Skip navigation

Username or Subscriber Number

Need a password?

Subscribers to our journal can read it online in full text. Find out how.

ACYS calendar of events in the youth field

Skip navigation

Username or Subscriber Number

Need a password?

ACYS books include titles such as Researching youth; Ethnic minority youth, Youth, crime and the media, and others on youth subcultures, and young people and work.

No. 121, September 2006




'Youth subcultures: Theory, history and the Australian experience'

Edited by ACYS director Prof. Rob White, 'Youth subcultures: Theory history and the Australian experience' is the classic text on Australian youth subcultures. Reprinted for the fourth time by the Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies, this book 'stands as testimony to the persistence of interest in youth subcultures, and of the complexities, ambiguities and continuities of street culture and youth group formation over time. Youth subcultures, in varying forms, do exist in Australia today. They share many of the attributes of similar phenomena in the past. Yet they incorporate in dynamic fashion the latest developments in technology, the influence of globalised communications, ever fluid ideas about identity and the self, and widely varying commitment, consciousness and purposes'. So writes Prof. Rob White, in his preface to the new edition.

The book includes case studies and historical sketches of a wide range of experiences of young people throughout Australia, from bodgies and widgies in the 1950s through to the goths and bogans of the 1990s. It also examines the factors underlying the formation of diverse youth subcultures, and reviews the theoretical debates on the interpretation of the cultural experiences of young people. Cost: $30.80 (including postage and GST); contact the Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 64, Hobart, Tasmania 7001; ph: (03) 6226 2591; fax (03) 6226 2578; website:


School bullying and the law

The legal implications of bullying in schools are discussed in an article published in the August 2006 edition of 'Education Review'. The Queensland University of Technology's Prof. Des Butler, author of 'Schools and the Law', says that parents, schools and the law are beginning to recognise that bullying can have serious, long-term psychological effects on students and that there's a growing realisation that 'schools should take reasonable steps in preventing physical and psychological harm' related to bullying. Butler says Australian schools have paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages and legal costs in recent years. Recently, Butler, along with his QUT colleagues, Assoc. Prof. Sally Kift and Dr Marilyn Campbell, have secured funding to undertake research into the prevalence of and responses to cyber-bullying, a growing issue for young people. (Source: 'Education Review', v.16, n.5, 2006, p.11.)


Child protection on the sport and recreation field

'Play by the Rules' is a unique website that helps sporting clubs, schools and local councils to meet their risk management responsibilities relating to discrimination, harassment and child protection. The website provides practical information, resources and free online learning courses on how to prevent and deal with all forms of inappropriate behaviour in sport and recreation. Recently, nine short video scenarios have been added to the website, with practical examples of everyday child protection issues faced in sport and recreation. See: (Source: 'National Child Protection Clearinghouse Newsletter', v.14, n.2, 2006, p.19.)

'Communities, families and children Australia': A new child protection journal

The Australian College for Child and Family Protection Practitioners has launched this new journal to encourage thinking and reflection 'beyond current models of child protection, policy and practice'. The bi-annual's first edition includes articles on children and young people's participation in research, 'reflecting an explicit intention to keep children's experiences at the forefront'. Editor, Dr Gail Winkworth, can be contacted at: accfpp[AT] (Source: Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth's 'ARACY e-newsletter', August 2006.)


Learning about civics and citizenship

Recently, the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) endorsed a process for jurisdictions to comply with the relevant section of the 'Australian Government Schools Assistance Act 2004' on 'the implementation of Statements of Learning'. Statements of Learning for Civics and Citizenship are available for download from: or


Generation Y and Crime: A longitudinal study of contact with NSW criminal courts before the age of 21

This NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research report reveals that nearly one in 10 people born in NSW in 1984 had acquired a criminal record by the age of 21. Commenting on the findings, the Director of the Bureau, Dr Don Weatherburn said that they highlighted the enormous potential savings in police and court time that could be gained from programs that reduce recidivism. See the BOCSAR website at:

The Pathways to Prevention project: developmental prevention in a disadvantaged community

Pathways to Prevention began in 2001 and involves family, school and community in a set of planned interventions with four- to six-year-old children, aiming to prevent them from developing anti-social behaviour in their adolescence and early adulthood. Early results from this project are promising according to a report released in mid-September, which showed that the behaviour of boys in particular improved significantly, as did their school readiness. The report is described in the Australian Institute of Criminology's regular series, 'Trends and issues in crime and criminal justice', n.323, at: (or and its authors are Ross Homel, Kate Freiberg, Cherie Lamb, Marie Leech, Sam Batchelor, Angela Carr, Ian Hay, Rosie Teague and Gordon Elias.


'Toward 2020: What we do now will make the difference'

This is the theme for the 2006 Pathways 8 National Biennial Conference on disability issues in higher education and training. The conference will be held at Hobart's Wrest Point Convention Centre from 28 November to 1 December. For further information, visit: (Source: 'Link magazine', v.15, n.3, 2006, p.36.)


Seminars on newly-arrived refugees, and on structural interventions

The DrugInfo Clearinghouse will be running two free interactive seminars and forums in Melbourne in October and November, one on newly arrived refugees and drug prevention on Tuesday, 24 October 2006, and one on structural interventions, on Wednesday, 1 November 2006. For more information, or to book your place, ph: 1300 85 85 84 or send your name, organisation and contact phone number to email druginfo[AT] Both seminars will be held in Melbourne.

