News and events

Child Rights Education

In 2011, Y@K made a video about Child Rights. The Y@K felt that Child Rights are something they feel strongly about and met with a team of professionals in the RCH to pursue an idea they had made in a Y@K meeting.

Some of the rights Y@K thought were best to use are; To be involved in making decisions that affect us, to be with and guided by our family, unless this is against our best interest, to express our views respectfully, be heard and have something done about it, to privacy and to be protected from harm.

To summarise this video, what we just wanted to get across was that patients do have rights, but, not everybody knows about them.

See the video at: www.rch.org.au/studentorientation/6_child_rights/Child_Rights/

By Brooke Dance, Youth Advisory Council

Youth Homelessness Matters Day

Wednesday the 18th of April was Youth Homelessness Matters Day. On the day, young people worked with Young people’s Health Service and Education to create the Youth Homelessness couch.

Young people’s Health Service and Education and some Y@Ker’s got together in Main Street and handed out Youth Homelessness day stickers, magnets and fliers to young people and parents around the hospital. Young people were also able to write quotes on the Youth Homelessness Day couch.

Over all, the day was very successful. We got the word out to a lot of people around the hospital and now more people are aware of Youth Homelessness.  

By Brooke Dance,  Youth Advisory Council

Visit from HM Queen Elizabeth

On 26 October 2011, four Y@Ker’s were invited to open the doors for HM Queen Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh. They were all very excited to do this and politely accepted.

On the day, there was live coverage of The Queen’s visit all over TV and a private hospital showing. Brooke and Shannon Dance were the first ones to open the doors and then it was James Williams and Jordyn Griffin to close them. The queen stayed for about an hour, having a tour of the hospital and talking to a few young people.  By the end of the visit, The Queen was jam packed with flowers in her arms!

The rest of the Y@Ker’s came along to support them, they even got their 15 seconds of fame! It was a thrilling day for all of the Y@Ker’s.

By Brooke Dance, Youth Advisory Council

The Royal Children’s Hospital Youth Forum

On Monday 8 August 2011, The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) Youth Advisory Council, more informally known as the Y@K (Youth at the Kids), hosted the first-ever RCH Youth Forum.

A total of 166 young people participated in the one-day forum, of which 141 came from around the state and 25 inpatients from wards. Attendees, aged from 12–20 years, had the opportunity to hear inspirational speakers, participate in fun and interactive workshops, and network with other young people with similar interests and backgrounds.

Early immerging themes from the forum include:

  • the RCH environment
  • communication
  • privacy
  • the relationship between staff and young people.

The Y@K will now work towards the collation of a paper with clear recommendations to be considered by the RCH executive.

Thank you to everyone for your support, we look forward to the ideas being put into practice!

Youth Peer Support

In 2009 three mentors joined the Y@K team to help us in furthering our goals. RCH Youth Peer Workers, Jordan, Phillipe and Tamara all have experience as patients of the RCH, as well as working in other hospital programs. These Youth Peer Workers have a great insight into how the hospital operates, which means they have a lot of tips and ideas for improvement as well. They work with us to improve our skills in communication, public speaking, the running of meetings, as well as the overcoming of health issues that can affect school and family life. Our mentors are great people who contribute enormously to Y@K and to us as friends.

Meetings

Y@K meetings are held monthly, where the team discusses any new issues that may have arisen and shares ideas for enhancements to hospital services. The meetings can be general, or may include fun and informative workshops. In our February workshop we visited the site of the new hospital to witness the progress of this amazing new building. Y@K members met former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and had photographs taken beside him.

Meetings can involve all sorts of fun activities, but in the end we continue to work towards improving the experiences and services of the RCH for all. Our meetings are a safe and open place to express our true opinions and hear the views of others.

Meetings are generally held between 4.30pm–6.30pm on weekdays.

Grand Rounds

The Grand Rounds Seminar Series provided an opportunity for the RCH community to hear directly from young people about the issues that affect their experiences of RCH services and facilities. In their first Grand Round presentation, representatives from Y@K shared personal stories of their positive hospital experiences and situations that may have been better.

The story of Emily, a 12-year-old girl diagnosed with Diabetes, was presented as one example of Y@K support. Emily was confused by different medical advice she had been given for the treatment for her condition and felt that her own views were not being heard. Emily was able to share her concerns with Y@K members and the group’s collective experience of similar issues meant support and useful advice was at hand.

Y@K’s Youth Peer Support program is an initiative through which Y@K members receive mentoring in valuable communication and life skills from former hospital patients. Jordan Hammond, one of the Y@K mentors, gave an overview of the program and the role it has in helping young people advocate more effectively by developing some key skills. Jordan has had extensive experience in the hospital as a young patient and she is now in a role with the Adolescent Transition Program.

A video exploring hospital operations, the RCH community and the role of Y@K in improving the hospital experience for young people was presented by Executive Director of Clinical Support Services, John Stanway.

The success of this Grand Round opportunity means there is plenty of work to do to make our next presentation just as interesting and engaging.