Collaborate, don’t compete. Work with heart!
This was the overarching message on Monday 24 October 2022, when QYHC hosted the much-anticipated Platform 1225! Putting on a conference in the midst of a pandemic has been challenging. We’ve faced rescheduling and rejigging of programs and presenters on multiple occasions. Here we are and Covid-19 still had an impact on the event – our MC and keynote speaker Comedian and Satirist Corey White was struck down with the virus in Melbourne. There was last minute scrambling and rallying from the team to pull everything together right up until three minutes prior to the official opening. From the moment MC Jenny Wynter took to the podium, the energy in the room was awesome. Our sector is so generous and made the most of the swings and roundabouts and soaked up the inspiring insights offered in abundance. An absolute strength of our sector that we appreciate enormously.
It was such a buzz to finally all be in the room together to discuss housing and support for young people, hear stimulating presentations and network. QYHC relished the opportunity to bring the sector, young people and government representatives together to share in thought-provoking and powerful learning experiences.
Some great themes and take-home messages emerged throughout the day, many of them consistent across presentations:
- Collaboration not competition is necessary, not just locally but globally too.
- Housing first that is place based is key
- Young people need:
- To be supported to stay in their community
- Natural supports built around them
- To attend school, training, work or work readiness programs
- Options for housing and support responsive to their needs.
- Various options are needed – one size doesn’t fit all
- Young people aren’t responsible for their trauma or adverse experiences – the stigma that goes with these experiences is unacceptable!
- The people who do this work are central to young people’s well-being. Work with heart. Connection is key. Workers need to be supported in the complex work they do.
Dr Alistair Ping
- We have a propensity to default into subconscious pattern matching. In order to disrupt this we need to shift from reactive to intentional thinking – teaching reflective practice is one way
- We need a shared vision and intention
- We need to shift to collaboration from competition globally!
Dr Lindy Annakin
- We have the power to dominate or inspire
- Courage begets courage – speaking out gives others the courage to do so too
- We have both a personal and structural voice
- Systems aren’t half as punitive as we expect them to be when we do speak out
- Find your voice then listen to it – even when it shakes, especially then
Julia’s presentation – Young People Making Tracks
Julia spoke to the stigma young people who are homeless or who interface with various systems face. She told the stories of Mary and Rose. Two seemingly different young women.
Yet, they are one.
Many young people do really well in life whilst juggling an enormous number of stressors. Julia spoke about the importance of not making assumptions, listening to young people, and responding to them where they are at. Also, of recognising when you don’t have a family to fall back on or grew up in care, you are vulnerable to homelessness because of housing insecurity, competition, and limited income. Being a parent makes it harder to access various support systems.
- “I don’t know how to be an adult and do what they do. I’m only 17.”
- Workers are key:
- They need to care and have a heart for the work they do
- They need to get to know young people and work with them as individuals
- “Workers can help young people feel comfortable with the right type of thinking and approach.” Jess
- I had to fight – “we need an advocate.” Chloe
- Finishing education is tough
- It can happen to anyone
- Need to learn life skills
- Connections change lives
Karl Lacis – Dovetail
- Managing responses – solution versus problem; reducing harm; insight and ability
Chris Boyle – Stand By U
- Prevention through connection
- Awareness, context, permission
Jennifer Thomas – Services Union
- Jennifer reminded us about the importance of supporting our workforce as well as alignment and partnering.
Hayley drew a stunning record of the day.
Liza – DCHDE
- Young people, CHDE, QYHC and policy makers working together Towards ending homelessness.
- Housing First
- We need more support options for young people
- A Continuum of care – housing and support pathway in every region
- Early intervention and prevention
- Varied models that meet young people’s needs
Key words – safety, trustworthiness, collaboration, empowerment
A huge thank you from the QYHC team to all our wonderful presenters, sponsors, and supporters!