Youth Peer Educator
"I am a Hep Hero because hepatitis is preventable. With greater awareness and education we can help young people reach their potential"
Around four years ago I decided to join Hepatitis Victoria in the White Lion program. Having been affected by hepatitis in my family life, I was keen to work on the program and help young people who are at risk and disconnected from society.
As a young person myself, I wanted to help my peers become more aware of hepatitis, empowering them to make safer and smarter choices.
A lot of my family members have been affected by hepatitis and it has held some people back. The more people know about it, the more they can keep themselves safe and not limit their potential in life.
I want to educate and raise awareness to open up the opportunities for young people at risk. We need to ‘break the cycle’ through education, support and mentioning.
My work at Hepatitis Victoria as a Youth Peer Educator is an important step in achieving this. I work on the Young People’s Program, specifically the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) program.
We work with schools to deliver a Personal Development Skills Unit on hepatitis C. During the course we help to increase student’s knowledge of safer body art behaviours and safer injecting drug use.
Young people have limited opportunities to learn about hepatitis C at school because of its association with drug use, yet most new infections are in people aged between 15 and 29.
I believe that for education about prevention to work, early intervention is critical. I have also been involved in the annual photography project Street Shot, which uses photography to raise awareness about viral hepatitis transmission amongst young people. This year we spoke to over 100 young people about viral hepatitis transmission and prevention.