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The North Central LLEN is an incorporated association that partners with a range of groups and organisations including education and training providers, business and industry, community agencies, and parent and family organisations to assist in planning effective delivery of programs for young people.

Boort District Health:

Showcasing Health Sector Heroes 2023

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Young People Shine a Light on Local Heroes at Boort District Health


Over the last few months, a group of Year 11 and 12 students from Boort District School (BDS) have completed a unique work experience program that saw them “take over” the Hospital as part of their Vocational Major Literacy (VCL) studies. The six students came together weekly to form a task force in a project called "Showcasing Health Sector Heroes" - a Youth Take Over (YTO) work experience program. 


YTO is an initiative of the North Central LLEN, supporting young people to gain teamwork, project management and communication skills that help them become more employable. In this Take Over, students worked like investigators, interviewing the staff at BDH and learning how to tell their stories in an engaging way and from a personal lens. 


BDH has a range of career paths, said Braedon, one of the interns, many of which were news to the young people. "It's not just the nursing and stuff, it's a wide range of jobs that I didn't even know were there... there's so many things you could be doing," he said.


Importantly, the students learned that it is the incredible and diverse range of staff that makes the hospital a unique and exciting place to work - from cleaners and gardeners to admin and the people who run the cafe - every staff member matters. After touring the hospital and getting to know the entire workforce, their task was to choose just one employee to connect with and interview to tell their story and showcase the valuable work they are doing. 


Each student produced a write-up about the life of their chosen staff member and snapped a photo of them, which was showcased earlier this week at the Hospital for a special launch event. Allowing the young people to showcase their work is an important part of the Take Over program, as it helps the young people work on presentation skills, and gives them a chance to feel proud of their achievements. 


Brady, one of the participating students, said that learning their literacy work at the hospital was a great experience for the students as it gave them a chance to connect with their community. "I felt like it was a lot better just being in the community and having different people walking by and having different conversations, instead of just your normal classroom conversations that you get," he said.


Tom Bleicher, the Assistant Principal at Boort District School, said the Take Over was exactly what he had been looking for to use their Vocational Major Literacy (VCL) as a way to get into the workplace and out of the classroom. "My mind has been constantly ticking over in terms of how we can make this an ongoing part of the curriculum... to leave the classroom and engage with a range of industries," he said. 


Jett, another one of the students, said that opportunities like these are important in your final years of school because it gives you an opening into lots of different jobs that you could go into. "Say you weren't sure what you wanted to do after school, there's always an opportunity at BDH to do something," he said. The final work produced by the young people will be used by the hospital to showcase their health sector heroes, and in turn, help BDH attract their future workforce by putting the life stories of their people first. 


Whilst the project has opened the participants' eyes to the range of careers available in their hometown, it has also given the staff at the hospital a new outlook. Boort District Health CEO Donna Doyle said that one of the benefits for their organisation is that they get to see the Hospital from a youth perspective, which can help them better engage with young people.  


"The biggest win for us is going to be being able to showcase all the different types of career pathways that people have an opportunity to explore at BDH. The materials the students have created show young people that the hospital offers a rewarding career that challenges them, that they get to do relevant and interesting and important things in their day-to-day work, but also then how that transpires into their work-life balance," she said. 


Speaking at the event, YTO Project Director Ryan Hale, said what makes Take Overs special is that young people enter the workforce as a group, which can bring down the barriers some young people feel about starting their careers or entering a new work environment on their own. "While one focus of this Take Over was for students to achieve curriculum outcomes in VCL, they have also improved their ability to work in a team, communicate effectively across an age gap, and work to a client brief, which are all transferable work skills.”


"So while they are achieving their curriculum outcomes, they are also developing community and industry networks, honing their teamwork, communications and project management skills and getting out of the classroom and into a hands-on learning environment, giving them a real insight into the world of work," he said.


Youth Parliament 2022


Taking Over Parliament House

The verdict is in. Youth Take Over's interns at YMCA's Youth Parliament called for soft skills to be taught in schools—and the result was a resounding 'YES!'

Youth Parliament is a program run by YMCA Youth Services that gives young people a hands on experience and  the opportunity to have their voices in heard. In a team of six, young people from the age of 16-25 can present their views on a wide range of issues that impact the lives of young people. Their task is to draft a Bill, addressing a state-based issue o their choice and something they think should be added to real, legit, law binding Victorian Legislation. 


Their bills are introduced and presented in Youth Parliament, and debated and voted upon over a week as the young people sit in the chambers of Parliament House. At the end of this week, all the Bills that are passed are handed to the Minister for Youth. This program made for the perfect launch point for a Take Over, and with the support of our sponser, we were able to send a group of 6 into the city to speak up and have their voices heard.

A huge congratulations to Abbey, Brea, Andrea, Jessica, Kimberly and Tom for successfully advocating for all young people.

Thank you to our funder Agnico Eagle for making all of this possible and investing in future leaders. Their Community Partnership Program is opening doors—and in this case, it was the ones at Parliament House.


A win for young people

"This bill is a policy that is designed by young people, for young people, and with young people," Tom told the Legislative Council. He said young people need confidence and the ability to communicate with employers, which is at the heart of the team's Mandatory Youth Work Readiness Program Bill.


Total majority

The Council passed the bill unopposed. As Brea said in her speech, "the reality is we need to bridge the gap between youth and industry, and this bill is the perfect recipe to do that." Their bill comes out of research that found that young people are struggling to connect with employers.


No debating this success 

A big part of the week is the debates that take place between different teams in parliament. Our interns had an impressive victory against Ivanhoe Girls Grammar School and have been applauded for their epic communication skills. 

Our Youth Parliament Interns

in the News

Using regional youth voices in Parliament

Shepperton News:

Six regional youth made their voices heard in Victorian Parliament last week in a push for the same opportunities as their metropolitan counterparts.

Five members of the Northern Victoria Youth Parliament Team fronted the Legislative Council on Tuesday, June 28, to present their Mandatory Youth Work Readiness Bill.

After months in the making, the bill passed with “overwhelming support”.

Shepparton’s Tom Saxton said that while it had been a journey, it was one that was not quite over.

“We know it’s going to be seen by the government now but it kind of just moves onto the next steps of the progress ― of trying to get it strongly considered, trying to get it talked about in Parliament and those kinds of things,” he said.

“Hopefully it can be really considered and in some ways put into action to help Victoria, and try to help Shepparton’s young people as well.’’


This Take Over will go down in history!

Congrats to our wonderful interns.

Thank you to our sponsor for supporting this project 

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