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Youth Field Xpress
ISSN 1440-8651
Issue n.119, July 2006.



Recent publications relating to child abuse have been added to the website of the National Child Protection Clearinghouse. The conference page has also been updated. The updated information can be found on the 'What's New' page of the NAPCAN website: (Source: NAPCAN website, viewed 13 July 2006.)


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. The resulting report, 'Rights of Passage', provided a unique insight into what young Australians think and feel about human rights. The competitions attracted over 150 entries from all States and Territories. Winning and shortlisted artworks and essays from last year's competitions can be viewed on the HREOC website, listed below. Entries for this year's competition close on 11 August. There are great prizes on offer. HREOC will award iPods or digital cameras to the national winners and the Australian Red Cross has prizes for State and Territory winners. For more information, including entry forms, hints and tips, eligibility, conditions of entry, downloadable posters and an audio file about the competitions, contact HREOC: ph: (02) 9284 9635; website: (Source: HREOC media release, 11 July 2006, .)


The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) has commissioned the Australian Council for Educational Research, along with England's National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) and the Laboratorio di Pedagogia at the Roma Tre University in Italy, to undertake an International Civics and Citizenship Education Study (ICCES). The study is to investigate young people's views on their roles as citizens and their attitudes towards civics and citizenship education, as well as test their 'understandings and competencies' relating to elements of civics and citizenship education. The study will be conducted between 2006 and 2010. (Source: 'Research Developments', n.15, winter 2006, p.20.)


The first Australasian Amphetamine Conference, to be held at the Sydney Convention Centre, Darling Harbour, on 28--29 September 2006, will tackle the ever-increasing problem of amphetamine use and the tangled community and societal impact. In Australia and New Zealand, comparatively high levels of amphetamine use and related problems are causing unprecedented challenges to our health, social and law enforcement systems. The focus of the conference will be practical: engaging health professionals, law and order personnel, community workers as well as workers within the harm reduction and drug treatment fields. The international keynote speaker will be Professor Ernest Drucker, Professor of Psychiatry at the Montefiore Medical Centre/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, USA. For further information about the conference, contact Anex ph: (03) 9486 6399; email: conference [AT]; website: (Source: Australasian Amphetamine Conference website, viewed 13 July 2006.)

The 2006 Family Alcohol and Drug Network (FADNET) Conference is taking place on 10 August 2006 at LaTrobe University's Bundoora Campus. FADNET is a network of clinicians within the Victorian Alcohol and Other Drug Sector with a particular interest in promoting family practice within the sector. This year's conference aims to provide a forum for sharing contemporary research and practice that will broaden the scope of family-inclusive practice in the drug treatment sector. For further details, phone the Odyssey Institute of Studies at La Trobe University, ph: (03) 9420 7628; or visit the FADNET website. (Source: FADNET website:


The Australian Institute of Criminology has released a fact sheet detailing the extent of juvenile justice supervision in Australia. Crime facts info no. 125: Juvenile justice supervision in Australia summarises data contained in the AIC report Juvenile justice in Australia 2000--01 to 2003--04. This data shows a 5% decrease in the number of 10--17-year-olds within the juvenile justice system in Australia between 2000--01 and 2003--04, from 13,318 to 12,656 persons. This decrease occurred among the rate of young people under community-based supervision (4.0 young people per 1,000 in 2000--01 to 3.7 per 1,000 in 2003--04), while the rate of young people in detention during this period remained the same, at 2.0 per 1,000 young people. Download the full report from the AIC website (PDF file) at: (Source: Australian Institute of Criminology 2006, Juvenile justice in Australia 2000--01 to 2003--04, AIHW, Canberra, viewed 28 June 2006 .)