Thinking drinking

The DrugInfo Clearinghouse has also announced that the conference, Thinking Drinking II: From problems to solutions, will be held in Melbourne on 26-28 February 2007. Find out more at: (or

Illicit drug use in rural and remote Indigenous communities

The Australian Institute of Criminology has released a report into the incidence of illicit drug use in rural and remote Indigenous communities ('Trends and issues in crime and criminal justice', n.322, by Judy Putt and Brendan Delahunty). The report was initiated by police concerned about illicit drug use, and it highlights the widespread and often heavy use of cannabis and alcohol -- and increasingly, amphetamines -- among Indigenous people in rural and remote communities in Australia. While alcohol abuse remains a primary concern, illicit drug use is also having an impact on individuals and communities, with quite distinct problems in isolated settlements being clearly identified. This report explores the challenges for police involved in preventing the supply of drugs and in helping communities reduce drug-related harms. It argues for more drug-specific services, especially for diversion and treatment programs. The report was funded by the National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund; it is online at: (or


The future of Australian history

On 17 August, the Federal Government held its Australian History Summit to discuss the future of Australian history education in Australian schools. The Federal Government's plans for Australian History teaching include the introduction of a stand-alone history subject, and making history a compulsory part of the school curriculum. A group of 23 leading historians, public figures and educators was invited to the summit, and participants agreed that 'the study of Australian History should be sequentially planned through primary and secondary schooling and should be a distinct subject in Years 9 and 10. This would be an essential and required core part of all students' learning experience to prepare them for the 21st Century'. Further information about the outcomes of the summit, including the summit communiqu?, can be found on the Australian Government Department of Education, Science and Training website: (or (Source: 'Education Review', v.16, n.5, 2006, pp.1, 3; Australian Government Department of Education, Science and Training website, viewed 28 August 2006.)

CBCA Book of the Year 2006 winners

The winners of the Children's Book Council of Australia Children's Book of the Year Awards 2006 were announced in August. This year's winning entries are listed at: (Source: CBCA website, viewed 7 September 2006.)

'Middle schooling: Reaching new heights, building our future'

This is the topic of the Fifth International Conference of the Middle Years of Schooling Association, to be held on the Gold Coast on 17-19 May 2007. The conference aims to increase participants' knowledge and understanding of adolescence, and of positive learning environments to help build bright and rewarding futures for young people. Contact details: ph: (07) 3844 1138; fax: (07) 3844 0909. (Source: 'Professional Educator', v.5, n.3, 2006, p.43.)

Vocational education: 'Looking back at TRAC'

This Dusseldorp Skills Forum (DSF) paper by Jane Figgis from AAAJ Consulting Group is a review of the DSF's pioneering Year 11 and 12 vocational education program, TRAC (Training Retail and Commercial), which began in 1989. The TRAC program was centred around structured and assessed work placements and was developed by the DSF to 'bridge the almost complete disconnect that existed at that time between the skills students had acquired through school and the skills they would need to enter the labour market'. The review examines the development, implementation and eventual devolution of TRAC in order to identify lessons learned and underlying principles from the program that may be useful in the DSF's other work. The final chapter outlines TRAC's successful elements (which include clarity, enthusiasm and openness). Jane Figgis identifies trust as the cornerstone to the program's success as an innovation in VET. A more detailed review of this paper appears on the ACYS website, at: (Source: Figgis, J., 2006, 'Looking back at TRAC', Dusseldorp Skills Forum, viewed 7 September 2006,

'On Track': the vocational plans of disadvantaged students

The Smith Family/Australian Council for Educational Research survey 'On Track? Students choosing a career', which examines the study and career plans of disadvantaged Year 11 and 12 students who are participants in the Smith Family's Learning for Life educational scholarship program was launched recently (as mentioned in the previous issue of Youth Field Xpress).

Reviewing the study in the August 2006 edition of 'Professional Educator', the Smith Family's principal researcher, Adrian Beavis, reviews the study's findings. He concludes that the young people in the 'On track?' study-- all of whom are from socioeconomic families-- were planning a future shaped by their interests, perceived ability and, it would seem, by their families. 'The early picture to emerge of these families, from these data, is one of supportiveness. The interests of young people were being encouraged and their plans set to accord with their ability. For most, this means that their plans, when realised, will involve upward social mobility. Despite this, there was little evidence of overly ambitious parents pushing their children in inappropriate directions.' (Source: 'Professional Educator', v.5, n.3, 2006, pp.21-23.)

Promoting 'physically literate' students

The August 2006 edition of 'Professional Educator' also contains an informative feature by Shane Pill on the topical subject physical activity and health promotion in schools. Pill, a lecturer at Flinders University and President of the South Australian branch of the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, says children need to be 'physically literate' in order to understand that their choices influence their wellbeing. He offers a five-point strategy to help schools to promote active and healthy living, and concludes that schools are the 'critical setting for an education that leads to active and healthy living' ... A curriculum that provides physical education through varied, interesting and challenging group and individual activities integrated across the curriculum has the best chance of developing the like skills that will lead to positive long-term physical activity and health outcomes'. (Source: 'Professional Educator', v.5, n.3, 2006, pp.36-41.)

