Hi everyone! My name is Aksh Handa, I’m 21 and in my final year studying Physiology at UWA. I’ve been in Perth for almost 6 years and have been fortunate to live in multiple cities in India and the UK, providing me the opportunity to immerse myself in various cultures and appreciate their differences.
I have tried to make the most out of my university experience over the last 3 years by volunteering for Teddy Bear Hospital, Teach Learn Grow, Uni Camp for Kids and more recently with the UWA Multicultural Committee. In February, I was involved in organising the Catalyst Youth Summit with YACWA, which brought together multicultural youth to discuss issues that affected them, including mental health, access to opportunities and having a sense of belonging in a country that may be relatively new to them, quite like it is for myself. This event was extremely successful in giving the much needed voice to youth represented by the minority communities in Australia. I have been working part time at an eye clinic in Nedlands since 2014, and interested in pursuing postgraduate Medicine.
So, a background in health sciences, and a keen interest to be involved in the youth sector, led me to search for an opportunity to help my peers in issues related to mental and sexual health. My willingness to be involved with the YEP project stems from my personal reflection of the negative attitudes towards sexual awareness in the community that I belong to, which often lead to youth finding answers for themselves via the internet or other influences in a complex social world. I believe by reaching out and helping break down barriers that prevent young people from talking openly about the problems they face regarding sexual health and awareness, we help them be more confident and feel safe in seeking help in the future as well.