A new research report from Victoria highlights the importance of positive media coverage of youth and youth issues, plus working with young people to improve youth participation in community events, as key factors for 'improving the positive profile of young people in local communities'. The report 'Young people are part of safer communities' highlights the characteristics of different groups within the adolescent social system, noting that the media's over-reporting of youth offences, their focus on 'youth gangs' as perpetrators of crime and their 'overt over-representation of the rate of crime committed against elderly people' has led to community misconceptions about youth and 'youth gangs'. According to research, low youth participation rates in community events and State and local government strategies to incorporate young people into communities are due to a lack of access to transport and a lack of appropriate, youth-oriented marketing of such events. Likewise, youth believe that so-called anti-social youth behaviour arises due to the 'minimal recreational facilities and lack of diversity in recreational opportunities' in which they can engage. The authors believe that local governments and agencies 'need to change their thinking and approach to the needs, issues and perceptions of young people and the needs, issues and perceptions of our community' in relation to youth and youth issues. The report was researched and written by Samantha Spooner, Community Safety Officer at Knox City Council (and Masters thesis candidate, Applied Criminology, RMIT University) and Shaun Tolliday, a research student at RMIT University's Criminal Justice Program (School of Global Studies, Social Science, and Planning). Copies of the report can be obtained by contacting Samantha Spooner at Knox City Council, ph: (03) 9298 8415; email: samantha.spooner[AT] (Source: Spooner, S. & Tolliday, S. 2006, 'Young people are part of safer communities'.)


The June 2006 issue of 'Connect' magazine contains excerpts from School councils for all, a School Councils UK guide to help teachers and students involved in student councils make student councils inclusive of students with disabilities and special education needs. It says that for student councils to be inclusive, they must 'develop inclusive cultures, policies and practice and remove barriers to participation'. The excerpt includes a list of descriptors of an inclusive student council, an activity to help students identify barriers to participating in a student council and practical ideas to make student councils more inclusive. Principles outlined in the book are also generally applicable to 'all other groups who are vulnerable to exclusion for any reason'. For more information on School councils for all, contact School Councils UK: 108--110 Camden High Street, London NW1 0LU UK; email: info[AT]; website: (Source: 'Connect', n.159, June 2006, pp. 9-10.)


The National Resource Centre for the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA) has received Australian Government funding to develop and maintain a database of current and recently completed Australian research into alcohol and other drugs. The Register of Australian Drug and Alcohol Research (RADAR) aims to promote awareness and the dissemination of both academic and action research in this field throughout Australia. The register also contains information about researchers, research organisations and funding bodies operating within the field. The RADAR team is calling on researchers to contribute details of their research projects to RADAR. This can be done by completing an interactive form on the RADAR website, or by contacting the team directly. For further information, contact the RADAR Project Team: National Resource Centre, Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia, PO Box 269, Woden ACT 2606; ph: (02) 6281 1002; fax: (02) 6282 7364; email: radar[AT]; website: (Source: RADAR information brochure, viewed 5 July 2006.)

'CentreLines' is the joint, bi-monthly newsletter of the National Drug Research Institute, Perth, and the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, Sydney. In the editorial to the June 2006 issue, editor Paul Dillon reflects on the representations of youth drug use in the media, comparing these representations with actual statistics on youth drug use. He says that '[A]s someone who works regularly in schools I am becoming increasingly frustrated about the negative way young people are portrayed in the media. So many of the teenagers I come into contact with are doing great things, however it is very rare that we celebrate some of their wonderful achievements. Instead the media highlights the unusual and bizarre and as a result the general community is convinced that the present group of young people are more problematic than previous generations, something that does not appear to be supported by the evidence' (Source: 'CentreLines' n.19, June 2006, p.1.)

The June 2006 issue of 'CentreLines' also contains a feature on the increasing incidence of fatalities, hospitalisations and arrests among psychostimulant users in Australia. These increases are largely due to increases in cocaine and methamphetamine use since the late 1990s. The feature concludes with the following remarks: '? we are facing a period of widespread psychostimulant use. These are drugs that have the most serious physical and psychological side effects, and whose use is to be discouraged. One of the most serious risks is heart disease, and the fact that sudden death from coronary vasospasm can occur in apparently healthy young adults indicates how serious this risk is. These risks need to be widely appreciated amongst users of these drugs, those who provide clinical services and those who design interventions to reduce psychostimulant use'. (Source: 'CentreLines' n.19, June 2006, pp.2-3.)