The success of failure

In an article on how schools and teachers can help students to deal with failure, the Australian Council for Educational Research's CEO, Prof. Geoff Masters, writes that in a society that celebrates success and winners, 'the challenge for schools is not to attempt to protect students from the inevitability of mistakes, disappointments and failures, but to develop in students a healthy attitude towards these features of life.' Masters advocates a threefold approach for developing a healthy attitude to failure:
* helping students to see mistakes and failures within the context of their ongoing learning;
* helping students to understand the role that failure plays in progress; and
* helping students to see the need for absolute standards in society, while realising that many paths can be taken to achieve these standards.

He also advocates for the development of classroom cultures that 'tolerate and expect mistakes, and that support and encourage students to take risks'. Masters says that student success, particularly for lower-achieving students, might be best measured by noting an individual student's progress throughout the year, rather than measuring students by year-level standards. (Source: 'Professional Educator', v.5, n.3, 2006, pp.12-15.)

Policy and funding

The online journal, 'New Matilda', is about to launch a series of articles on education policy, focused on the Australia's primary and secondary education systems and on education funding. The editors will be inviting teachers, academics, policy-makers, parents, advocates and other concerned individuals to contribute their ideas to the magazine, and suggest socially, economically and politically viable alternatives to the current system. See their call for contributions at: or Contact: Miriam Lyons (Policy Coordinator) or Jessica Stead (Education intern) on (02) 9211 1635 or email: writeforpolicy[AT]


Kirby comes of age: The birth, difficult adolescence and future prospects of traineeships

Releasing a report on the effectiveness and efficiency of Australia's traineeship program, Group Training Australia and the Dusseldorp Skills Forum have called for a renewed national debate on Australia's skill needs and training policies, saying traineeships must be 'strengthened to meet and to shape our future intermediate, technical and design skill needs'. The report, commissioned by GTA and DSF and written by Mark Cully of the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, is titled 'Kirby comes of age: The birth, difficult adolescence and future prospects of traineeships'. The report was debated at a national roundtable of industry leaders on the future of traineeships earlier this year. The report, along with a summary of the roundtable discussion, is available from: and


Funding available under the National Homelessness Strategy

Services and organisations working with people vulnerable to homelessness, whether within or outside the homelessness sector, are invited to submit Expressions of Interest to receive funding under a new round of the National Homelessness Strategy (NHS). After completing a two-stage selection process, funding will be provided to eligible services and organisations to deliver initiatives that are closely aligned with the aims of the NHS. Two streams of funding are available under the NHS:
* Demonstration project funding: Expressions of Interest for funding for projects starting in July 2007 close at 5 pm AEST on Friday 13 October 2006.
* Communication activity funding: Applications for this may be made at any time, subject to the availability of funding.
Successful applicants will be required to enter into a Funding Agreement with FaCSIA. See: (or


Becoming a man

The winter 2006 edition of 'TeenMatters', the magazine for parents with teenagers, contains an extract from a new book called 'What men don't talk about'. Written by New Zealand-born Maggie Hamilton, it looks at adolescent boys and their negotiation of the transition to manhood and includes interviews with men of different ages and cultural backgrounds talking about their experiences as teenage boys. Commenting on society's perception of teenage boys, Hamilton writes that, while boys are maturing earlier than previous generations, what many people fail to realise is that 'these boys still have to catch up emotionally ... Society tends to assume teenage boys can cope with their teenage years, so it tends to focus its attention on the vulnerability of teenage girls instead'. Youth Off The Streets are the publishers of 'TeenMatters' . (Source: 'TeenMatters', winter 2006, pp.33-36.)


Another clearinghouse

In March this year, the Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria (GLHV) Clearinghouse was launched. This clearinghouse aims to provide accessible and up-to-date health information and resources based on the social model of health as outlined in the Victorian gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (GLBTI) Health and Wellbeing Action Plan. See: (Source: 'Transmissive', newsletter of the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, n.35, May 2006, p.2.)

HIV's grim comeback

The ARCSHS has published a report on a continuing case study of 11 gay men in Victoria recently diagnosed with HIV infection by Sean Slavin and Marian Pitts, titled 'The contemporary context of HIV infection in Victoria, Australia'. The report aims to improve our understanding of the changing culture of safe sex among gay men in Victoria and to contribute to public debate about action that government and community groups can take to combat the increasing number of new HIV infections in Victoria. The report can be downloaded from the ARCSHS website: (Source: 'Transmissive', newsletter of the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, n.35, May 2006, p.3.)

Chlamydia education project

The Community Liaison and Education Unit at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) has received funding to develop an educational kit to inform young people about Chlamydia. (Source: 'Transmissive', newsletter of the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, n.35, May 2006, p.2.)

Diversity and good health

'Towards a healthy nation: Meeting the challenges of a diverse society for good health and wellbeing' is being held on 30-31 October 2006 as a pre-conference event leading up to the Diversity in Health conference 2007. The October event is being organised by the Australian Multicultural Foundation, the Diversity Health Institute and the South Australian Government. To register your interest contact: Conference Secretariat, Australian Multicultural Foundation, PO Box 538 Carlton South Victoria, 3053; info[AT]; ph: (03) 9347 6622; fax: (03) 9347 2218.

