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Re: Advocacy - Ask a Pro Live with Bre August 29th 2019

So on to why we are here tonight Advocacy, here is the second question for tonight.

 

@Bre-RO  Can you tell us a bit about your background and why advocacy is an important part of your career?

Re: Advocacy - Ask a Pro Live with Bre August 29th 2019

To give a bit of my background and why advocacy is so important to me. I grew up in a family where there was lots of need for advocacy. My parents both struggled to keep our family above the poverty line and for a long time having a career or studying didn’t seem possible. I hadn’t seen anyone on either side of my family go to university or anything so it felt unattainable. 

 

I’m proud that I believed in myself and chose to work in the community sector because it meant that I had an insight into what some of the people I work with are going through. Being in the position to advocate for someone to have a cheaper electricity bill or wiping someones massive telephone debt for them felt like a win. I've often thought about how I'd hope my mum was treated when she needed lots of help when I was little. So that's why advocacy is so important to me Heart 

Re: Advocacy - Ask a Pro Live with Bre August 29th 2019

@Bre-RO  I think it's really amazing that you've been able to use your past experiences to help other people. You've really had to work hard to achieve your dreams. Well done! Smiley Happy

Re: Advocacy - Ask a Pro Live with Bre August 29th 2019

@Bre-RO thank you for sharing that, you are so right having those insights from lived experience can really help when you are advocating for others! 

Re: Advocacy - Ask a Pro Live with Bre August 29th 2019

@Bre-RO that's so powerful that you've used your lived experiences to help others going through similiar struggles Heart Your empathy really shines through in your work here too Heart




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We had a live chat on Accessing Mental Health Support Online! Smiley Very Happy Check it out here! Heart

Re: Advocacy - Ask a Pro Live with Bre August 29th 2019

@WheresMySquishy @Claire-RO 

 

Thank you both Heart 

Re: Advocacy - Ask a Pro Live with Bre August 29th 2019

@ecla34 Thank you Heart that is really nice to know

Re: Advocacy - Ask a Pro Live with Bre August 29th 2019

@Bre-RO you just spoke so beautifully about why advocacy is important to you, can you tell us how you have helped young people advocate for themselves?

Re: Advocacy - Ask a Pro Live with Bre August 29th 2019

Just managed to pop online and read your responses @Bre-RO!

Like others, I also like writing and travelling. Well done on getting published, and I hope you achieve your travelling goal! Smiley Very Happy 

It's really admirable how you've used your past experiences to help others, and like others have said here it shows extreme empathy. You seem like a really dedicated person!

Re: Advocacy - Ask a Pro Live with Bre August 29th 2019

Absolutely! 

 

Advocating for yourself can be really emotional. Even though I advocate for others all the time when it's time for me to advocate for myself, I still struggle sometimes. How I've tried to help young people (and myself) advocate for themselves is by doing a few things. 

 

When you do advocate for yourself I suggest a few things...

  • Know your rights: Before you approach the service/government agency know what your intention is and what your entitlement to that is. Try to have as much information about what options are available to you. For example, if you are ringing your telephone provider to extend your bill. It would be good to know that your provider offers an extension every three months and ask for that specifically. 
  • Communicate: This seems obvious but what I mean is to speak with clarity. Explain your situation in the best way you can, in the most polite way. It could be that you write a letter to advocate for yourself, so maybe have someone you trust to proofread it. *this can be hard to do so don't feel bad if it takes time to develop this* 
  • Have support: As always - Have support. If it means someone comes to an appointment with you and takes notes, or even that someone sits with you while you call Centrelink (if you know, you know).