CREATE encourages young people to be confident and to speak up about issues that matter to them. One of the ways they can do this is by participating in a program called Speak-Up, where they can become a CREATE Young Consultant. It gives young people in care the opportunity to be heard and is great way to learn about the care system. Young Consultants develop advocacy, leadership and public speaking skills and can use their stories and experiences to represent CREATE at local, state or national events and forums. Often, we receive some great feedback from those who have participated in the Speak-Up program.
One of our CREATE’s superstar Young Consultants, Sharna, recently shared her feedback with us. We thank and appreciate Sharna for all her help as a Young Consultant at CREATE. Here’s what Sharna had to say about her experience..
Hello. I am 21 years old and have been a CREATE Young Consultant for 5 years.
My first ever Young Consultant training I did was at Cairns Child Safety. I had a phone call that week from CREATE Community Consultant, Deborah. She said “Hey Sharna, how would you feel about speaking at a Child Safety Officer training session, answering a few questions and sharing your story?” I agreed. I was nervous and felt under prepared but came out of it with a gift card and a smile on my face. This was only one of the many speaking events I have done at CREATE.
I have since been flown to Emerald and Cairns and also done a lot of speaking events and training locally. I have been a member of the CREATE Foundation for almost 11 years, and speaking now for 5 years. Being involved with CREATE has been an awesome experience, doing many things I never would have imagined.
I’ve gone to CREATE Your Future Camps, Youth Advisory Group Meetings, CREATE Connection Events. I have received a CREATE Your Future Grant, and contributed my advice for the creation a mobile app for young people transitioning from care, and have also helped to establish a service that help many young people in need, that service being ‘Next Step After Care’.
Over my time at CREATE I have been able to think of all the positive reasons this service needs to be in the lives of young people in care. CREATE helps build confidence, positivity and can create structure in a young person’s life. You meet many young people who have similar struggles to you, and you realise that you aren’t alone and that there are people that need the exact same support as you.
That is how great things happen. That is how the future changes and creates a more people-focused world that can empower each other to be better.
Sharna, CREATE Young Consultant