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No. 117, May 2006

Youth Field Xpress, n.117, May 2006, part 1 of 2

ARTS

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) is calling for young Australians between the ages of 11 and 18 to enter the 'Human Writes' personal essay and 'Rights in Perspective' art competitions. The two competitions were first held last year as part of the Young People and Human Rights Dialogue project, and resulted in 'Rights of passage', a report that provided a unique insight into what young Australians think and feel about human rights. Entries close on Friday 11 August 2006. For more information, including entry forms, hints and tips, eligibility and conditions of entry, go to: http://www.humanrights.gov.au/competitions (Source: http://www.humanrights.gov.au/media_releases/2006/24_06.htm )

CARE AND PROTECTION

STOP PRESS: See the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care website for the key measures that SNAICC considers essential to providing social justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Australia: http://www.snaicc.asn.au/news/index.html (SNAICC, is the national non government peak body in Australia representing the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. )

CAREERS

Evaluation of PACTS (Parents As Career Transition Supports)

'A Positive influence: Equipping parents to support young people's career transitions: Evaluation of the PACTS program', by Lois Bedson and Daniel Perkins; Brotherhood of St Laurence, February 2006, 33pp, ISBN 1 896250 65 8. This is the final evaluation of PACTS (Parents As Career Transition Supports). PACTS was a pilot project, run by the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) on the Mornington Peninsula on Melbourne's southern fringe. It aimed to empower parents to better support their children's transitions from school to work and/or further education by building parents' knowledge of post-school pathways and today's job market. The pilot ran from late 2003 until December 2005, and was funded by the federal Department of Education, Science and Training as one of 23 Career and Transition (CATS) Pilot Projects around Australia. The PACTS pilot was delivered to at least 598 parents in 12 secondary schools. The report is on the BSL website as a PDF document at: http://www.bsl.org.au/pdfs/positive_influence_PACTS_report.pdf

Career Advice Australia

The Australian Network of Industry Careers Advisers, is now referred to as Career Advice Australia. It provides a 'comprehensive national career and transition support network for all young Australians from 13 to 19 years of age'. See: http://tinyurl.com/jgovc which takes you to: http://www.dest.gov.au/sectors/career_development/programmes_funding/programme_categories/key_career_priorities/career_advice_australia.htm

Career support in the UK

Transitional support for young people once they turn 19 will be among the services provided from September 2006 through a company set up by Connexions Lancashire. See: http://tinyurl.com/py3va which takes you to:
http://www.ypnmagazine.com/news/index.cfm?fuseaction=full_news&ID=10059

CARERS

Principals, year level and welfare coordinators, teachers and student nurses are invited to attend an information forum on 18 July 2006 in Melbourne on young carers, Young carers may be defined as people aged under 25 who have significant caring responsibilities for a family member or friend; the person they are caring for may have a disability, a mental illness, chronic illness or be frail aged. This forum is being organised by the Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre / CarerLinks North and will examine how to identify young carers, what their risk factors are and how they can be supported. The forum provides an opportunity to hear directly from a young carer about their experiences in school, and to give information about respite, supports and referral options for young carers. RSVP by 27 June 2006 to: Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre / CarerLinks North, ph: (03) 9495 2500 or email: conniem[AT]mchs.org.au

CRIME AND JUSTICE

Facts and figures

'Australian crime: Facts and figures 2005' (Australian Institute of Criminology, 2006, ISSN 1832-228X; ISBN 0 642 53897 2) is a compendium of the most recently available national information on crime in Australia. See: http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/facts/2005/

The impact of police cautioning on juvenile offending pathways

This Australian Institute of Criminology study, by Susan Dennison, Anna Stewart and Emily Hurren, found that the majority of young offenders who are cautioned for their first offence are less likely to have further contact with the juvenile justice system before the age of 17 years than those who are brought before a court. The full text of the reportis at: http://tinyurl.com/qxv67 (in PDF format) or get it via: http://www.youth.infoxchange.net.au/news/items/2006/05/77107-upload-00001.pdf

Cautioning of young offenders in Queensland

The Australian Institute of Criminology has released a fact sheet detailing the effects of police cautioning of young offenders in Queensland (AIC Trends and Issues in crime and criminal justice n.306: 'Police cautioning in Queensland: the impact on juvenile offending pathways'). It's at: http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/tandi2/tandi306.html

DISABILITIES

Call for presenters at Toward 2020, the Pathways 8 National Conference 2006

This conference, taking place on 28 November to 1 December 2006 in Hobart, is being organised by the Australian Tertiary Education Network on Disability and the Pathways 8 Organising Committee. Its theme is 'what we do now will make the difference' and its program consists of a series of keynote presentations by national and international speakers, interactive workshops and action-focused discussions on universal design, teaching, learning and assessment and careers and employment. See:
http://www.leishman-associates.com.au/pathways8/ (Source: EdNA Online newsletter, 'The Communicator', n.6, 2006.)

