Making the future safe

27 February 2017

Emily Grant is using her Deakin degree to make the future safe for young people in the Great South Coast region.

In July, Emily started a newly created position as Health Promotion Officer – Sexual and Reproductive Health (Great South Coast) at Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West.

As part of her role, Emily is mapping the current sexual and reproductive health services across the region and identifying potential gaps.

After the state of the services has been made clearer, Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West will embark on capacity-building work for organisations that work in the field, such as professional development for school teachers who deliver sex education.

The role continues Emily’s love of health promotion and her strong links with the Great South Coast region.

Emily, 23, completed her Bachelor of Health Science at the Deakin University Warrnambool Campus from 2011-13.

Having grown up in Mortlake, Emily was keen to study and stay living locally.

“The Warrnambool Campus was close to home so I didn’t have to worry about moving away and paying for accommodation, plus I could do the course I wanted,” she said.

“The choice was easy and it turned out to be a great decision.”

Emily completed majors in health promotion and nutrition but found all aspects of the course to be fascinating.

“I loved it,” she said. “I remember saying to my mum in second year that I loved every subject that I was doing and there were so many streams and career paths I could follow.”

Since leaving university, Emily has continued to `think young’ by working with and for young people.

Emily initially completed a graduate position in health promotion at the Terang and Mortlake Health Service and returned to Deakin for lectures and tutorials for a new group of health science students.

Her new role mostly targets young people who are most at risk of poor sexual and reproductive health, particularly with the threat of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.

Her research has found that sex education differs greatly between schools, but overall there doesn’t seem to be a great focus on it. This coincides with a study that came out earlier this year from the Young Women’s Advisory Group which found young people are saying their sexual education at school doesn’t fulfil their needs.

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