National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) researchers Jan Copeland, Paul Dillon and Cath Finney Lamb are conducting an exploratory study examining factors associated with inhalant use and cessation amongst urban young people. The aim of the study is to 'inform the development of prevention programs for young people around inhalant use and to improve our understanding of the reasons for cessation'. The qualitative study will comprise up to 20 in-depth interviews with former inhalant users who have stopped using inhalants within the last six months. (Source: 'CentreLines' n.19, June 2006, p.5.)

This publication was produced as part of a research project undertaken by the Australian Youth Research Centre at the University of Melbourne on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. The purpose of the project was to 'review available techniques, interventions and prevention strategies used to reduce the likelihood of young people engaging in problematic drug use', with a focus on programs particularly aimed at young people in 'transitional life periods', such as those from primary school to secondary school and from secondary school to 'adult life'. The toolkit is divided into three parts. The first part outlines the project's research methodology and examines the rationale behind the evidence-based criteria used by researchers to identify and review the 'promising programs' included in the project. The second part describes the promising characteristics and limitations of 27 'programs of interest' operating throughout Australia. These programs are examined under three categories according to their focus: learning, participation and direct service or treatment. The third part describes 10 of the programs included in Part Two in further detail, gives recommendations on addressing the 'tensions and challenges' inherent in the provision of these programs and provides a set of review tools for different types of programs 'designed to address the prevention of drug-related harm in Australian youth'. Copies of the publication can be obtained by contacting National Mail and Marketing: ph: (02) 6269 1000; email: nmm[AT]; or from the National Drug Strategy website: (Source: Cahill, H., Murphy, B. & Hughes, A. 2005, 'A toolkit of interventions to assist young people to negotiate transitional pathways', Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, Canberra.)

The Drugs Policy and Services Branch of the Victorian Government Department of Human Services commissioned the Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre to review the youth drug treatment service system in Victoria following recommendations emanating from their 2003 review of Victoria's adult metropolitan drug treatment service system. The aim of the project was to review the Youth Alcohol and Drug Service System, and suggest changes so that the most cost-effective and equitable system can be implemented within the constraints of the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Services budget. The project involved key informant interviews, consumer interviews, a survey of youth drug treatment services, budget analysis and a critical review of literature. The report makes 46 key recommendations to improve youth drug treatment services in Victoria. These recommendations relate to the key features of youth drug treatment services, service types, consumer access to services, service delivery models and investment in youth drug treatment services. The project was completed in September 2004. The report is available for download at: (Source: Berends, L., Devaney, N.J., Ritter, A., Swan, A., Clemens, S. & Gardiner, P., 2004, 'Youth service system review: A review of the Victorian Youth Drug Treatment Service System', Drugs Policy and Services Branch, Victorian Department of Human Services.)


Physiological differences between boys and girls mean that children 'respond best' in single-sex classes, according to Dr Leonard Sax, a US psychologist, physician and co-founder of the National Association for Single Sex Public Education (NASSPE). Dr Sax recently visited Australia to speak to educators about the implications of sex difference for teaching and learning. He believes that it is important for teachers to receive evidence-based information on how physiological differences between boys and girls affect their respective learning styles and how best to account for these in the classroom. Dr Sax is the author of the book Why gender matters: What parents and teachers need to know about the emerging science of sex difference. For further information, visit the NASSPE website: (Source: (Source: 'Education Review', v.16, n.4, 2006, p.5.)

In February this year, the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) appointed Dr Hamish Coates as a Research Fellow as part of an expansion of its research into higher education. ACER aims to use this research to inform and enhance 'national and institutional policy and practice' in the higher education sector. Dr Coates has formerly held research positions at Graduate Careers Australia (GCA), the Centre for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE) and the Assessment Research Centre (ARC), the latter two located at the University of Melbourne. (Source: 'Research Developments', n.15, winter, 2006, p.17.)