New guide on organising accessible events

A new guide for event organisers promises to bring down the barriers to participation for people with a disability. 'Accessible events: A guide for organisers', developed by Meeting Events Australia (MEA) and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, helps organisers to make their events more accessible to the millions of Australians with a disability. The guide is available through the MEA website at: http://www.meetingsevents.com.au and http://www.humanrights.gov.au./disability_rights/index.html (Source: Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Media Releases, 27 April 2006 http://www.humanrights.gov.au/media_releases/2006/21_06.htm )

DRUGS

Drugs and young people: Registrations are still open for this major international conference

The final program for the 5th International Conference on drugs and young people (to be held from 24 to 26 May 2006, at Randwick, New South Wales) is now available. Highlights of the event include Prof. Howard Parker from Manchester University discussing 'recreational' drug use amongst young Britons. There will be a strong theme on co-morbidity, including a special session conducted by beyondblue: the national depression initiative describing current work in this area. Presentations on peer education include the Manly Drug Education and Counselling Centre (MDECC ) which will outline two brand new projects, Djabaan Marrung (a collaborative peer education project of the MDECC and the Ghinni Ghinni Youth and Culture Aboriginal Corporation) and Keep It Simple (KIS), a peer-led intervention in Sydney?s clubs and dance events. See: http://www.adf.org.au and follow the links. Alternatively, send an email to: DYP[AT]adf.org.au or ph: (03) 9278 8137.

Drug Action Week

This year's Drug Action Week is being held from 18?24 June. An annual initiative of the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA), this year's theme days are on harm minimisation, treatment, prevention, Indigenous peoples, and the alcohol and other drug workforce. The week will include 'activities that inform and involve communities, educators, individuals, the media and governments to reduce drug related harm in Australia'. ADCA urges those who work in the alcohol and other drugs sector to participate in Drug Action Week by holding an event or attending an event in their local area. For more information on Drug Action Week, contact ADCA: PO Box 269, Woden ACT 2606; ph: (02) 6281 0686; fax: (02) 6281 0995; email: info[AT]drugactionweek.org.au; website: http://www.drugactionweek.org.au (Source: Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia, 'Drug Action Week Information Booklet'. Drug Action Week is a registered trademark of the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia.)

Project to help Indigenous carers and families to cope with illicit drug use

The National Illicit Drug Strategy of Family and Community Services and Indigenous Affairs has funded the national Aboriginal Families And Carers Training (AFACT) project to provide a culturally appropriate early intervention approach for working with Indigenous families coping with illicit drug use. The project includes a workers' kit, a poster, and national training for workers who support the Aboriginal families and carers of people who have a drug and/or alcohol misuse problem. A comic for Aboriginal carers will also be developed. More information from the Project Officer, M. Grose, ph: (02) 9319 0220. (Source: 'Streetwize E-news', May 2006.)

Countering meth messages
The Montana Meth Project is a community prevention effort aimed at the methamphetamine problem in Montana USA. Methamphetamine use by young people in Montana is dramatically higher than the US national average, and the majority of all drug-related federal sentences in Montana are related to methamphetamine. This burgeoning epidemic has compelled leading professionals and organisations to form the Montana Meth Project, with the goal of significantly reducing the prevalence of first-time methamphetamine use. Focused solely upon prevention, the project is active in three areas: first, in public service messaging; second, in public policy, and lastly, in community action. Their hard-hittling ads, personal stories and facts are at http://www.montanameth.org/ with a related site at: http://www.notevenonce.com/ (Source: Montana Meth Project cited in an email to the youthgas e-list, 17 May 2006.)

National dual diagnosis education pack

The Myer Foundation and beyondblue: the national depression initiative have funded Streetwize Communications to research and develop 'On the edge: A national dual diagnosis education pack'. In 2002, the Streetwize comic, 'On the edge', won the Ted Noffs Award for the most innovative resource in the prevention category. Awareness of dual diagnosis issues has increased since then, as has the perception of the need for services tailored to dual diagnosis. Streetwize is adapting the now out-of-print comic into a national resource, and will develop an educator's kit for distribution nationally. There'll be a training day in June 2006 for workers who are interested in finding out more about dual diagnosis: contact jo[AT]streetwize.com.au for more information. (Source: 'Streetwize E-news', May 2006.)

EDUCATION

Inaugural National Safe Schools Week

The inaugural National Safe Schools Week (NSSW) will be held from Monday 15 to Sunday 21 May 2006. Australian research shows that almost 20 per cent of boys and almost 15 per cent of girls report being victims of bullying at least once a week, according to the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop. Key dates are Wednesday 17 May, when a national student activity will be staged to provide all schools and students with the opportunity to participate, and Thursday 18 May to Friday 19 May, when a national teacher education event will be held in Melbourne. For further information on NSSW, visit: http://www.safeschoolsweek.dest.gov.au/; for further information and advice on bullying, visit: http://www.bullyingnoway.com.au (Source: EdNA Online newsletter, 'The Communicator', n.10, 2006.)

Call for papers at ACEL/ASPA Conference 2006, 3-6 October, Canberra, ACT

The theme for the national conference of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders and the Australian Secondary Principals Association is 'Blooming leadership: A capital idea'. This theme reflects both current educational issues and the spring weather and Floriade activities held in Canberra around the time of the conference. Subthemes include student pathways, leadership in Indigenous education, personalised learning, health and wellbeing and leading learner. For details, contact ACEL: ph: 1800 680 559; email: acel[AT]pnc.com.au" ; website: http://www.acel.org.au/conference2006/index.asp (Source: ACEL website: http://www.acel.org.au/conference2006/index.asp viewed 12 May 2006.)

