YEP Crew Blog Post – Shaina Thomas: On Fairground 2016, YACWA slayed

Fairground’s 2016 presenters and delegates celebrated our say, nurturing what affects youth today. Not knowing what to expect from Fairground conference 2016, I leave confident the room was filled with amazing people.
A steady focus motivates the great work present in the youth sector. Keynote speakers noted fund changes across the sector would shape future reflection on previous policy to adjust accordingly, which is an excellent opportunity to continue services and resources on trend. The sector’s strong desire to build support and create fantastic services, to reach out and shout out the importance of wellbeing for us young people was clear.
There were many sessions throughout the day following diverse backgrounds, which further encouraged healthy discussions about sensitive topics. The ‘Young people’ panel chatted openly about lived experiences overcome with tactful resilience. Subjects such as mental health impact on drug use, decriminalisation of drugs, empowering the student cohort around academic transition into career pathways and so on…I couldn’t stop listening! I know right?! To hear young people and politicians talk together about what affects young people is not common enough. To be amongst an extensive network of people determined to support the wellbeing of youth could not go unnoticed. Complex topics made into digestible bite size pieces left the audience buzzing with questions relevant to youth unemployment, age discrimination, gender diversity, mental health, cultural awareness and more!! It is so important to have these conversations, share our lived experiences, talk about our day – not only if we are ok but what is working and what is limiting us.

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Vanessa Vlajkovic

Hi! My name is Nessa and I’m 20 years old. I’m studying Journalism at Edith Cowan University, with a Public Relations minor. I am an avid reader, writer, traveller and cheerleader. I’m also a passionate advocate for the deafblind community, and for other types of disability. I’ve been on the committee of the Youth Disability Advocacy Network (YDAN) at YACWA for a few months, and through them have developed a desire to become a YEP volunteer, as I want to expand my horizons.

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