A report released in January 2006 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) shows that Australian students are among the world's leading users of computers in education both at school and in the home. The report 'Are students ready for a technology-rich world?' is part of PISA's 2003 analysis of the educational performance of 15-year-olds. The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) led the international consortium that conducted the assessments. The report is available from the OECD website at (Source: 'Research Developments', n.15, winter, 2006, p.20; Australian Council for Educational Research 2006, 'Australian students among the highest computer users at school and in the home: OECD report', media release 25/01/06, viewed 10 March 2006, .)

The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) is to undertake a project to 'develop standards to support a draft definition and core criteria for Foundation Programs for international students'. The project, jointly sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST), the Victorian Government Department of Education and Training (DET) and the Victorian Qualifications Authority (VQA), aims to provide national consistency in the approval process for registration on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). (Source: 'Research Developments', n.15, winter, 2006, p.20.)

Cairns Regional Group Training (CRGT) has developed a hospitality training project with its local TAFE , local schools and the Business Liaison Association that exemplifies how Group Training Organisations (GTOs) can act as partners with schools and employers in the 'learning and employment of young people'. The Adopt a Chef -- Schools Culinary Challenge places local chefs in secondary schools to help Year 10 and 11 students design, plan and prepare a menu and food service for the challenge. Students participating in the challenge compete for awards for culinary service and kitchen performance. As well as strengthening the relationship between education and industry in the Cairns area, the challenge 'provides students with real life exposure to aspects of a hospitality pathway and more specifically to working and learning in a commercial kitchen/restaurant environment'. For further information about the project, contact Mark England at Cairns Regional Group Training: ph: (07) 4046 4053; email: mark.england[AT] (Source: 'Australian Career Practitioner', v.17, n.2, 2006, p.19.)


The June 2006 SANE Australia 'Sane Research Bulletin' deals with the topic of employment and mental illness. In March and April 2006, SANE Australia surveyed 284 people with a mental illness to determine the barriers to employment faced by people living with a mental illness, and what types of support they need to help them gain and maintain employment. The survey found that 81% of respondents were employed (in paid or volunteer positions) or wanted to work. A lack of suitable work was identified as the main barrier to finding work, followed by a lack of training and lack of support finding work. A significant majority of respondents rated employer support and flexible working arrangements as the most helpful type of support for retaining a job. A majority of respondents chose to disclose their mental illness to their employer; 67% of those who did so reported that this created a more supportive work environment. To improve access to suitable employment for people with mental illnesses, the research bulletin recommends the creation of incentives for employers to provide flexible work arrangements; educating employers and people in the workplace about mental illness so they are better able to provide ongoing support to help people affected by mental illness find and maintain employment; improving access to specialist employment and rehabilitation services for people with a mental illness; and changing attitudes to mental illness in the workplace to make disclosure of mental illness easier. A PDF version of the research bulletin is available at (Source: SANE Australia 2006, 'Sane research bulletin 3: Employment and mental illness'.)

A community-based organisation, YWAS, provides free and confidential advice, information and representation to young people for all work-related matters. YWAS is an initiative of the Queensland Government Department of Industrial Relations. For further information, contact the YWAS office: PO Box 10554, Adelaide Street, Brisbane QLD 4000; ph: (07) 3211 1447 or (freecall)1800 232 000; fax: (07) 3229 2153; website:

'Training Talk' is a web-based newsletter produced by the Vocational Education and Training Group of the Australian Government Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST). It aims to communicate up-to-date information on the Australian Government's training initiatives. The latest edition of the newsletter contains information on 'The Minister's Awards for Excellence for Employers of Australian Apprentices', the 'Tools for your Trade' initiative, and the Biennial VETnetwork Australia Conference, plus much more. The newsletter is available from the DEST website. (Source: DEST website, viewed 13 July 2006.)