UK: It's too 'uncool' for children to be children?

Children are under increasing pressure to grow up and UK teachers have demanded that they must be allowed to have a childhood. Members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers said children's rights should include the right to a childhood. Delegates at the ATL's conference in Gateshead said it was too 'uncool' for children to be children. (Source: BBC News, 11 April 2006, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4900996.stm cited by EdNA Online newsletter, 'The Communicator', n.8, 2006.)

EdNA workshops happening around Australia

EdNA (the Education Network Australia) is holding free workshops around Australia between May and September this year. The purpose of the EdNA Project is to support the use of information and communication technologies to enhance and support teaching, learning and research activities. These workshops will show participants how to get the most out of the services of the EdNA website, including use of its large repository of education-related digital resources and associated services. There will be sector specific workshops aimed at the higher education, school and VET/ACE sectors, as well as 'collaborative tools' workshops centred on use of EdNA groups and lists. Contact details are outlined at: http://www.edna.edu.au/edna/page2738.html

EMPLOYMENT

Australian Labour Market Research Workshop

Parental disadvantage, young people, and income support receipt were among the major topics discussed at the Australian Labour Market Research Workshop, held as part of the annual meeting of the Australian Society of Labour Economists at the Australian National University in Canberra on 5?6 December 2005. The conference aimed to disseminate high quality research on labour economics and workplace relations and to promote public debate about current labour market issues. Copies of the 16 papers presented at the conference will be made available later this year on the Australian Society of Labour Economists website: http://www.clmr.biz.uwa.edu.au/ASLE/conference_2005_ANU.htm (Source: 'FaCSIA Research News' n.24, March 2006, p.13.)

Youth Employment Summit 2006

The next Youth Employment Summit, an annual event with participation from young people from all over the world, will be held in Kenya from 13 to 16 September. The 2006 Summit will focus on identifying markets and building capacity for youth to serve those markets. See: http://www.yesweb.org

UN resolution to promote youth employment

The UN Commission on Social Development met at UN Headquarters in February to review the progress made during the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006). During the meeting, the Commission agreed on a resolution to promote youth employment, urging governments to give renewed attention to their commitment to providing decent and productive work for young people. The resolution also encouraged governments to support the integration of young people into the labour market. See: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unyin/library.htm#resolutions. More information on the Commission for Social Development can be found at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/csd

ENVIRONMENT

Children, Youth and Environments Journal

Volume 16, number 1 of the 'Children, Youth and Environments Journal' is now online. The journal, published by the University of Colorado, contains 12 papers, eight of which deal with aspects of children's independent mobility and child-friendly streets. Other papers focus on pathways from childhood nature experiences to adult environmentalism; teen and adult perceptions of urban green space in Los Angeles; trends in the racial composition of US public schools; and the community context of children with a parent affected by HIV/AIDS. The issue, which also includes nine book reviews and a link to other new publications in the field, is accessible at: http://www.colorado.edu/journals/cye/index.htm

Fears reduce children's freedom

New research by Dr Paul Tranter from the University of NSW reveals that 'Australian children enjoy less freedom to roam independently, walk to school alone, cross main roads and go out after dark than children in German, English and New Zealand cities'. Dr Tranter found that '80 per cent of 10-year-old German children were allowed to travel alone to places other than school compared with 37 per cent of Australian children.' Dr Tranter presented his findings at the Creating Child-Friendly Cities conference held in Melbourne in November 2005. (Source: NSW Commissioner for Children and Young People's online newsletter 'Exchange', summer 2006: http://www.kids.nsw.gov.au/exchange/24/childfreedom.html viewed 12 May 2006.)

ETHNIC YOUTH ISSUES

The Centre for Multicultural Youth Issues newsletter has evolved into a substantially news-rich publication with not only the expected news from the sector such as events for workers, but also brief reviews. The latest issue has a call for news of media reports representing CALD youth issues. For subscription information send an email to: info[AT]cmyi.net.au or see their website at: http://www.cmyi.net.au

Engaging culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) families in schools

'Opening the school gate: Engaging CALD families in schools' is new resource for schools that the CMYI newsletter cites. It will be of interest to many readers of this newsletter, for although schools endeavour to build strong connections with families, they often find it hard to engage CALD families in school contexts. This publication gives practical suggestions and tools to help schools overcome barriers to culturally and linguistically diverse families' involvement. Sections include planning for greater CALD engagement in your school; planning a CALD parents' meeting; running an effective meeting with CALD parents; and supporting CALD families in your school. For more information send an email to: info[AT]cmyi.net.au

Making it happen, a resource kit for CALD communities

'Making it happen, a resource kit to assist in developing services for culturally and linguistically diverse communities', was launched recently by George Lekakis, Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission. It aims to help ethnic communities in the planning and development of services. The kit contains a range of information and strategies for communities to consider, and provides tip sheets and checklists to assist community groups in the process of developing services and raising their community's profile. Copies of the resource kit can be ordered ($10 per copy) by contacting Australian-Polish Community Services (APCS) on (03) 9689 9170. Besides providing the manual, APCS can run interactive workshops for small, emerging and newly-arrived communities. More details are available from the APCS website at: http://www.apcs.org.au/html/en/whatsnew.htm

fAMILIES

The Australian Institute of Family Studies has issued 'Snapshots of Australian families with adolescents', a fact sheet about families with adolescent children aged 12 to 18 years, the group given special emphasis in this year's National Families Week celebrations. The fact sheet provides statistics on parents' employment circumstances; residential location and country of birth; and on family type. For adolescents it provides education and work data and a section on issues seen by adolescents as important now and in the future. Parents' and adolescents' satisfaction with family relationships is also explored. See: http://tinyurl.com/erlog which takes you to: http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/snapshots/adolescents.html (Source: AIFS Alert, 17 May 2006; http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/lists/aifs-alert.html )

