conduct interviews, to shoot event videos and photos, to delegate tasks and work as part of a team and to tell an overall story. It’s important to give young people as many experiences as possible, so that they can have the opportunity to explore and find their passion, giving them a genera future pathway post schooling.”
This event was made possible thanks to the following stakeholders:
Community Migrant Resource Centre, Multicultural Health (Western Sydney Local Health District : WSLHD), Youth Health (WSLHD), NSW STARTTS, Storr Liver Centre Westmead Hospital (WSLHD), Health Promotion (HIV and Related Programs: WSLHD), Transcultural Mental Health Centre (TMHC), Headspace, WS LHD Oral Health Network, Department of Human Services, WS LHD Youth Council, WestWest, Community Migrant Resource Centre (CMRC) and the Australian Digital Health Agency.
Story by Hamza Khan, ARTHUR PHILLIP High School