Health promotion foundation VicHealth has unveiled a first-of-its-kind initiative focused on creating a heathier future for Victoria’s young people.
With Covid-19 continuing to affect the health and wellbeing of young people, Future Healthy will invest $45million in new programs over three years to support people aged 0-25 to begin to build back better: reconnect socially and safely, get active, and access and enjoy good food.
This month, VicHealth will work with thousands of young people in developing this healthier vision together – using their views and experiences to inform what their healthy future will look like.
Cranbourne youth activist Zahra is one of 14 ambassadors for the Future Healthy project and said she was pleased to be able to take part.
“Being a young Muslim girl myself, I want people to know that no matter your background, race, religion or gender, you’re represented here and your voice matters.
“I want to encourage all young people to share their stories.”
Zahra moved to Australia from Singapore at the age of 15 and said she wasn’t prepared for “the isolation and culture shock” of the move.
She found comfort in the art room at school, where she felt she could express herself and creative meaningful relationships with her peers. Those friends have become some of her closest companions, getting her through some tough times.
“It’s important to know you’re not alone, no matter where you are or what situation you’re in. I don’t want anyone to feel less worthy of being alive,” she said.
She’s acutely aware many young people have been isolated throughout the pandemic and might feel daunted by the prospect of getting back into society once restrictions ease.
If you’re a young person in Victoria aged 18-25, or a parent or carer in Victoria with kids aged 0-17, share your experiences, challenges and ideas about what a healthy future means to you and your community at futurehealthy.vichealth.vic.gov.au
Find out more about Zahra’s story at futurehealthy.vichealth.vic.gov.au/CommunityChampions/Zahra or her YouTube channel, youtube.com/channel/UC99kFIoXHeOlSa16Un3-c5g