FUNDING AND SPONSORSHIP

Science and innovation awards

These awards are for young people between the ages of 18 and 35 years working in agriculture, fisheries and forestry. For details, see: http://tinyurl.com/e72s7 or navigage there from: http://www.daff.gov.au/

HEALTH

Young Australians: Their health and wellbeing (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare bulletin)

This AIHW bulletin is a preview of the reporting framework and key indicators that will form the basis for their report, 'Young Australians: Their health and wellbeing', which is scheduled for release in 2007. The report is the sixth in a series of reports on the health of Australian children and young people published by the AIHW. (Author: I. Pieris-Caldwell; published 20 April 2006; ISSN 1 74024 559 8; ISBN 1446-9820; AIHW Cat. No. AUS 72; 24pp.; $10.00 or free download from: http://www.aihw.gov.au/publications/index.cfm/title/10247 ) Source: Australian Policy Online and AIHW website.)

HOMELESSNESS

Equip: A program protecting young homeless women from harm

Many young homeless women are at risk of sexual assault and other forms of abuse. Mission Australia's new Equip program is teaching them self-protection skills with the aim of reducing the number of assaults on young women. The program is being offered through Mission Australia's Hindmarsh Centre - Adelaide's only overnight sobering-up unit and outreach program for homeless young people. See the Mission Australia website at: http://www.missionaustralia.com.au/ (or get straight to the survey via this link: http://tinyurl.com/m8xsc )

States of neglect: An analysis of child protection legislation and the link with child and youth homelessness

This report, by T Champion (National Youth Coalition for Housing, 2005) explores different statutory child protection systems across Australia and how they interface with the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) service. The report found that there was an inconsistency across States and Territories between the compulsory schooling age and the definition of a child and/or young person. The report also found that there was a concern that State and Territory authorities were discharging children and young people too early or were not fulfilling their obligations to older young people in need of care and protection. The report advocates a nationally consistent approach and the need for the Commonwealth to work with all States and Territories. See the PDF document at: http://www.afho.org.au/newsandissues/pdfs/statesofneglect.pdf or get there via: http://tinyurl.com/hec6l (Source: JARA: Justice Access Research Alert, April 2006.)

INDIGENOUS YOUTH ISSUES

Indigenous Psychological Services has released is calendar of public training courses for 2006. The training courses, delivered by IPS throughout Australia, are popular and for some regions, it's the first time these courses will have been held. To find out more, ph: (08) 9362 2036 or 1800 098 550, or download information and registration forms at http://www.indigenouspsychservices.com.au
Urbis Keys Young is currently evaluating a number of Indigenous social health programs on behalf of the Australian Government's Department of Health and Ageing. For more about the evaluation and the programs being evaluated, see the AUSEINET website at: http://auseinet.flinders.edu.au/noticeboard/ausei90.php
The Secretariat of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues recently released an information brochure on 'Indigenous children, and youth'. It highlights issues of concern to them and encourages their active participation in the Sessions of the Forum. For a copy, send an email to: Indigenouspermanentforum[AT]un.org, or download it from: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/en/publications.html
Australia's first Indigenous leadership institute, designed to improve school education and employment opportunities for Indigenous students, has opened its doors in Cherbourg, Queensland. The Institute would help principals and teachers develop their skills in leading and teaching Indigenous students. (Source: ABC Message Stick, 14 March 2006, cited by EdNA Online
newsletter, 'The Communicator', n.5, 2006.)
http://www.abc.net.au/message/news/stories/s1591441.htm

INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES
Focus on New Zealand: Children's Issues Centre

New Zealand's Children's Issues Centre, located at the University of Otago, has been involved in an international study on children and young people's perspectives on citizenship and nation-building. The comparative study, initiated in 2003 by Childwatch International, also involves participants in America, Brazil, Palestine, South Africa, Australia and Norway. A paper entitled 'Children and young people's perspectives on citizenship and nation building' was presented in December 2005 by the centre?s senior research fellow, Nicola Taylor, at a meeting of the Citizenship Research Network in Roros, Norway.
The Children's Issues Centre is also involved in a collaborative study with New Zealand's Donald Beasley Institute to 'investigate how school experiences influence or contribute to the development of disabled and non-disabled children's identity', concentrating on 11?15-year-olds and their transition from primary to secondary school. Data collection for the project which involved researchers spending two weeks per school term with students in their classes is complete, and the research team is now analysing the data.
In February 2006, the Children's Issues Centre hosted an international interdisciplinary research symposium entitled 'Children and young people as social actors'. Scholars from England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand attended the symposium from the fields of education, geography, law, psychology, sociology and social work. The symposium's program focused on 'how children participate in and contribute to society and how their growing competence may be supported or placed at risk in this process'. Australian presenters included Dr Judy Cashmore from the University of Sydney and Professor Johanna Wyn from the University of Melbourne.
For further information on any of the above items, contact the Children's Issues Centre: PO Box 56, Dunadin, New Zealand; ph: +64 3 479 5038; fax: +64 3 479 5039; email cic[AT]otago.ac.nz; website: http://www.otago.ac.nz/cic (Source: 'Children's Issues Centre Newsletter' Issue 10, March 2006)

