Walking the Talk

Designing youth advocacy and engagement with young people

Walking the Talk

Designing youth advocacy and engagement with young people

Project Overview

In 2022, Health Consumers NSW (HCNSW) in partnership with the Association for the Wellbeing of Children in Healthcare (AWCH) developed the Walking the Talk project. The aim of this project was to collaborate with a diverse range of young people (14-25) to gain insight into their experiences of engaging with the healthcare system, services, and organisations. Throughout this process, we also focused on young people’s experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. We aimed to support young people to voice their thoughts, ideas, and opinions, and collaborate with them to make optimal youth engagement and health advocacy a reality.

A group of 24 young people was established, including young people with chronic illness and/or disability, LGBTQI+ young people, Indigenous young people, and young people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. Levels of experience with the healthcare system varied across the group, offering a range of insights.

Walking the talk cover

Key project messages

  • Young people have significant negative experiences with the healthcare system both as consumers and when engaging in policy and service design, much of which can be attributed to their age.
  • Young people have crucial insight into how the healthcare system, services, and organisations can improve engagement with them, but they have not felt heard thus far.
  • Young people from marginalised groups experience compounding difficulties when engaging with the healthcare system and services.
  • Young people are enthusiastic about changing the healthcare system for all, through sharing their lived experience, engaging with organisations and providing feedback to healthcare services and systems.

Project Outcomes

At the beginning of the project, a report was created ‘White Paper: Engaging with young people, how are we doing?’. Through this, we identified four key areas for improvement: best practice and sharing power, co-design and collaboration, intersectionality, and follow-up and sustainability. These key aspects informed our next steps in the engagement phase of the Walking the Talk project.

 

Once the workshops were complete, a Final Report was created. This report details the project, our approach and methodology, the findings of the workshops, and the next steps for HCNSW and AWCH. A new Youth Engagement Guide was also developed based on the findings and direct feedback and input from young people.

walking the talk page

Walking the Talk

The aim of the Walking the Talk project was to collaborate with a diverse range of young people (14-25) to gain insight into their experiences of engaging with the healthcare system, services, and organisations.

Walking the Talk in 2023

In 2023, we focused on sharing the findings of the project and the new Youth Engagement Guide with various relevant organisations and professionals including the Agency for Clinical Innovation, Multicultural NSW, Flinders University and the University of Sydney. For more details on our work in 2023, click here.

What next?

In November 2023, HCNSW and AWCH were successful in receiving a grant from the City of Sydney to expand the work of Walking the Talk. The project, titled ‘Collaborate & Connect: Designing Health Engagement with Indigenous Young People’, will begin in February 2024.

The purpose of this project is to listen to the experiences and insights of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (aged 14-25) about organisational and service engagement in the healthcare sector, and co-create ideas to address identified issues.

To stay up-to-date, you can find everything ‘Walking the Talk’ here.