SA Unions' U-Who Youth Project has launched a short documentary entitled 'YouthWorks -- The high price of a low wage' about the real life experiences of young workers. Made by young union activists, the aim of the documentary is to educate young people about their rights at work and inspire them to take control of their rights and resist exploitation. The documentary could be used as a teaching resource for high school and TAFE students and can be used in conjunction with curricula or programs that address industrial relations and/or work education. Copies of the documentary are available for $10 (inc. GST) plus postage from SA Unions. To order, contact SA Unions: ph: (08) 8279 2222; email: bmatthews[AT] For further information, contact Jodie Schluter Youth Project Officer, SA Unions: 46 Greenhill Rd, Wayville SA 5034; ph: (08) 8279 2222; U-Who website:; SA Unions website: (Source: J. Schuluter, email, viewed 13 July 2006.)


NTCOSS is holding a conference in Alice Springs on 7--8 September 2006, on the theme, 'Community sector, government and business: Linking together, investing in our future'. There will be a session for discussion of the Peaks Taskforce. For more information, contact NTCOSS, ph: (08) 8948 2665.

YACWA's Youth Affairs Council of WA Conference is taking place on 2--3 November 2006, on the theme, 'Resilience: Build it'. Its keynote speakers are Dr Michael Carr-Gregg and Dr Judith Bessant. Contact: yacwa[AT] or ph: (09) 9485 2750.


The Foundation for Young Australians is offering a new scholarship and leadership opportunity for young Indigenous Australians called the Indigenous Youth Leadership Programme (IYLP). Funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Science and Training, the IYLP is offering up to 250 scholarships from 2006--09 to Indigenous Australians aged 12--25 years who are studying at secondary or tertiary level within Australia. Secondary scholarships offer students up to $15,000 per year to cover tuition and accommodation costs, while tertiary scholarships offer $6,000 per year for tuition, fees and resources. Scholarships also include additional funds for school orientation and leadership development opportunities. The Foundation for Young Australians offers a range of other grant opportunities for young Australians throughout the year, including The Spark Fund, which funds young people to 'ignite an innovative idea which makes a positive contribution to the community and enhances their skills and experiences'. For further information, visit the Foundation for Young Australians website: (Source: 'FYI: The newsletter of the Foundation for Young Australians', June 2006, pp.3,7.)

The British Council Australia recently announced the names of the 25 semi-finalists in the 2006 'Realise Your Dream' programme. The semi-finalists, aged between 19 and 26 years old, have been selected from a pool of 850 entries and are each competing to win one of six scholarships -- each worth $10,000 -- including a special visual arts award called 'The Realise Your Dream Mordant Visual Arts Award'. The eventual six winners will travel to the UK with British Council Australia using its powerful UK network to find suitable mentors with industry experts and money-can't-buy work experience. Entry was open to anyone aged 19--26 in a range of creative fields, such as architecture, the arts, design, music, visual arts, film, animation, fashion, digital media, communications, publishing and much more. The six talented winners will be formally announced at a special awards ceremony held at the Sydney Opera House on 20 September 2006. For more information on the 'Realise Your Dream' programme, visit their website: (Source: British Council Australia media release, 13 July 2006.)


'Australia's Health 2006' is the tenth biennial health report of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. It is the nation's authoritative source of information on patterns of health and illness, determinants of health, the supply and use of health services, and health services expenditure. 'Australia's Health 2006' is an essential reference and information resource for all Australians with an interest in health. Hard copies of the report (AIHW catalogue number AUS 73) are available for $60 each from Can Print: ph: 1300 889 873. The report can be downloaded from the AIHW website. (Source: AIHW website viewed 13 July 2006.)


'The time is ripe for change in the area of Indigenous education', according to Dr Chris Sarra, director of the Indigenous Education Leadership Institute. A partnership between Education Queensland and the Queensland University of Technology, the institute was established in March this year and is currently conducting a national tour called 'Challenging Mindsets', which aims to improve outcomes in Indigenous education by challenging educators and policy-makers to 'be their own change agents'. Dr Sarra believes that educators need to transform their mindsets towards Indigenous education and increase their expectations of Indigenous students. As principal of Cherbourg State School, Dr Sarra used this approach to reduce student truancy by 94%, improve academic performance and position the school as a positive and central part of its local community (Source: 'Education Review', v.16, n.4, 2006, pp.1,6.)