UNICEF's 'The State of the world's children 2006' report

This year's UNICEF 'State of the world's children' report is subtitled 'Excluded and invisible'. It highlights the importance of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for children as a way to 'transform the lives of millions of children who would be spared illness and premature death, escape extreme poverty and malnutrition, gain access to safe water and decent sanitation facilities and complete primary schooling.' The report outlines the threefold action required to reach the MDG?s 'quick impact initiatives' to increase access to essential services for children and families without such services; initiatives sustainable over a longer term that are 'rooted in a human rights-based approach to development'; and participation from all sectors of society in 'deeper approaches' that 'give special attention to the most vulnerable.' UNICEF identifies those excluded from access to services due to poverty and inequality, armed conflict, HIV/AIDS and discrimination as the most vulnerable children. Violating children's right to protection also renders some children 'invisible' to society. Children at risk of being invisible include those not registered at birth, street children, those in early marriages and refugee or displaced children. The report has three conclusions on how to include and protect excluded and invisible children: by 'understanding the plight of excluded and invisible children'; by addressing the causes of exclusion and invisibility; and by all sectors of society committing to the creation of a 'strong protective environment' for the world's children. Finally, the report outlines how governments and other societal 'actors' can work together to realise this commitment.
UNICEF's 'Voices of Youth' website contains information for children and young people, the report, its goals and how the youth of the world can take action to achieve them:
http://www.unicef.org/voy/explore/sowc06/explore_sowc06.php
Both the full 'The State of the world's children 2006' report and its executive summary are available for download at:
http://www.unicef.org/sowc06/fullreport/executive1.php
For an Australian perspective on the report, read the transcript of youth expert Sebastian De Brennan's appearance on ABC Radio National's Perspective program, broadcast on 2 May, entitled 'Generation Y Bother!':
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/perspective/stories/s1627901.htm (Source: UNICEF 'The State of the world's children 2006: Excluded and invisible: Executive summary')

The School Fee Abolition initiative

Kenya has joined with other African countries, including Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana and Uganda, in abolishing fees for primary schooling, as the fees prevent many children, especially orphans and those from marginalised communities, from accessing education. These countries shared their experiences recently at an international forum organised by UNICEF and the World Bank in Nairobi. The forum was attended by high-level education officials from these countries as well as representatives of the UN, the World Bank, USAID and other partner organisations, donors, NGOs and academics, all under the umbrella of the School Fee Abolition Initiative.

The meeting developed a guide for others seeking to make a similar breakthrough in access to basic education, in order to help those countries develop education systems that are inclusive, equitable and sustainable. A UN official said that the meeting was an important step forward for the movement 'taking shape globally, and country by country, to provide a quantum leap in school enrolment' and that sustaining this momentum would bring the world closer to achieving the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education by 2015. See: http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/kenya_33391.html

United Nations and youth issues in Asia

Education, urbanisation, globalisation, and information and communications technology were discussed at the March 2006 meeting of the UN Programme on Youth and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok . The occasion brought together experts and representatives of universities, UN member states, UN agencies and programs, and intergovernmental organisations. The participants discussed major youth development challenges in Asia in preparation for the World Youth Report 2007. See: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unyin/regm_asia.htm

The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific has begun a technical project to promote community support and networks and to enhance income generation activities to benefit the children and youth in Indonesia's Aceh province, so adversely affected by the 2004 Tsunami disaster. The project will also include advocacy activities for the development of effective policies to promote the wellbeing of these vulnerable population groups.

MEDIA

Youth use cell phones as mini-PCs

New North American research indicates that today's youth (minorities in particular) are using cell phones more and more as mini personal computers, sparking a revolution in ubiquitous computing. 'The survey could have important implications for school leaders designing programs to appeal to their students and younger stakeholders.' (Source: 'E-School News', 5 April 2006: http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/showStory.cfm?ArticleID=6228 cited by EdNA Online newsletter, 'The Communicator', n.8, 2006.)

