HCQ’s Youth Reference Group (YRG) have set a new bar for engagement after their presentation to Queensland Health’s Senior Leadership Forum (SLF) which is chaired by Dr John Wakefield, Director General, received broad support from Chief Executives and Deputy Director-Generals right across the system.

Anja, one of the YRG members explains: “Breanna, Lachlan and I had the honour of presenting to the Queensland Health Senior Leadership Forum on 13th July to encourage investment and commitment into amplifying the youth voice across Queensland. We presented the work of the Youth Reference Group (YRG) which has worked collaboratively to develop the Youth Engagement Framework. We highlighted distinct pain points identified through our consultations and lived experience to take the SLF on a journey through what it is like to experience the health system as a young person. We look forward to the statewide commitment from hospital and health services to work alongside HCQ and the inaugural Youth Executive Committee to create a health system that is responsive to the needs of young people – nothing about us without us.

Before the Forum, John said, “This will be an opportunity to tell the executives ‘what’s in it for them’ – ie. as they grapple with rising demand and funding constraints, how will this engagement help them deliver better services for young people within a constrained funding envelope. They have to believe that this is going to help them achieve their performance goals”.

Breanna added, “I believe that we as young health consumers are the best advocates for ourselves and others who may not have the courage or ability to speak up. The only way we can implement change is by sharing our experiences and collaborating with like-minded others to engage other consumers in recognising the mental and physical challenges this age group faces when accessing our health care system.”