YEP Crew Blog Post – Tahnae Keyser: Value in Diversity

Last Friday morning 12 individuals that make up the Youth Educating Peers (YEP) Crew joined Anania, our Project Officer, down in Serpentine for a weekend bursting at the seams with learning, workshops, laughter, bonding, and food.

We got to partake in a Save a Mate Drugs and Alcohol workshop (from Australian Red Cross), we became Youth Connectors after participating in an Act-Belong-Commit workshop (from Mentally Healthy WA), and Headspace ran a youth mental health workshop. That was just day one! Day two consisted of an Intro to Sexual Health and Blood Borne Viruses (SHBBV) with Sexual Health Quarters (SHQ) and Hepatitis WA, followed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) Cultural Awareness Training. Lastly, our very own Golda facilitated a CaLD cultural awareness training session, and the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) ran both a Social Media and a Facilitation/Interpersonal Intelligence workshops to cap off our third and final day. What a whirlwind!

I felt like I learnt so much from this weekend, not only from the informative workshops that we were lucky enough to partake in, but also from my fellow YEP Crew members. Personally, I have never met such a diverse group of young people that instantly hit it off so well! The weekend brought together 12 individuals that are exactly that, individuals who are unique in their own right. We all come from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and experiences, with diverse, yet complimenting personalities and qualities. Even though we will be learning so much professionally and gaining valuable experience and training from the work that we will be doing moving forward, I think even from within the group we will continue to learn so much from each other. As our admirable team leader, Anania, phrased it, we’ve got all bases covered with a team made up of the go-getter bulls, polar bears, deers, and the bigger-picture eagles; each as integral as the other with unique strengths to contribute.

After spending the weekend with this bunch, I recognised that collectively, as a team of diversity, we have so much to offer our youth peers in terms of education, support, and insight surrounding sexual health and blood borne viruses. In a nutshell, this really highlights the value in diversity. I am so excited to work with these beautiful souls and looking forward to see what our time together brings!

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Meet the team

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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