My Rights

As a young person, you have rights.


Sometimes these are really well respected and encouraged  - and  - sometimes it can be tricky to be heard, particularly when you are young. This can sometimes be discrimination and that’s not OK.

Take a look through these topics - it is important you know what you are able to do.


There is a 'thing' called Gillick Competence - this is important to know:


Gillick Competence means that a doctor or professional must trust that you understand the health, legal, economical or lifestyle implications of making a particular decision before they will give you permission to do it. They want to make sure that you are knowledgeable enough to make a decision for yourself. If they think you are, then you don’t need your parents consent.

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

What is discrimination?


There are times when young people get judged negatively because of their looks, sexual preferences, age, gender, employment status, criminal history, family status, religious connections and many other things.


THIS IS NOT OK. If you are pregnant, you cannot be forced into parenting, adopting, or abortion. You cannot be forced to quit your job or be fired for being pregnant. Not even if you are young.


If you feel that you have been discriminated against we encourage you to talk with someone about it. YAC (Youth Advocacy Centre) based in Brisbane is a QLD wide service that can support young people with information and support of legal matters. They have stacks of information on their website or call them on (07) 3356 1002. YAC suggests that:




If you feel you are being treated unfairly or differently to others, it may be best to try to talk to the person who is being unfair, if you feel able to do this. Sometimes telling them how you feel may be enough to make them stop. You could ask someone else to go with you when you talk to the person. If this doesn’t work or you aren’t able to talk to them, make sure you write down:

  • what happened to you
  • who the other person or agency was
  • when and where it happened
  • any other people who saw or heard it.


This will make it easier if you decide to make a complaint.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Youth Advocacy Centre       (YAC)

Address:   196 Newmarket Road, Wilston (crn Newmarket Rd & Vardon St)

Tel: (07) 3356 1002

Fax: (07) 3356 3002

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Children by Choice

Actual address:  237 Lutwyche Rd, Windsor, 4030

Mail address:  Po Box 2005, Windsor, 4030

Tel: (07) 3357 5570 / 1800 177 725

Fax: (07) 3857 6246           

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.









 Legal Aid Queensland

Address:  44 Herschel Street, Brisbane

Tel: 1300 651 188

Fax: (07) 3238 3014

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



For more ideas, click through to our useful sites page!


Another good place to start is to speak with an adult that you trust. This could be a parent, youth worker, an older sibling, auntie, uncle, guidance counsellor or School Based Youth Health Nurse.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Access to Medical Services 

In Australia we have the right to public health care. To access this freely you need a Medicare card.

You can apply for your own Medicare card if you:

  • reside in Australia – excluding Norfolk Island
  • hold Australian citizenship
  • have been issued with a permanent visa
  • hold New Zealand citizenship
  • have applied for a permanent visa (excludes an
  • application for a parent visa)
  • are over 15 years of age

If you are under 15 you can’t apply for your own card, but you can access medical services without your parents' consent. You will need your Medicare card number from your parents’ card, maybe by writing the card number down and leaving the card in your parents' wallet, or by ringing Medicare on 132 011, pressing 6 and asking for your card number. You’ll need your full name, date of birth and address. They will ask a few other questions to establish you are who you say you are, like the other names on the Medicare card or some medical history.

The record of a doctor’s visit will be on your family’s Medicare card, however it won’t specify what the consultation was about.

Check out the PDF on how to get your own Medicare card or check out what to expect at a doctor’s visit.

Despite your age you have a right to voice your opinion and access information about your options. Queensland law can make it tricky for young women under 14 to access some healthcare services without parental consent. So, if you want more information and aren’t ready to involve your parents, please call us and we can help answer your questions more specifically.


Gillick Competence


If you are wanting to access a medical treatement without your parents consent, you must meet Gillick Competence. This means that a doctor or professional must trust that you understand the health, legal, economical or lifestyle implications of making a particular decision before they will give you permission to do it. They want to make sure that you are knowledgeable enough to make a decision for yourself. If they determine you are, then you don’t need your parents consent.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

 You have the right to have your information kept private and confidential.


This includes doctors – they are not allowed to call your parents and tell them what you saw them for, unless they think you are in danger.

Occasionally this does happen. If your rights have been abused consider making a complaint or contact YAC for advice.