Held annually on 4 August, National Aboriginal and Islander Children's Day (NAICD) gives children's services, carers and groups the chance to celebrate Aboriginal and Islander children and demonstrate how important children are to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The theme for this year's NAICD is 'My culture is me -- I'm proud and strong'. The Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) has chosen a theme that emphasises the positive influence of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child's culture on their wellbeing. For further information and resources relating to NAICD, contact the SNAICC: Suite 8, Level 1, 252-60 St Georges Rd, North Fitzroy VIC 3068; ph: (03) 9489 8099; fax: (03) 9489 8044; email: snaicc[AT]; website: (Source: SNAICC memorandum, 1 July 2006.)

INTERNATIONAL perspectives

The National Youth Agency in the UK has produced a standards framework that enables organisations to self-assess and improve their practices and policies relating to the 'active involvement of children and young people'. Called 'Hear by Right', the framework is based around a 'Seven S model of organisational change': shared values; strategy; structures; systems; staff; skills and knowledge; and style of leadership. The framework is also divided into three levels: emerging, established and advanced. The NYA has also recently been involved in the development of a Youth Service Quality Mark to be used as a self-assessment tool and nationally recognised award standard for organisations that provide services for young people. With a framework similar to that of 'Hear by Right', the 'YSQM Quality Mark for Services for Young People' was launched in March 2006. For further information and resources related to 'Hear by Right', visit (Source: 'The Edge', winter 2006, pp.2,7; National Youth Agency 2006, 'Briefing and update on the YSQM: June 2006', viewed 10 July 2006, )

The British Youth Council has launched a campaign to protect the European Youth Programme from a 34% budget cut, which it claims will threaten thousands of youth projects across Europe. The program (to be renamed the Youth In Action Programme from 2007) offers opportunities such as exchanges and voluntary work placements for 15--25-year-olds. The program is run in the UK by Connect Youth. The proposed cut forms part of the budget agreed by European Union member states in December. The European Parliament voted last month to reject the budget for 2007--13 and the council is backing calls from Members of the European Parliament for funding for cultural and youth projects (Source: 'Young People Now', 1 February 2006, viewed 13 July 2006, )

The UK Government has invested heavily in youth services such as Connexions since it came to power in 1997. In this article, academic Bob Coles assesses the impact of the UK Government's youth policy. Bob Coles, a senior lecturer in social policy at the University of York, carried out major research projects on the UK's Connexions service between 2000 and 2004. (Source: 'Young People Now', 1 February 2006, viewed 13 July 2006, )


The NSW Commission for Children and Young People's submissions to the following committee and project hearings can now be read online: NSW Health's Health Futures Project (July 2006); NSW Joint Parliamentary Committee on Children and Young People's Inquiry into Children, Young People and the Built Environment (June 2006); and the Parliament of Australia Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters' Inquiry into Civics and Electoral Education (June 2006). Submissions dating back to March 2001 are also available. (Source: NSW Commission for Children and Young People website, viewed 13 July 2006.)


A division of the Diversity Health Institute, the Transcultural Mental Health Centre works alongside mental health services, consumers, carers and members of the wider community to improve the mental health of people living in New South Wales who come from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. Established in 1993, the TMHC is involved in transcultural mental health promotion; research, publication and resource development; clinical service development; and policy development. The THMC operates a free telephone service that provides advice on mental health issues in over 50 languages. For further information, including a catalogue of resources available through the TMHC, contact the TMHC: Cumberland Hospital, Locked Bag 7118, Parramatta BC, NSW 2150; ph: (02) 9840 3800 or toll free: 1800 648 911; fax: (02) 9840 3755; email: general[AT]; website: (Source: Transcultural Mental Health Centre brochure, viewed 29 June 2006.)