Other health-related conferences coming up soon include Involve 06: a Youth Health and Youth Development Conference being held on 1-3 November in New Zealand ( and YOUTH HEALTH 2006, the 5th Australian and New Zealand Adolescent Health Conference, taking place on 13-15 November 2006 in Sydney - see:


Youth homelessness in rural Australia

A new Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) research bulletin on youth homelessness shows young people in rural Australia have very different experiences to their urban contemporaries, due to limited employment and education options and inadequate formal support networks.

Two AHURI projects have examined the issues faced by young people at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness in Australia. The first project, led by Prof. Andrew Beer (of AHURI's Southern Centre), examined government policies, services and models of good practice in meeting the needs of homeless young people in rural areas of Australia. 'The project notes the potential of the "Foyer model" for application in rural Australia' -- the Foyer model being the focus of the second project led by Prof. Bill Randolph (AHURI UNSW/ UWS Research Centre).

1. Developing models of good practice in meeting the needs of homeless young people in rural areas'

Both a positioning paper and final report on 'Developing models of good practice in meeting the needs of homeless young people in rural areas' can be downloaded as a PDF document from: or

2. Evaluating the Miller Foyer Pilot Project

This project is a longitudinal study of the pilot Miller Foyer which is being developed on the Miller Live 'N' Learn Campus near Liverpool. The project is being developed by the South West Sydney Region of the NSW Department of Housing -- it's the first attempt by any social housing agency in Australia to develop a Foyer in Australia and, as such represents a pilot for a type of accommodation for homeless and vulnerable youth that could be replicated widely across Australia.

The project will work with the Department's Foyer team to monitor the development of the Foyer from its early stages into management and into the first year of operation to assess the impact on the first tranche of residents, providing feedback to the Department and then to complete a final report and best practice document summarising the pilot study to wider dissemination.

The Foyer model helps young rural people to establish themselves without the need to relocate to cities far away from their support networks. 'Analysing the causes and effects of homelessness of vulnerable youth, the research finds that the Miller Campus offers a positive option for providing useful, holistic assistance that promises long-term, positive consequences, rather than a band-aid effect.'

Download the report, Evaluating the Miller Foyer Pilot Project, from : or (Source: Australian Policy Online; and Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) at: )

Funding available under the National Homelessness Strategy (NHS)

Services and organisations working with people vulnerable to homelessness (both within and outside the homelessness sector) are invited to submit expressions of interest to receive funding under a new round of the NHS. After completing a two-stage selection process, funding will be provided to eligible services and organisations to deliver initiatives that are closely aligned with NHS aims. Two streams of funding are available under the NHS: Demonstration Project funding, and Communication Activity funding. Expressions of Interest for Demonstration Project funding for projects starting in July 2007 close at 5 pm AEST on Friday 13 October 2006), while applications for Communication Activity funding may be made at any time, subject to the availability of funding. See the Department of Families, Communities and Indigenous Affairs website at: or


Scholarships offered

Scholarships and leadership opportunities for young Indigenous Australians in remote areas are offered through the Indigenous Youth Leadership Programme (IYLP). Besides scholarship, various opportunities will be offered to IYLP students to help them develop leadership skills. Schools and communities are urged to identify and assist eligible students to apply. The Foundation for Young Australians website has all the relevant forms and information at: or ph: (03) 9670 5436.

'Through young black eyes: A handbook to protect Indigenous children from the impact of family violence and child abuse'

An updated edition of this handbook, written by K. Bedford and M. Moloney, was published in 2005 by the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care. SNAICC produced it to help families and communities to prevent family violence, child abuse and neglect, and to respond effectively where violence, abuse and neglect may have occurred. It's divided into sections on family violence, child abuse and neglect, child sexual assault, the reporting child protection matters, and has a directory of services and resource information. (Source: 'National Child Protection Clearinghouse Child Abuse Prevention Newsletter', v.14, n.2, 2006, p.24.)

Child abuse and neglect prevention: The Yingana project, Arnhem Land

The winter 2006 edition of the 'National Child Protection Clearinghouse Child Abuse Prevention Newsletter' contains a paper by the NAPCAN Foundation's executive officer, Adam Blakester, titled 'Practical child abuse and neglect prevention: A community responsibility and professional partnership'. It profiles a number of community initiatives where responsibility is being taken for the wellbeing of children and young people to prevent child abuse and neglect, one being the Yingana project, operating among the Oenpelli community in Arnham Land, Northern Territory. This community was awarded a NAPCAN micro-grant in September 2003. For more about the project see the ACYS website at: and navigate to 'projects'. (Source: 'National Child Protection Clearinghouse Newsletter', v.14, n.2, 2006, pp.2-10.)

'Good practice in Indigenous family violence prevention: Designing and evaluating successful programs' (Memmott, P., Chambers, C., Go-Sam, C. & Thomson, L., 2006, Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse Issues Paper 11, University of NSW, 36pp.)