From the age of 14, you can manage your own My Health Record your parent or legal guardian will no longer have access to your record. You can also decide which healthcare providers can see your health details. However, you do have to change these settings yourself - find out how to do that here.


Privacy of information can get complicated if the person you tell has an obligation to report harm to Child Safety Services.

Teachers, doctors and nurses have to 'mandatory report'.  This means if they suspect you are in danger (harm to yourself or harm to others) or they know you have had sex under the age of 16, they have an obligation to tell Child Safety Services.

Pregnancy doesn’t automatically mean you’re in harm’s way. There are a few things to take into consideration like your age, the circumstances of your pregnancy, the age of the man involved, your living situation, the reaction of your parents etc. to establish if they think you are at risk of harm.   The big one is if you have had sex under the age of 16, you could be reported to Child Safety Services because this is against the law. If the person you tell (doctor/teacher/guidence counsellor) then reports your situation to the Child Safety Services, they SHOULD let you know they have or will do this. Then you can work out together what the fall out might be (i.e.: telling your parents).


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Wednesday, October 09, 2019


In Australia, you are allowed to ask people questions about anything. You can google any topic you want information about. You can ring, text, email or write to any organisation asking about anything -  including sex, pregnancy, abortion, adoption, parenting.


You have a right to this information.


In some places, access can be restricted (like at school when they restrict access on some websites). If it isn't possible to get access at school to the sites you want, remember public libraries have internet, most McDonalds restaurants have Wi-Fi if you can get hold of a smart phone. The Coffee Club has free Wi-Fi (you might have to buy something or if you ask really nicely they might hand over the password for free), some Target deparment stores have Wi-Fi and some hotel lobbies have Wi-Fi for guests if you can sweet talk the reception for a log-on. Some hospitals and airports have free Wi-Fi too.


You can also call any service you have questions for. If your school has a school nurse or youth worker - they might be able to get you a phone without having to ask too many questions.  Remember 1800 7383773 (1800 REVERSE) is an option if you are out of credit and want to make a call.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014


This is a big decision to make and it is important that YOU make it. It is great if you are able to talk with any of the people you love in your life, including the man involved if you wish. In the end, however, this decision should come from you after you have weighed up all the information you can find. There isn’t a right or wrong decision, just the best one you can make at the time.

This is your decision even if:

  • You’re under 14.
  • You still live with your parents and they are financially responsible for you.
  • The man is involved and he wants to choose something different from you.

Decision making can be a huge task especially with something as significant as this. Talking it over with a neutral person can be helpful, call Children by Choice on (07) 3357 5377 / 1800 177 725 if you want to talk this through.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

You cannot be fired for being pregnant


That is discrimination. Your boss has an obligation to find you suitable work that is safe for you while you are pregnant. You have responsibilities too. Make sure you don’t give your boss a reason to fire you, like turning up late or swapping shifts without their approval.

For more info, go to the Fair Work website.

or the Australian Human Rights Commission.  


If you are working when you are pregnant, you may also be entitled to some financial assistance (for when you take time off to have the baby) from Centrelink. For more information check out the Department of Human Services website. Click Families and look around for Baby bonus/Paid parental leave.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

You have the right to continue your schooling while you are pregnant and/or parenting.


Being discouraged to continue schooling or excluded from a school while pregnant or parenting is an act of discrimination. Schools are not allowed to do this! You have legal rights to maintain your schooling. Here is a link to the Education Queensland strategies for keeping young parents in schools.


Sometimes schools will use other reasons such as your behaviour, your attendance, and compliance with school rules as ways to exclude you. If you feel you have been unfairly treated based on your pregnancy, it is important to contact someone in the school you trust (a teacher, guidance officer, school nurse, deputy or principal). If you don’t have a good relationship with any of those, the QLD Education has a complaints process which you can access.

Following this process can require some back-up. Getting your parents, or another adult involved can help navigate this and take some of the pressure off you. If your school has a Youth Support Coordinator, school nurse or chaplain - they can be great allies in these circumstances.


Failing this, click here to find your local Education Queensland district office,


A website called lawstuff where you can get free legal advice,


Youth Advocacy Centre


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Wednesday, October 09, 2019