Mental Health First Aid Instructor Training Courses are being held in Sydney, Brisbane, Orange, Cairns and Geraldton in the second half of 2006, but places are limited and filling fast! Courses in Orange, Cairns and Geraldton in October and November are for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders only. For more information, and to download an application form, visit the Mental Health Foundation of Australia website (Source: Mental Health Foundation of Australia website, viewed 13 July 2006.)


The Diversity Health Institute Clearinghouse, funded by the New South Wales Government, provides a central access point for information on multicultural health in Australia, including resources, services, research projects, education and training opportunities, events and publications. The DHIC website contains translated health information in over 50 languages, as well as links to relevant websites and discussion groups. The clearinghouse was officially launched in July 2005. For further information, contact the Diversity Health Institute Clearinghouse, Locked Bag 7118, Parramatta BC, NSW 2150; ph: (02) 9840 3318; fax: (02) 9840 3319; email: clearinghouse[AT]; website: (Source: DHIC website, accessed 29 June 2006.)

'Of Substance' -- the free quarterly magazine on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD) issues in Australia -- has a new website: For those not aware of the magazine, 'Of Substance' features the latest news, debate, research and best practice treatment in the ATOD field. The website provides access to present and past 'Of Substance' issues and articles in PDF format and links to related information, resources and organisations. You can also subscribe to free hard copies of the magazine from the site. The launch of the website coincides with the July 2006 issue of the magazine, which features articles on methamphetamines, cannabis use in Indigenous communities, the impact of the WorkChoices legislation on the ATOD sector and much more. For further information, contact the 'Of Substance' staff: 66 Bay St, Ultimo NSW 2007; ph: (02) 9280 3240; fax: (02) 9281 7297; email: editor[AT] (editorial matters); distribution[AT] (subscription matters). (Source: 'Of Substance' website, accessed 5 July 2006.)


The June edition of 'YAPRap', the newsletter of the Youth Action and Policy Association NSW contains a feature on Daniel Donahoo, a young man whose experiences as a parent at the age of 23 led him to become an advocate for the rights of young parents. As part of a fellowship with the public policy think-tank Ozprospect, Donahoo drafted a background paper called 'Young parents: Capable, mature and articulating their needs' as a way to address demographic stereotypes of young parents as 'wayward youth' and 'welfare bludgers'. He has also drawn up a funding proposal to hold a young parents' forum for young parents to share ideas and to gather information for his advocacy work. Three such forums will be held around NSW in August and September 2006, supported by the NSW Government. For further information, contact Daniel Donahoo: (mob) 0414 306 275; email: donahoo[AT]; website: (Source: 'YAPRap', v.16, n.6, 2006, pp.8-9.)


'The 2009 Project' is a non-partisan youth-led campaign that aims to get every eligible person under the age of 35 to vote at the next UK general election in 2009. The campaign is attempting to address the poor turnout among young voters in the 2001 and 2005 general elections, and to ensure that youth issues are on the political agenda for the next election. The project has received the support of 95 British MPs, including the UK's youngest MP, Jo Swinson. An estimated 13 million people under 35 will be eligible to vote in the 2009 general election. For more information or to view a running total of the number of pledges received thus far, visit (Source: 'The Edge', n.12, winter, 2006, p.5.)


To coincide with International Anti-Poverty Day on Tuesday 17 October, Anti-Poverty Week (APW) 2006 runs from Sunday 15 October until Saturday 21 October. APW focuses on poverty around the world, especially in the poorest countries but also in wealthier countries such as Australia. Its main aims are to strengthen public understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty and hardship around the world and within Australia, and to encourage research, discussion and action to address these problems, including action by individuals, communities, organisations and governments. A number of activities such as public lectures, workshops, book launches, conferences, displays, media briefings and other events have already been organised for APW, but everyone who wants to help reduce poverty and hardship is encouraged to organise their own APW activities or join in with those being organised by others. The activities can be large or small, and activities at local levels are especially welcome. It would be very helpful if organisers could provide details of their plans for posting on the website (listed below) to encourage participation and stimulate action by other people. The website also includes basic fact sheets, promotional material and links to sources of information and ideas about ways to reduce poverty and hardship. To register planned activities, or for further information, please contact the APW organisers: ph: 1300 797 290; email: apw[AT]; website: (Source: APW website, viewed 12 July 2006.)