The aim of the paper was 'to consider the current state of good practice with regard to projects or programs aimed at reducing family violence', to reflect on successful programs and analyse why they were successful, and to 'provide a set of ideas and strategies for good practice based on learning from both Australian and international Indigenous projects and programs'. The authors conclude that good practice in addressing Indigenous family violence 'is only emerging in Australia' and that while good practices are widespread, service providers might seldom be able or even motivated to document these practices. To sustain 'multiple projects with an integrated and holistic approach' in the long term will need planning across generations and the involvement of 'multiple partnerships between Indigenous communities, government and non-government sectors'. Download the report from the ADVC website:
Note: A more detailed review of this resource is online on the ACYS website at: and navigate to Indigenous issues.

Sporting chance program for Indigenous students

The deadline for applications for this initiative is looming. As announced in the 2006-07 Budget, the Australian Government is providing funding of $13.5 million for school-based sports academies to keep Indigenous students engaged in secondary education. The Department of Education, Science and Training has called for Expressions of Interest from suitable organisations for funding to establish 20 academies nationally from 2007 to 2009. The closing date for applications is Tuesday, 19 September 2006 at 5 p.m. See:


Australian Red Cross Youth International Project 2006-2007

This project aims to raise young people's awareness of the conditions and life of people living in Darfur, Sudan, and gives them the opportunity to contribute to the humanitarian work of ARC internationally. The work involves fundraising for a primary health care clinic set up by the Red Cross in the Gereida camp, in southern Darfur and is capable of assisting some 80,000 people living there. Each day about 450 patients visit the clinic for treatment for diarrhoea, malaria, eye and skin infections. For more information, ideas for action, fact sheets and resources go to and follow the link to the International Youth Project or contact Doss Duscher at ARC Youth and Education Services on (03) 8327 7954.

How are the neighbours? The millennium development goals and our region 2006

It is now almost six years since Australia and 190 other nations committed to a global plan to halve extreme poverty by 2015. This plan has eight goals known as the Millennium Development Goals, and 'How are the neighbours' looks at whether Australia's developing country neighbours are on track to achieve the goals and whether they are receiving sufficient support from the developed countries. See:
PDF document: or or (Source: Australain Policy Online.)


Mental health funding for better youth services

headspace, Australia's new National Youth Mental Health Foundation, aims to change the way that youth mental health services are delivered in Australia, and thereby reduce the burden of disease caused by mental health and related substance abuse in youth aged 12 to 25 years. The new organisation will do this through its four program areas:
* encouraging early help-seeking by young people and their families by implementing local and national community awareness activities;
* helping service providers to build their skills through evidence-based education and training resources and activities;
* supporting more accessible, effective and integrated services through the administration of a natinal Youth Services Development Fund;
* promoting the uptake of evidence-based practice in youth mental health, through a Centre of Excellence.

headspace is due to open its first funding round in the near future, through its Youth Services Development Fund. Keep an eye on the headspace website at:

Mental Health Week

Mental Health Week is being held from 8-14 October 2006, and coincides with World Mental Health Day on 10 October. The theme is 'Building awareness, reducing risks: Suicide and mental illness'. For further information on World Mental Health Day, see the World Federation for Mental Health website:

Multicultural Mental Health Australia is interested in receiving information from organisations that are planning Mental Health Week activities with a multicultural theme or audience. These activities will be promoted on the MMHA website. Please send details of any such events (including the state in which they are being held) to admin[AT]; website: (Source: 'Synergy', n.2, 2006, p.26.)

Students Supporting Students

This student-driven peer support program has been developed at Narara Valley High School and Walcha Central School, both of which are located in NSW. The program trains students to be able to offer informed care and support to friends and peers who come to them with personal problems. Students from a broad cross-section of the school community are selected and trained by their peers in areas such as active listening, verbal and non-verbal communication, problem-solving and confidentiality, with the aim of building a 'whole-school ethos of caring and support'. The program is based on the following characteristics: trusting students to lead, training students to respond to peers' needs, building teacher-student relations and enabling students to feel trusted, supported and included in their school community and in decision-making.

Students are involved in all aspects of the program; delivering support to students, selecting and training fellow students to be supporters and organising program-related activities. Although they work in partnership with teaching staff, the students themselves are responsible for keeping the program running in their school. Students and teachers involved in the program have developed a number of resources to guide other schools through their implementation of the program: two DVDs featuring students and teachers describing the program and its practical implementation, and a 'journey board' featuring cards which explain the steps taken in the Students Supporting Students program. These cards are designed to facilitate student-teacher discussions about and planning for the program. Further information about Students Supporting Students is available from the Australian Guidance and Counselling Association website (please note, this site is currently being updated and some sections may be incomplete): (Source: 'Connect', n.160, August 2006, pp.3-5.)

Mental illness and the media

StigmaWatch, a SANE Australia initiative to monitor the media stigmatisation of people with a mental illness, has published ' 'SANE StigmaWatch 2006: Reporting of mental illness and stigma in the Australian media 2005-2006'. The focus of StigmaWatch is positive, promoting accurate and responsible reporting and representation of mental illness and suicide. SANE received 348 reports of stigma during the 2005-06 year -- an increase of 35 per cent over the previous 12 months; an increasing number of complaints concerned with inaccurate and trivialising use of psychiatric terminology in advertising. Action was also taken on a number of cases involving inappropriate reporting of suicide.

