Pre-Conference professional development workshops

At the 2018 Youth Health Conference, AAAH is offering a range of Pre-Conference professional development workshops. These skills focused workshops will provide participants with the opportunity for interactive learning in clinical care, research and innovative programs in a variety of contemporary youth health issues.

Confirmed workshops include;

The use of Drama and Using Young Actors for Promoting Youth Health and Training Health Professionals

Mr Peter Chown, Psychologist & Ms Lisa Apostolides, Director, Byron Youth Theatre


This experiential workshop will provide a practical insight into youth-driven theatre performance as an innovative and powerful tool for educating young people about health and social issues. It will also explore the use of young actors and participatory drama methods in training health professionals in essential youth-friendly communication and consultation skills.

The workshop will provide participants with:

  • Information on the rationale and efficacy of using young actors and drama methods in health promotion and the training of health professionals
  • Basic principles and skills in recruiting and training young people as actors and in collaborative development of theatre performances
  • Hands-on experience in the use of some basic dramatic methods with young people in the context of youth health promotion and training health professionals
  • The workshop will feature the participation of young actors from Byron Youth Theatre (BYT) in interactive training exercises. BYT will be performing on the first day of the conference.

Doin’ It Right: Training Workers Who Work with Aboriginal Young People in Delivering Sexual and Reproductive Health

Kaylie Harrison, Project Coordinator, Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AH&MRC)


Sexual health promotion and education which is designed to empower young people can play a fundamental role in positively influencing behaviours to reduce STIs and BBVs. However, there are limited resources and tools available that are appropriate for young Aboriginal people.

The Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council NSW (AH&MRC) developed the DOIN ‘IT’ RIGHT! Sexual and Reproductive Health Resource Kit by modifying and adapting the existing YFoundations One2One resource. AH&MRC, guided by the Sexual and Reproductive Advisory committee, focus tested activities from the One2One resource with Aboriginal young people across NSW as part of their DOIN ‘IT’ RIGHT! (DIR) Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Project. Relevant and appropriate activities were chosen, and or/ adapted and other new activities included to make up the current DIR Resource.

The kit is made up of step by step activities covering a large range of different topics including puberty, reproductive health, self-esteem, sexuality, sexually transmissible infections, pregnancy, values and decision making, and the impact alcohol and drugs play in SRH.

For positive SRH outcomes, it is vital that workers have the confidence and skills to generate comfortable and appropriate conversations and create positive learning opportunities for young people surrounding SRH.

The DIR resource has been designed for any workers, not just sexual health workers, who work Aboriginal young people, however, it is also relevant for any workers engaging in education with young people in general. It aims to quip workers with a range of easy to use, step by step, activities to use with young people and to assist workers to empower young people to make healthy and informed choices regarding their own SRH.

As part of the AH&MRCs DOIN ‘IT’ RIGHT! Project the DOIN ‘IT’ RIGHT! Training Workshops were developed and implemented across NSW. The objectives of the workshops is to; examine the DIR Resource, provide relevant information relating to working effectively and appropriately with Aboriginal young people in the SRH space and to practice some of the hands-on DIR activities to build knowledge and confidence.

The overall aim is to increase workers ability to provide sexual & reproductive health information and education to young Aboriginal people.

The DIR Resource is available as a PDF document on our website:

The Psychology of Type 1 Diabetes

Alan Heady, Clinical Psychologist – Young Adult Support Unit (YASU), Mater Misericordiae Ltd


Working with families is complex. You need a clear framework. In this workshop I provide a developmentally informed framework that can help guide your practice. In particular, I focus on how to develop a real connection with young adults, understand the depth of their issues, and how to respond in ways which preserve their dignity – and your sanity! The focus is on finding a genuinely sustainable model of practice with complex clients. In addition to this, we will briefly talk about how to establish groups with parents or older teens/young adults. Throughout the workshop there is a theme of how to prevent compassion fatigue and workplace burnout.

Easier When You Know How: Tips for Successful Research with Adolescents

Professor Kate Steinbeck, Medical Foundation Chair In Adolescent Medicine, The Childrens Hospital, Rachel Skinner, Sydney University and Children’s Hospital & Dr Bianca Hoban, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Technology Sydney


Wellbeing, Health & Youth, The NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Adolescent Health, will host a 2-hour workshop on Research Methods in Adolescent Health.

We will address some of more challenging areas of research with young people:

  1. co-design your research study with young people,
  2. getting your ethics approved first time,
  3. informed consent,
  4. how to maximise recruitment and retention
  5. making sure your research findings make a difference (translation).

We invite participants to nominate topics or propose a research question that we will use as case studies, for discussion and workshopping on the day. Examples might include: obstacles encountered in past research projects, planning for future research, approaches to seeking and applying for funding or other topics of interest. Please submit your ideas for discussion to

At the end of the workshop, attendees will have a better understanding about the important and specific challenges of research in adolescents and know how better to negotiate the barriers that might occur. Attendees will also receive a digital copy teaching material and recent publications that relate to the workshop.

Delegates can purchase a ticket to attend Pre-Conference Workshops via the registration form. Workshops are an additional cost and are not included in the full registration or day registration fee.

We hope to see you there!