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Policy

  • The Centre for Adolescent Health vision, is to make a difference to young people’s health and wellbeing by advancing knowledge, policy, and practice. 

    As an Australian centre of excellence and a WHO collaborating centre, we work to bring together the professionals and organisations needed to:

    • Undertake research into adolescent health, growth and wellbeing, with the knowledge that research is a driver of quality health care, prevention of ill health, and health promotion.
    • Engage and support young people in reaching their potential and pursuing their aspirations.
    • Support adolescent health practice in the schools, communities, and environments in which adolescents live, work and play.
    • Provide education and training to enable professionals to meet the needs of young people.
    • Strengthen partnerships with the many stakeholders in adolescent health, including young people themselves.
    • Influence policies that empower and protect all young people, including those facing disadvantage and discrimination.

    To help enact our vision, the CAH run a series of networking events, Catalysing Connections for Adolescent Health and Wellbeing with interested stakeholders. These events provide researchers, practitioners, policy makers and implementers the opportunity to discuss topics of mutual interest. Please visit the page for further information and to watch past events.  

    Initiatives the Centre for Adolescent Health has been involved in includes:

    Advocacy campaigns

    #RaiseTheAge

    The Centre for Adolescent Health is proud to join with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, fellow human rights organisations and doctors to call for federal, state and territory governments to #RaiseTheAge of criminal responsibility from just 10 years old to at least 14.

    Children need care, love and support. Not handcuffs and prisons. Further information can be found on the #RaiseTheAge website.

    Obesity - Tipping the Scales report

    In September 2017, more than 35 leading community, public health, medical and academic groups united to call for urgent Federal Government action to address Australia’s serious obesity problem. In the report, Tipping the Scales, the agencies identify eight clear, practical, evidence-based actions the Australian Federal Government must take to reduce the enormous strain excess weight and poor diets are having on the nation’s physical and economic health.

    Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health

    In July 2019, the Melbourne Children’s Campus provided a submission on the Mental Health of Victoria’s infants, children and adolescents. The submission represents the united voices of over 6000 health professionals across the Melbourne Children’s Campus. Twenty-five internationally recognised experts have met regularly to contribute to this submission, which draws on the clinical, research and educational expertise of our institutions. 

    The Importance of the Middle Years

    The Childhood to Adolescence Transition Study (CATS) is a unique longitudinal study following 1,200 Victorian students from childhood through adolescence. The focus of the study is on health and emotional development through the middle years of school. CATS is interested in the experiences of students and their families, their changing social contexts as they move into secondary school, and the biological changes of puberty. Findings from this study has (and continues) to contribute to many government and non-government reports. Further information can be found on the CATS website.

    Engaging young people

    Positive Youth Development - with USAID

    Information to come. 

    The Childhood to Adolescence Transition Study (CATS) student ambassadors

    A small group of study participants, “Ambassadors” were recruited to form an advisory group. The Ambassadors advise us on a range of topics including engagement and data collection strategies and provide input about project practices, participant communication and future waves of data collection. They also contribute to media releases and participate in events such as the second Catalysing Connections event,  Everyone’s business: schools, mental health and learnings. Their involvement has helped incorporate a student “voice” into our planning.

    Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing

    In the Lancet Commission we took a view that meaningful adolescent engagement was essential in the social development of all adolescents. In that process, we included 2 young Commissioners as co-authors: indeed they took major responsibility for the sections in the report around engagement and empowerment.  In our planning work for the Lancet Standing Commission, we have extended those 2 young Commissioners and a further 6 from diverse geographies and backgrounds. They have worked with us in planning the next phase of the work with the Lancet and have recently joined us as co-authors on significant publications. 

    Centre for Research Excellence in Driving Global Investment in Adolescent Health

    Adolescents are a central constituency for and of the Centre for Research Excellence in Driving Global Investment in Adolescent Health and are therefore central to our broader engagement strategy. The CRE youth engagement group will assist the research team in shaping its program of work including the development of an evidence-based advocacy strategy. Specifically, the group will advise around:

    • communication with young people, youth advocates and their organisations around the research outputs from the CRE;
    • how best do the research outputs in advocacy work both in the domestic Australian context and globally;
    • opportunities, scope and strategies for individual projects within the CRE to establish meaningful youth engagement as part of their workplans;
    • establishing mutually beneficial partnerships between the CRE and young advocates and their organisations.