This year, SANE Australia has also published a revised edition of the 'SANE guide to reducing stigma' which includes a new section on the appropriate and responsible reporting of suicide. For further information on SANE StigmaWatch and its publications, contact SANE Australia: PO Box 226, South Melbourne VIC 3205; ph: (03) 9682 5933; fax: (03) 9682 5944; email: info[AT]; website: (Source: 'SANE StigmaWatch 2006, 'Reporting of mental illness and stigma in the Australian media 2005-2006', SANE Australia, South Melbourne.)

New information line

beyondblue, the national depression initiative, has launched a new public information line that people can call to get information on depression and anxiety. While the information line is open to all members of the public, it is initially being targeted at men in rural areas, who experience high risk factors for depression and suicide. Calls to the information line are charged at the cost of a local call. Ph: 1300 224 636. (Source: 'link magazine', v.15, n.3, 2006, p.20.)

Ethnic and CALD mental health issues and the Senate Select Inquiry on Mental Health

The Final Report tabled by the Senate Select Inquiry on Mental Health, 'A national approach to mental health: From crisis to community' and released on 28 April 2006 contains specific recommendations to address the mental health needs of refugees and people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. In Chapter Three, it includes information on rights, a review of funding levels to providers of mental health services to refugee communities to reflect need, development of appropriate assessment protocols, and development and dissemination of translated information on the early signs and symptoms of mental health problems and mental disorders. Chapter 15 of the Inquiry's first report is also relevant for those interested in ethnic youth mental health issues, as it examines mental health services for children and youth, older people and CALD communities. The reports can be downloaded from the Senate website: (or (Source: 'Synergy', n.2, 2006, p.14.)

'InPsych' feature on youth mental health services

The Australian Psychological Society's bulletin, 'InPsych', features youth mental health services in Australia in its August 2006 edition. It includes an item on the need for youth-specific mental health services (by Prof. Patrick McGorry, Alexandra Parker and Dr Rosemary Purcell), an item about encouraging young people to seek professional help for mental health problems, and one on innovative approaches to working with young offenders. There's also information about Wilderness Adventure Therapy, the Doing Anger Differently program for adolescent boys, and headspace, Australia's new Youth Mental Health Foundation. Contact details: Australian Psychological Society: ph: (03) 8662 3300; fax: (03) 9663 6177; email: contactus[AT]; website: (Source: 'InPsych', v.28, n.4, 2006, p.3, 5.)


Youth Mentoring Network database

Australia's Youth Mentoring Network has a database of youth mentoring programs across Australia. It's handy for practitioners, teachers, parents, youth workers, counsellors, potential volunteers and young people to help find local mentoring programs. To register a mentoring program, or view those listed, follow the links from:

RADICAL boys' education program

RADICAL (Resilience and Adolescent Development in Culture and Leadership), or the RAD program is an innovative education program for male students in Years Nine and Ten experiencing difficulties fitting into the mainstream curriculum. Developed at Lyneham High School in Canberra, the program seeks to lift literacy and numeracy rates by creating 'a differentiated curriculum that suits the needs of the students as learners'. The RAD curriculum is structured around a series of positive role models, who essentially display the social fact that learning, 'being a man' and experiencing academic success can be both desirable and achievable. Participants in the program have improved literacy and numeracy levels, and their overall behaviour has improved too. Lyneham High School teacher Brendan Magee attributes the program's success to its three-pronged approach, targeting the mind, through academic achievement, the body, through exercise and sport, and the soul, through mentoring and positive role modelling. The school is considering extending the mentoring component of its program to feeder primary schools in its area. (Source: 'Professional Educator', v.5, n.3, 2006, pp.28-29.)


Parenting Australia

Parenting Australia provides a range of education, training and consultancy services in the community with the goal of increasing resilience and connectedness in families, particularly those which are isolated, vulnerable or have diverse needs. Through these services, Parenting Australia aims to raise awareness of parenting issues in the community, help parents develop skills that improve the social, emotional and physical wellbeing of their children, and promote hope and confidence in families generally. See:

The National Father Inclusive Practice Framework

The Family Action Centre at the University of Newcastle has launched a national website to support agencies in a range of service delivery areas to help involve fathers in their work with families. The website includes a set of nine principles for 'Father Inclusive Practice' as well as a range of research materials. See: (Source: Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth's 'ARACY e-newsletter', August 2006.)


Participation and civic engagement among culturally and linguistically diverse young people

The August 2006 edition of 'Connect' magazine contains an article on the experiences of community participation and civic engagement of young people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. A group of sixteen 15- to 24-year-olds with migrant and refugee backgrounds were interviewed. About half of interviewees were actively involved in a community organisation; most of those who held formal positions in community groups were female, with males more inclined to participate in one-off events. Those who actively participated in community groups usually joined ethnic or religious groups which felt familiar. Those who did not participate in community groups or events cited a wide range of reasons, such as not being able to find a suitable organisation, feeling unwelcome, not knowing which organisations to join, and a lack of interest in participation. Few joined any community organisations in their first years in Australia, and all those interviewed felt there were more opportunities for youth to participate in society in Australia than in their countries of origin. The 'Connect' article reports that respondents felt that organisations such as local councils and mainstream youth organisations in Australia don't involve or encourage CALD young people enough, and that when formally invited to participate in such groups, this was done seemingly more out of a sense of obligation than out of genuine regard. Interviewees expressed a desire for more involvement in their immediate communities and the broader community. (Source: 'Connect', n.160, August 2006, pp.7-8.)