MENTAL HEALTH

Putting money where the mouth is

Mental health is on the agenda for the June meeting of the Council of Australian Governments. The Autumn 2006 edition of 'Impact', the news quarterly of the Australian Council of Social Service, has a two-page article by John Mendoza, CEO of the Mental Health Council of Australia, in which he outlines the task ahead for shoring up Australia's failing mental health systems, putting into perspective the $1.8 billion promised by the Federal Government for the task. As the 1.8 billion is contingent on State and Territory governments coming forward with a matching commitment, Mendoza says 'we need to do everything possible to encourage the States/Territories to take mental health as seriously as the Commonwealth'. The money is to be spread out over five years, yet Mendoza estimates that 'to roll out a quality specialty mental health service for young people across the nation, such as the world-class ORYGEN youth mental health service in Melbourne, would cost $300 million, which is almost the total commitment for one of those five years'. He states that the $1.8 million represents a 25 per cent increase in expenditure on mental health, and not the 50 to 100 per cent increase that was called for in the recent Senate Inquiry on mental health in Australia. (Source: 'Impact', Autumn 2006 pp. 10-11.)
Also see: 'A national approach to mental health: From crisis to community', The Senate Select Committee on Mental Health, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, 2006 (PDF document, at: http://tinyurl.com/peb8c or http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/mentalhealth_ctte/report/report.pdf )

Update on the Cool Teens CD-ROM project

The March issue of Youth Studies Australia described a mental health intervention for adolescents called the Cool Teens CD-ROM project. As stated in the YSA article, the CD-ROM project is still in the development phase and is not publicly available yet. However, you can contact the administrator of the project for information on its future availability and use by emailing Cool.Teens[AT]psy.mq.edu.au -- a special email address set up to cater for the project. The program is for adolescents aged 14 to 18 years who have anxiety problems specifically. It does not cover related issues such as depression, and there are some exclusion criteria. For more details of the program, contact Viviana Wuthrich of the Macquarie University Anxiety Research Unit, Department of Psychology at Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, ph: (02) 9850 8041; email: viviana.wuthrich[AT]psy.mq.edu.au

MOVEMENTS, CHANGES, MILESTONES

Streetwize: a charitable institution

Streetwize Communication's application to be listed on the Register of Harm Prevention Charitable Institutions has been approved. 'This means that after 22 long years, Streetwize is now eligible to receive tax-deductible donations of over $2.' Streetwize has been very successful in reaching 'hard-to-reach' groups, a success it attributes to the 'Streetwize Process' which consists of distinct phases in consultation, qualitative research, feedback, product development and distribution.

PARTICIPATION

Student Action Teams resource published

'Connect', the long-running publication that promotes student participation, has released a new book called 'Student Action Teams: Implementing productive practices in primary and secondary classrooms'. Student Action Teams are 'teams of students who, as part of their school curriculum, adopt a community issue that they care passionately about, research it, decide what needs to be changed or improved and take action to achieve that.' This 90-page book describes and reflects on the implementation of these teams in a cluster of primary and secondary schools in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, outlining the principles and approaches used to make these teams a successful method of teaching, learning and student action. The book is available for $20, including postage. Current financial subscribers to 'Connect' magazine can buy the book for the discounted price of $25. For further information, contact 'Connect' editor Roger Holdsworth: 12 Brooke St, Northcote VIC 3070; ph: (03) 9489 9052; fax: (03) 8344 9632. (Source: 'Connect' n.158, April 2006, p.3.)

NSW State SRC Charter

The April 2006 issue of 'Connect' magazine contains a student activity designed to support the understanding and implementation of the NSW State Student Representative Council Charter in schools. The charter, containing 'a set of principles to guide the development of effective student representation,' was developed by the NSW Department of Education and Training in collaboration with the NSW State SRC. The activity encourages participants to discuss effective student leadership and how to implement the SRC Charter successfully. Support material for each principle of the charter, including questions to consider and suggestions for student action, is also included in the magazine. The charter activity, and a number of other resources for SRCs, is available on the NSW Department of Education and Training website: http://tinyurl.com/hnuez which takes you to http://www.schools.nsw.edu.au/studentsupport/studleadsrc/src/charter/index.php (Source: 'Connect' n.158, April 2006, pp.15-19.)

RIGHTS
Convention on the Rights of Youth: Youth rights and public policies: Social inclusion of young people in Latin America

In October of 2005, 18 Ibero-American countries signed the first-ever Convention on the Rights of Youth. In support of this convention, the United Nations Population Fund, the Ibero-American Youth Organization and the UN Programme on Youth are working on a new project, 'Youth rights and public policies: Social inclusion of young people in Latin America. The project aims to build the capacity of Latin American governments and relevant stakeholders to develop and implement effective social programs and policies for their youth. Information on the convention (not available in English) is at: http://www.oij.org/convencion_2005.htm .

'Face the Facts' information about immigrants, refugees and Indigenous peoples

'Face the Facts' was first published in 1997 at a time of heated debate over race issues in Australia, and to date is the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission's most requested publication. To accompany the most recent edition, the HREOC has prepared a special 'Face the Facts' education resource as part of its 'Information for teachers' series. The activities link with a range of key learning areas for students in Years 7 to 10 across Australia. It provides teaching notes, student activities and worksheets, as well as a range of recommended online resources and further reading. See: http://www.hreoc.gov.au/racial_discrimination/face_facts/index_txt.html or get there via: http://tinyurl.com/j9u93

'What's the Difference?' Handling homophobia in schools

'What's the Difference?' is a comic book resource that deals with how to handle homophobic behaviour and bullying in schools. Funded by the Attorney General's Department of NSW, Crime Prevention Division with additional funding from the Kingston Sedgefield Charitable Trust managed by Perpetual Trustees, the resource has been released to high schools throughout NSW. 'What's the Difference?' aims to challenge stereotypical views that young people may hold about gay men and lesbians, as well as homophobia and heterosexism. It shows the effect of homophobic behaviour on a school community, but does not focus on same-sex attraction or same sex attracted young people. It's available from Streetwize Communications, 6/245 Chalmers St, Redfern NSW 2016; ph: (02) 9319 0220; fax:(02) 9319 5553; http://www.streetwize.com.au

