An innovative community collective addressing sexual health and well-beingJul 10, 2023
Hundreds of young people from the North Coast region attended a three-day event centred around all thing’s sexual health.
The Positive Adolescent Sexual Health (PASH) network consists of 40 plus North and Mid North Coast youth, education and health organisations who are dedicated to working together to pool resources and expertise to support the sexual health, well-being and related issues of young people.
After a five-year hiatus, the network hosted the 2023 PASH Conference and Community Forum in Coffs Harbour and Lennox Head between 21-23 June, with more than 650 young people and 150 teachers, parents, carers, presenters, health and youth workers and community leaders attending.
The conference highlights included 16 topics and 153 concurrent sessions ranging from consent, identity gender and sexuality, mental health, party safe, reproductive health, love, sex and relationships, check-ups and where to get help and a screening production from Byron Youth Theatre.
The forum was held at Lennox Head on 22 June and was attended in person and live streamed across the North Coast. The forum was facilitated by comedian, writer, feminist, social activist and mother of five, Mandy Nolan.
It also featured an expert panel from legal, health and community including Dr Melissa Kang, the longest serving ‘Dolly Doctor’, Safe on Social CEO Kirra Pendergast who delivered a keynote message on the topic of sextortion and the audience was treated to a live performance by Indigenous rapper, musician and activist, JK-47.
The three days consisted of connections, conversations, and community engagement with presentations, stalls and Q&A sessions to develop knowledge and healthy behaviours.
The conference and forum have never been more important as young people living in regional and rural areas face major barriers in accessing sexual health and related services.
Mid North Coast Local Health District’s HARP Manager Jen Heslop, Manager of Sexual Health Promotion and Blood Borne Virus Prevention Programs, Franklin John-Leader, Health Promotion Officer, Ellie Sneddon, Aboriginal Health Promotion Officer, Larissa Smyth and Health Promotion Officer, Shannon Rees, joined the PASH Consortium, North Coast Population and Public Health Directorate and other Northern NSW staff in making the event the huge success that it was.
For more information about PASH click here
To watch the livestream of the community forum “E-Safety & Young People” click here
To watch the Byron Youth Theatre Screening Production “So… what about sex?” click here
To watch the Sextortion Keynote Message from Kirra Pendergast click here
To watch the Welcome by JK-47 at Coffs Harbour click here
Click on the image below to view a gallery of images