New from NYARS: 'Community building through intergenerational exchange programs'

The National Youth Affairs Research Scheme (NYARS) released a new report in late August 2006. 'Community building through intergenerational exchange programs' by Judith MacCallum, David Palmer, Peter Wright, Wendy Cumming-Potvin, Jeremy Northcote, Michelle Brooker and Cameron Tero. The report is based on a literature review and four Australian case studies: the Bankstown Oral History Project in the inner western suburbs of Sydney; the Radio Holiday Project run by Big hART in rural and remote Tasmania; the School Volunteer Program based in Perth; and the Yiriman Project based in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The report concludes that successful intergenerational exchange programs have four key features in common: Opportunities to develop relationships between generations are provided, as are opportunities for generations to do a range of things together; they have access to a range of support mechanisms; and they take into account certain program-specific issues, such as gender, culture and language. The NYARS report can be downloaded in PDF format from the website of the Australian Government Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs at: or, and this report is at:,
or (Source: Email, received 30 August 2006.)

Research and youth services: 'Spinning the web' research report calls for better connections between services working with young people

The NSW Centre for the Advancement of Adolescent Health (NSW CAAH) at the Children's Hospital at Westmead has recently released an important research report by T. Chiang and M. Tyne titled, 'Spinning the Web: Better connections between services working with young people'.

The report should be compulsory reading for anyone involved in youth work training, youth service provision and information sharing in Australia. Although it focuses on youth health and wellbeing, the implications and lessons of this research are far-reaching and should, in time, bear good fruit for connecting the three points of the policy-research-practice triangle. A more detailed review of this resource will appear in a future edition of this newsletter. The report is not yet available for download, but will be on the NSW CAAH website ( from 20 September 2006. Contact details: NSW Centre for the Advancement of Adolescent Health at the Children's Hospital at Westmead, Locked Bag 4001, Westmead NSW 2145, ph: (02) 9845 0631; fax: (02) 9845 2517).


... in NSW

The NSW Rural Youth Work Conference 2006 is taking place in Dubbo on 28-30 November 2006, and is billed as 'an exciting professional development and networking opportunity for all rural youth workers'. It will showcase successful models of rural youth work, with a strong focus on evidence-based practice, prevention and early intervention, and on working with Aboriginal young people. See for details, or contact Joanne on 1800 627 323 ext.3 or info[AT]


An appeal to parents to talk to their children more openly

One of the country's leading providers of community services for young people, Mission Australia, has called on parents and the community to talk more openly with children about issues that may be troubling them to help reduce Australia's youth suicide rate. Mission Australia's call coincided with World Suicide Prevention Day, an initiative of the World Health Organisation, on Sunday, 10 September. Mission Australia spokesperson, Paul Andrews, said that while Australia's most recently published youth suicide rate (2004) was at its lowest level in a decade, it was important to raise awareness and encourage parents and families to talk openly about the issues that may lead a young person to consider self harm: 'We know from our own National Youth Survey that young people are contemplating very serious issues at a young age, and as long as they are, we need to reach out to them in families, but also through our schools and community groups to make sure they feel they have someone to talk to and somewhere to get help and information'. (Source: Mission Australia; AYIN email discussion list, 8 September 2006.)


Brotherhood of St Laurence: Youth Transition Social Barometer

The report, 'The Brotherhood's Social Barometer: Challenges facing Australian youth' is part of the Brotherhood's ongoing Social Barometer research project. It measures young Australians' abilities to deal with key phases in their life cycle such as childhood, school to work transitions, moving in and out of work and ageing and retirement. The barometer measures youth capability and disadvantage across seven key dimensions of life: physical health, mental health, housing, education, training and employment, physical safety, economic resources and social and civic participation.

The report draws on a wide range of academic research for its data, as well as sourcing data from organisations such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the Australian Electoral Commission. It advocates 'further well-informed investment' in Australia's youth to help them through their transitions from school to work and from adolescence to adulthood. It shows that the proportion of young people engaged in voluntary work has risen, and youth suicide rates have fallen (from around 15 per 100,000 young people in 1995 to 9.6 per 100,000 young people in 2005). In addition, rates of smoking among 12 to 14-year-olds have almost halved. But the report reveals that about one in five 15 to 19-year-olds are living below the poverty line, and only 32 per cent of young people from poorer backgrounds have home access to a computer and the internet, compared with 58 per cent of young people overall. For a full review of this resource, see the ACYS website at:

'The Brotherhood's Social Barometer: Challenges facing Australian youth' can be downloaded in full or in summary form from the Brotherhood of St Laurence website: (Sources: Boese, M. and Scutella, R., 2006, The Brotherhood's Social Barometer: Challenges facing Australian youth, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Fitzroy, Victoria, viewed 23 August 2006,; Brotherhood of St Laurence 2006, Brotherhood Youth Barometer reveals ups and downs in longer journey to adulthood, media release, 18 August, viewed 23 August 2006,; 'Brotherhood Comment', August 2006, pp.4-5)