RURAL ISSUES

Adolescent health linkage program for rural professional women

Geographical isolation and financial constraints place limitations on professionals who work with young people in rural areas, where access to cross-sectorial networks, continuing education and broader research is often limited. To overcome this, the Centre for Adolescent Health is offering eight funded places for rural women who work with young people. Successful applicants will get to participate in a four-day program in Melbourne that aims to update their skills and knowledge through workshops, informal discussions and fieldwork visits. They'll also get to hear from leaders in the field of adolescent health. For further information, contact Merran Guest, ph: (03) 9345 6671 or email: merran.guest[AT]rch.org.au Note that the closing date for applications is 24 May 2006.

The current National Rural Health Alliance newsletter, 'Partyline', (n.25, April 2006), is a special joint edition brought out in conjunction with beyondblue, the national depression initiative. It has cameos on the mental health issues faced by all in rural areas, from children and adolescents to rural men and carers. There are also positive stories about the ripple effect of mental health first aid training on rural communities, and a description of a resource for rural health students ('When the cow pat hits the windmill') to help them cope with placements in rural areas where they have no support networks of their own to fall back on.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

'Power users' influence classroom learning

'A new survey of high school and post-secondary instructors has found that students who excel in the use of information and communications technology (ICT) are driving change in classroom instruction. Dubbed 'Power Users,' this 'emerging group of youth distinguished by their self-directed, long-term, extensive experiences with technology' influence what and how teachers teach, have positively affected the way instructors learn about and use technology, and are generally helpful toward their classmates, the survey said. The study was carried out by Certiport Inc., a provider of technology training, certification, and assessment solutions, and the Education Development Centre Inc. (EDC), an international nonprofit organization that researches and implements best practices in health and learning in 50 countries.'
See: http://tinyurl.com/mv953 which takes you to: http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/showStory.cfm?ArticleID=6151 (Source: Robert Brumfield, eSchool News Online, 1 March 2006, cited by EdNA Online newsletter, 'The Communicator', n.5, 2006.)

Another addiction

The autumn 2006 edition of 'TeenMatters', the parenting magazine for parents of teenagers published by youth organisation Youth Off The Streets, contains a piece by adolescent psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg on internet addiction among teenagers. The article outlines the diagnostic criteria for internet addiction, and suggests that parents need to be 'much more proactive' in regulating their adolescent's internet use in light of recent Australian research indicating an 'alarming lack of parental supervision' of young people's internet use. Dr Carr-Gregg describes internet addiction by relating the story of one of his clients, Robert, a 17-year-old who was suffering developmental problems due to excessive time spent on the internet playing online role-playing games. To contact TeenMatters magazine, write to PO Box 8, Merrylands NSW 2160; email: editor[AT]teenmatters.com.au; website: http://www.teenmatters.com.au (Source: 'TeenMatters' magazine, autumn 2006, pp.49-50)

'Wise up to IT' says NetAlert

Australian youth are being encouraged to wise up to the dangers of the Internet in a new campaign, 'Wise up to IT' which was launched during National Youth Week in April by NetAlert Limited. NetAlert's DVD on real-life experiences follows six months of research into issues affecting young people, such as cyberbulling, scams, cyberstalking and online grooming. The DVD's four case studies depict young people who have fallen victim to the dangers that exist on the Internet and offers advice on how to avoid such situations occurring. The case studies are drawn from real-life incidents reported to the NetAlert helpline and law enforcement agencies. NetAlert worked closely with the Online Child Sex Exploitation Team, Taskforce Argos (QLD), and the Australian High Tech Crime Centre to accurately represent the case studies in the DVD and provide strategies to help young Australians manage the risks while surfing the net. A large number of young Australians were also asked by NetAlert to become involved in the production process of the DVD to ensure that the key messages were not lost. Through the DVD, parents and teachers will be able to open up discussion at home or in the classroom more easily, and better understand these issues. See: http://www.wiseuptoit.com.au

World Academy of Young Scientists

The World Academy of Young Scientists (WAYS) provides an opportunity for different generations of scientists to interact and collaborate, and provides a platform for young scientists to present their concerns to their ?elders?. Supported by UNESCO, WAYS promotes the involvement of younger generation of scientists in the development of better national science policies by encouraging dialogue between governments and educational institutions and young scientists. See: http://www.waysnet.org/

SEXUAL HEALTH

What is this Hep C thing? An educational resource for secondary students on Hepatitis C prevention

