Lara Gerrand

Lara Gerrand - 2017 Nominee
Position: Women Deliver Young Leader / Australian Country Coordinator
Organization: International Youth Alliance for Family Planning
Current Location: Melbourne, Australia
Bachelor of Public Health & Health Promotion from Deakin University
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
Diploma in Youth Work
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    Robyn Clark Making a Difference Award
    Awarding Organization:
    Victorian Department of Health & Human Services
    Date Awarded:
    September 7, 2016
Lara is leading the way for vulnerable young people and sexual and reproductive health and that is something to be applauded and commended. – Nominator
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

My contributions and achievements in family planning involve advocating for LGBTIQ young people to have access to reproductive health education and services, particularly in relation to disadvantaged young people. I was involved in the Youth Pavilion at the AIDS Conference in Melbourne to ensure that the conference was engaging to young people. I am also involved in sexual health peer education as the the Local Leader for Melbourne, coordinating and recruiting volunteers. I am also involved in the sexual health policy working group in Victoria that is creating a sexual health policy for young people involved in the out of home care sector. I am the current Country Coordinator - Australia for IYAFP and a Women Deliver Young Leader for Australia.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

My passion for family planning was sparked in high school after I felt that not only was our reproductive health education was too late, but also the lack of contraception availability and support that was given to me and my peers. This inspired me to fight for better access and support and make it a healthy and normal conversation to have, but at a younger age so that knowledge and support is already set up. My passion has continued onto ensuring even the most vulnerable are included.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

One example is how I have been a pioneer in family planning by being involved in creating sexual health policy for young people in out of home care, ensuring that LGBTQ young people are included in the policy.
Co-creating one of the first youth engaged advocacy groups focusing primarily on abortion access in Australia, which has engaged multiple young people and written a position paper from a youth perspective.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? :

I will use this platform to advance the access of 'vulnerable' young people in western countries, specifically Australia to sexual and reproductive health services. I will also be advocating for policy changes for young people in out of home care to develop a sexual health policy that ensures the rights of these young people are acknowledged and cared for. The grant will be used to self fund travel to have meetings with key stakeholders around this.

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