Reaching the state’s young adults for National Wills Week
28 September 2023
For the inaugural National Wills Week in 2023, the emphasis was on reaching the country’s young adults aged 18 to 25 and educating this demographic of the importance of having a valid Will.
Research conducted by the Queensland Public Trustee (QPT) showed there were concerningly low adoption rates of Will-making for this age bracket, with only 27% of 18- to 25-year-olds having a valid Will.
The challenge remained of how best to reach young adults and empower them to start engaged and comfortable conversations about a topic that is often characterised as taboo.
To tackle the issue head on, QPT went out into the community throughout National Wills Week, hosting a forum in Mount Isa, an information booth in Rockhampton, an idea’s lab discussion in Cairns and a pop-up stall and university campaign in Brisbane.
The pop-up stall and student-led campaign was conducted in collaboration with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and was coordinated by Associate Professor Anne Lane.
“The real benefit of the pop-up installation was that it put front and centre something that a lot of young people would never have thought about, it was a real wake up call,” says Ms Lane.
To further the student engagement at QUT, the QPT also acted as a mock client for first year communication students.
Students in the course responded to a QPT client brief, from which they were charged with creating a portfolio of communication tools to further motivate 18- to 25-year-old Queenslanders to make a Will.
“The ultimate aim is that the best of the portfolios will be shared with the Queensland Public Trustee for the organisation to use,” says Ms Lane.
“It’s an excellent training ground for the students to work with a real-world organisation that has a real impact. It aligns closely with QUT’s ‘real world’ ideals,” she says.
Keep an eye on communications from the QPT in December to showcase some of the student-led work.
The second event that propelled the state’s young people into lively conversations about Will-making was held at James Cook University, at the Cairns Ideas Lab.
Here, law students, JCU’s own world-leading innovators, and QPT subject specialists discussed the potential to revolutionise the Will-making process.
QPT Communications and Community Education Officer Sioux Campbell was in attendance on the day and says there was an exciting level of interest in the topic, from students, academics, and senior staff alike.
“People were delighted at the opportunity to talk so openly about Wills and get straight answers,” Ms Campbell says.
“This helped inform the discussion about how AI might be incorporated into Will-making,” she says.
Workshopped on the day was the idea of a Will bot, much like a help desk bot, that would be dedicated to assisting clients with Will preparation.
This approach was recommended to incorporate accessibility measures, helping eliminate barriers for people with vision, learning, language, and literacy limitations.
“The idea was to create avatars or personas tailored to the customer – so personas speaking another language, or those who are deaf – to better support specific customer needs,” Ms Campbell says.
Energy throughout the debate was palpable and helped bring an invigorated approach to the important conversation.
If you or your organisation has an interest in learning more about Wills and advance life planning, please get in touch with the Queensland Public Trustee to see how we can help via firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1300 360 044.