Relationships are an important part of many young people's lives. Yet
relationships do not always work out the way we would like them to. The 'Young People and Relationships' project is a University of Melbourne PhD research study exploring young people's (aged 13--24) views and experiences of relationships, with a particular focus on relationship pressures and violence. Their views and thoughts are gathered anonymously. The project aims to inform both sexuality education and also measures to prevent sexual pressure and coercion in relationships. For more information about the study, or to participate, see the project website or contact Anastasia Powell (PhD Researcher, University of Melbourne) ph: 0415 461 834 to request an information pack to be sent to your postal address. (Source: 'Young People and Relationships' project website viewed 13 July 2006.)


An opinion piece by Lisa Pryor in the June edition of 'YAPRap', the newsletter of the Youth Action and Policy Association NSW Inc, ponders the elasticity with which the term 'youth' is used nowadays. Pryor says that while the term 'youth' once referred only to teenagers, Australian youth initiatives such as the National Youth Roundtable, National Youth Week, and the Australian Agency for International Development's Youth Ambassadors Program include young people up to the ages of 24, 25 and 30 respectively under the 'youth' umbrella. Unable to find a more appropriate term than 'youth' for young people 'who have finished school but have not yet entered their 30s', Pryor nevertheless rejects the application of the term 'youth' to this demographic: '[T]o lump twentysomethings in the same category as 12-year-olds is to do a disservice to adults who hold down jobs, vote and pay their own bills' (Source: 'YAPRap', v.16, n.6, June 2006, pp.10-11.)

Workers from The Second Story youth health service in South Australia regularly take part in 'Fresh Forum', a youth issues discussion program on Fresh FM, a youth-oriented community radio station in Adelaide (92.7FM on your dial). These discussions are now being made available online via the South Australian Child and Youth Health website: At present there are two discussions ready to download: 'Safe partying' and 'Being young and same sex attracted'. More podcasts will be made available soon. Fresh Forum is broadcast each Sunday from 7pm--9pm, SA time. For further information, contact Shane Curley, Community Health Worker/Youth Writer, The Second Story, Children, Youth and Women's Health Service (South Australia): ph: (08) 8326 6053; fax: (08) 8326 7232; website:; Fresh FM website: (Source: Curley, S., email, 12 July 2006 Shane.Curley[AT] .)


Heywire is an ABC Radio script-writing competition held each year for 16--22-year-old Australians living in rural and regional areas. Entrants are required to write an engaging script for a short radio piece relating to their experiences in rural or regional Australia. Winners have their scripts recorded and broadcast on ABC Local Radio, Radio National, Radio Australia and Triple J. Winners also attend the Heywire Youth Issues Forum, held at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra each February. The Heywire website provides a page of links to rural and regional youth websites. Entries for Heywire 2006 close on 1 September. For further details and to download an entry form, visit the Heywire website (Source: Heywire website viewed 13 July 2006.)

The SWY programme is a unique international cultural exchange program sponsored by the Government of Japan. Eleven young Australians, aged 18--30 years will have an opportunity to join youth from across the world on board the Japanese 'Nippon Maru' ocean liner. Activities include Japanese home-stays, Tokyo tours and meetings; as well as ports of call in Fiji, Tonga and Australia. Youth from all over Australia are encouraged to apply, including young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, young people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds and youth from rural and remote Australia. Applications open on Saturday 15 July and close on Friday 4 August -- only hard-copy applications will be accepted. For further information, visit (Source: FaCSIA email, viewed 13 July 2006.)

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