This resource is an interactive internet-based activity on Hepatitis C intended for secondary school students, developed in response to an awareness that large numbers of young Victorians exhibit an alarming lack of knowledge about the virus despite their being at risk of infection from hepatitis C. The project is a partnership between the HIV, Hepatitis and STI Education and Resource Centre at The Alfred, the Hepatitis C Council of Victoria and the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at Latrobe University.
An evaluation of the project, in the report, 'What is this hep C thing? Development and evaluation of an interactive online hepatitis C education activity for secondary school students', describes the project development, pilot and evaluation of the internet activity. 'The project has worked creatively within the socio-political constraints of schools and their broader environments to produce an engaging and meaningful quality website activity' which educates young people about hepatitis C at precisely the time that they're vulnerable to infection. See: http://www.hepc.com.au or http://www.accessinfo.org.au. The project will be linked with other hepatitis C services and websites in the near future. For more information contact the HIV, Hepatitis and STI Education and Resource Centre at The Alfred, 'Fairfield House', Moubray St, Prahran, Victoria 3181, ph: (03) 9276 6993; fax: (03) 9533 6324; email: j.stewart[AT]alfred.org.au, or g.bennett[AT]alfred.org.au; http://www.accessinfo.org.au

STATISTICS

OECD launches OECD Factbook 2006

'The OECD?s comparative statistics help policy-makers and citizens to make informed choices and decisions. Their annual fact book presents a selection of these statistics using tables and charts along with explanations and pointers to further reading. The 2006 edition has a wider range of countries? data, making the statistics more meaningful at a global level. ?A key feature of the factbook is the easy access that it provides to the underlying data.' (Source: OECD website 28 March 2006, cited in EdNA Online newsletter, 'The Communicator', n.6, 2006.)

SUICIDE PREVENTION

The latest issue of the 'Auseinetter' newsletter (April 2006) is now available online from the Auseinet website and it focuses on suicide prevention strategies and initiatives in Australia and internationally. See: http://www.auseinet.com/resources/auseinet/index.php (Source: Auseinet, the Australian Network for Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention for Mental Health.)

SURVEYS

Mission Australia's 2006 Survey of Australia's Young People

Mission Australia is conducting its fifth annual survey of young Australians aged between 11-24 years. Its primary purpose is to identify and clarify the key and emerging issues for young people, asking them about what they value, what their concerns are, and about their sources of advice and support and their involvement in community activities. About 11,300 youth responded to their 2005 survey. 'The survey publicly affirms that young people and their views are valued by the community' and it's also a resource for youth themselves and for those working with young people or those interested in youth issues. The survey needs to be completed by Friday, 16 June 2006. On Mission Australia website, there's a PDF version of the survey (get there via: http://tinyurl.com/olwaj ) for use to print and post to: Research and Social Policy, Mission Australia, GPO Box 3515, Sydney NSW 2001. Alternatively complete the survey online at: http://www.missionaustralia.com.au/youthsurvey Closing date: Friday 16 June 2006. (Source: Mission Australia email from ChadwickD[AT]missionaustralia.com.au to the AYIN email discussion list, 2 May 2006.)

TRANSITIONS

The transition to full-time work of young people who do not go to university

As this newsletter went to press, the latest LSAY report was released. Australia Policy Online reports that 'accounts of the youth labour market are not supported by the findings outlined in this report. Gary N. Marks also disputes claims that young people who are not fully engaged in full-time work or study are at risk of an unsuccessful school-to-work transition.' The report is online as a PDF document on the Australian Council for Educational Research website (PDF file at: http://www.acer.edu.au/research/projects/lsay/documents/LSAY49.pdf or see the ACER site at: http://www.acer.edu.au/news/latestnews.html)

VOLUNTEERING

Victorian help for asylum seeker children and young people

The Melbourne-based Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) provides a counselling program for asylum seekers from backgrounds of torture, war and trauma, and who are living with the uncertainty of the refugee determination process. The program includes the KidsZone and TeenZone programs for children and adolescents, which aim to give asylum seeker children the opportunity to have some fun, and to connect with others living in a similar context of anxiety and uncertainty. The programs allow children and adolescents to express their thoughts and feelings in various ways through art, music, activities, and reflection. Referral to more formal family or individual child counselling is an option available to participants. ASRC is currently seeking volunteers with experience in youth work, early childhood development and primary school teachers, psychologists, social workers, art therapists and those who have worked with children and/or families in community and mental health services. An information session for KidsZone and TeenZone is to be held at the ASRC. For details contact Mary Harvey at maryh[AT]net2000.com.au (Source: YACVic Announce: Friday 28th April 2006.)

YOUTH RESEARCH

The 5th International conference on youth research, 'Young people at the crossroads', will be held in Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia, Russian Federation on 1-5 September 2006. It aims to give researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds the opportunity to discuss the most recent research findings and theoretical and methodological issues of youth research. The conference is organized jointly by Karelian State Pedagogical University, Russian Federation and the University of Joensuu, Finland. Youth researchers from all disciplines are invited to participate and to submit theoretical, methodological and empirical papers on health, culture and values, civil society, education and work, ethnicity and nationality, language, preschool and school education in the process of transition, youth psychology and rural youth research. Keynote speakers include Tommi Hoikkala of the Finnish Youth Research Network, and Jarna Soilevuo Gronnerod, researcher at the Department of Psychology, University of Joensuu, Finland. Philip Lalander, PhD, associate professor at the University of Kalmar, Sweden. The deadline for registration is 31 May 2006. More at: http://tinyurl.com/qf2j8 which takes you to: http://75.kspu.karelia.ru/en/section.php?docId=3408

YOUTH WORK

Youth Action and Policy Assoc. Survival guide for youth workers

There are still a few places left for YAPA's youth worker training for those with less than 6 months' experience in the field. See: http://www.yapa.org.au/yapa/events/survival.php