Sarah and Cass are young people who both experienced homelessness in the form of rough-sleeping and couch-surfing for a time when they were teenagers following individual family issues. They then lived in a youth supported accommodation for several years before they each gained an affordable housing tenancy.
Given their lived experience expertise, Sarah and Cass were both connected with a State Government Department to be part of a paid co-design policy team to help guide the State’s homelessness and youth policy and strategy.
They have both been provided training and support mechanisms from the beginning and have felt empowered to contribute towards action supporting young people.
Their positive and unique contributions derived from lived experience was vital to the co-design team and added significant value to Government actions and outcomes in solving complex community issues, and their experience has supported them taking on policy-related studies and a career in social policy and advocacy work.