BSL's School to Work Action Plan

The August 2006 edition of the Brotherhood of St Laurence's newsletter, 'Brotherhood Comment', contains an article on the BSL's new School to Work Action Plan. The need for such a plan was motivated by the changing risk profile for young people in transition from school to work. With transitions becoming more frequent and less 'linear' in today's increasingly insecure labour market, young people who are not studying or in full-time employment, particularly those with limited educational qualifications, face the least successful transitions. The article reviews the strengths of BSL's efforts to date to meet the employment and training needs of youth, such as its Parents as Career Transition Supporters (PACTS), its Furniture Works program in Frankston, Victoria, and its Given the Chance Refugee Project. BSL's School to Work Action Plan will concentrate on 'extending proven initiatives to other disadvantaged groups, establishing more community strengthening strategies which increase the role of parents or other youth supports, initiating place-based demonstration responses to complex youth needs and strengthening links between research and services'. In particular, BSL hopes to provide assistance to homeless, Indigenous and refugee youth, who are among the most vulnerable youth subgroups. (Source: 'Brotherhood Comment', August 2006, pp.6-9.)


'Are we there yet? Past learning, current realties and future directions for youth affairs in Australia' -- Call for abstracts opens 18 September 2006

'Are we there yet?' is a conference for young people, youth workers, educators, policy-makers, academics and researchers, community workers and anyone who's interested in youth affairs in Australia. This key event for the youth field will take place next year on 1-2 May 2007 in Melbourne. The Youth Affairs Council of Victoria is hosting the event, in partnership with other state and territory non-government peak youth organisations. It will be the first national youth conference to be held since the 1998 'Youth public space' event which was organised by ACYS and the Youth Research Centre. The call for abstracts opens on 18 September and closes on 30 October 2006. To register interest and receive regular conference updates, send an email to: conference[AT]

Applications for National Youth Roundtable 2007 will open in early October 2006

The Australian Government Department of Families, Communities and Indigenous Affairs has issued the following announcement:

The National Youth Roundtable (NYR) is the centrepiece of the Australian Government's youth consultation mechanisms. It brings together young people from across Australia aged between 15 and 24 years to meet with the Australian Government to discuss issues that have an impact upon young people. The main purpose of NYR is to provide the Australian Government with a consultation mechanism through which it can access the views of young people on various issues that are of interest to the Australian Government and its policies. It also provides a unique opportunity for young Australians to meet with the Australian Government to explore issues that are important to them. NYR members generally serve a one-year term, attending two residential meetings plus two team-based meetings. Their project-based work gives members the opportunity to gain better understanding of specific issues and to provide their own views and recommendations on these issues to Government. Members work in collaboration with relevant Australian Government departments, Members of Parliament and in consultation with their communities.

Applications for NYR 2007 will open in early October 2006. Young people aged between 15 and 24 years with a range of experiences and from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. For more information on the National Youth Roundtable and the application process, see: or phone (free call): 1800 624 309; email: roundtable[AT]
(End quote)

Source: Email, Sarah.Braybon[AT]

Resilience: Build it: Youth Affairs Council of WA 2006 Conference

The Youth Affairs Council of WA is the peak body for the non-Government youth sector in Western Australia and every 18 months it hosts WA's only youth affairs conference. For details on this important November event, contact YACWA's Executive Officer, Karyn Lisignoli, email: karyn[AT], ph: (08) 9485 2750 or rural: 1800 670 231, fax: (08) 9485 2757, email: karyn[AT]; website:


... in Victoria

The Victorian Government's 2002 youth policy, Respect, has been replaced by a new policy called Future Directions, with a 'Top 40' list of initiatives for Victorian youth aged 12-25. The initiatives are grouped under five desired outcomes:
* contributing and making a difference;
* achieving potential through informed life choices;
* having resources and making connections;
* managing healthy, active and diverse lives;
* being safe and promoting safe behaviours.
See the Office for Youth website, at:


Resource for workers supporting young people with complex needs

A new online resource has been launched by Jesuit Social Services (JSS) to provide helpful information for those who work with youth with complex needs. Called Strong Bonds, the online resource has readily usable information to help support young people and families. The Strong Bonds project was developed in response to a need in the youth work field for a better understanding of the dynamics between a young person with complex needs and their family. The project also looks at ways that this knowledge can be better used in practice. See: Parents, families and workers can also request printed information sheets by calling (03) 9415 8700. The project was funded by the Australian Government of Health and Ageing and the William Buckland Foundation.


Models for youth participation

The August edition of 'Connect' also includes a model for youth participation developed by Harry Shier in 2001 (published in 'Children and Society', v.15, n.2, 2001, pp.107-17). Shier designed his five-level youth participation, three-stage level of organisational commitment youth participation model as an alternative to the linear 'ladder of participation' model of Roger Hart (as featured in 'Connect' n.157, February 2006, pp.15-20). Shier's model is designed to emphasise the varying levels of responsibility that organisations have to support youth participation. ('Connect', n.160, p.18).

Email discussion lists in the youth field

The Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies has its own email discussion list called AYIN, managed by Anne Hugo of ACYS. AYIN is often used by people and organisations in the youth field to announce new initiatives. If you would like to join the list (it is not inordinately busy) send an email to: [email protected] and reply to the auto-message that you will get asking you to confirm your wish to be subscribed to the list. Anne also manages a complete listing of all the email discussion lists relevant to youth issues in Australia (at: and would like you to look at that list to see if your favourite email discussion list is mentioned there. If it isn't please let her know, at: [email protected]