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Youth Field Xpress

ISSN 1440-8651
Issue n.120, August 2006

In this issue:

ACYS news: What's coming up in the September issue of Youth Studies Australia

























Youth Field Xpress, August 2006

ACYS news

Coming up in the next issue of our journal

We have a very interesting 'bag of mixed lollies' in this issue of 'Youth Studies Australia'. It begins by focusing our attention on the current and future work situations of youth workers, then shifts our gaze to research that identifies a range of aspects of young people's behaviour that result in negative outcomes for them, their peers and their fellow community members. However, all is not doom and gloom as the authors suggest means of encouraging young people to behave in more responsible, positive ways.

In his article, 'Going bush: Youth work in rural settings', Howard Sercombe reveals why youth work in rural Australia can be rewarding not only for young clients, but also for the youth workers, who may experience a greater sense of agency, the support of community and more tangible results for their efforts.

In the paper, 'Youth work in schools: Should youth workers also be teachers?? Tim Corney suggests that youth workers in schools face new challenges as governments plan to blur the distinctions between teachers and youth workers and to place more youth workers in schools.

'Just boys being boys'? Leanne Dalley-Trim asks us to consider the dangers of legitimising commonsense understandings of gender that encourage boys to adopt a hegemonic version of masculinity that is both misogynistic and limiting to boys.

In 'Bully/victim students and classroom climate', Shoko Yoneyama and Ken Rigby report on their research that suggests that teachers may be able to reduce bullying by identifying students who are unhappy in the classroom.

'Responsible drinking knowledge: A comparison of Australian apprentices and university students' is a paper by Nicki Dowling, David Clark and Tim Corney which discusses their research project involving university students which revealed that there are considerable gaps in young people's knowledge in regard to responsible drinking.

In the paper, 'Ring, ring, why did I make that call? Mobile phone beliefs and behaviour among Australian university students', Shari Walsh and Katherine White report on the behaviour of university students in regard to mobile phone use. They find that many young people have no qualms about engaging in inappropriate phone use, such as talking on their phones while driving or in a movie theatre.

To subscribe to the journal, see:


Family violence and child abuse resources

The Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care has a new section of resources on their web site for those working to prevent family violence, child abuse and neglect and sexual assault in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. See the SNAICC website at:


Tasmanian U-Turn pilot program

The Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies at the University of Tasmania has an occasional newsletter called ?TILES News?, and the current issue has a report of their evaluation of U-Turn, a diversionary program for youth aged 15-20 years who are at risk of becoming involved in motor vehicle theft or who have a history of involvement in motor vehicle theft. Participants undertake a 10-week car maintenance and bodywork course in conjunction with other measures such as ?case management and personal development; links to employment and further education; recreational activities; literacy and numeracy education; road safety education and post-course support?. The TILES evaluation of the project found that U-Turn played a very positive role in ?bringing about a shift in the lives of the majority of program participants?, shown by the fact that just 15 per cent of U-Turn graduates were involved in motor vehicle theft since participating in the program. The report is available from the TILES website: . (Source: ?TILES News?, n.2, June 2006, p.3)


Generation Y students choose careers based on their interests rather than money

A major national study conducted by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) for The Smith Family has revealed that many Generation Y Australian students are choosing careers based on their interests and not on money. 'On track? Students choosing a career' is the fourth in a series of reports conducted by ACER for The Smith Family that investigates the study and career plans of disadvantaged youth. The study of more than 1300 Year 11 and 12 students receiving support from The Smith Family?s Learning for Life program found that a sizeable income is not a factor when it comes to considering tertiary studies. Rather, it is how closely a career path aligns with their interests and abilities that is the deciding factor. The report is available at:

Interestingly, Australians' attitude of preferring something more fulfilling than the pursuit of wealth is the subject of the editorial to 'Brotherhood Comment' August 2006, 'Could the era of the common good be upon us?' (Brotherhood of St Laurence, ).


Implementing Communities that care: a UK evaluation

'AICrime reduction matters', n. 48: Implementing Communities That Care: a UK evaluation, ISSN 1448-1383;
Communities That Care (CTC) is a socio-developmental model of community crime prevention planning that draws on the risk and protective factor theory. This theory arose from studies that associate certain conditions in a child's life with the likelihood of problem behaviour in later years. The CTC model prescribes a series of assessment, training and community capacity building activities for a range of evidence-based interventions. In the UK, the CTC model was trialled in three areas. The evaluation focused on implementation and intermediate outcomes, and found that CTC failed in two of three areas, but CTC showed some overall promise in those areas in which it was successfully implemented. A successful implementation in local communities was shown to depend upon appropriate measures of 'community readiness'; coordination and management structures to be in place from the start; communication and consultation; sustained funding; and management of staff turnover. This evaluation highlights the important role of implementation evaluation. For more information on the Australian implementation of CTC through the Centre for Adolescent Health, see:


Rock and Water program

The August 2006 issue of ?YAPRap?, the newsletter of the NSW peak youth body, the Youth Action and Policy Association, includes a feature on the Rock and Water program which links self-defence and physical exercise with mental and social skills in order to build self-control, self-confidence and self-respect among young people. Developed originally in the Netherlands to improve boys? physical and social development and to reduce bullying and violent behaviour among boys, the program is now offered to both boys and girls in a wide range of contexts in Australia. The ?YAPRap? article includes examples of how the program is being successfully used by NSW youth workers to help high school students, rural youth and Sudanese migrant youth. For further information on the program itself, visit
The inaugural Australian Rock and Water Conference is being held in Newcastle, NSW on 16 October 2006. For further information on this conference, contact Michelle Gifford, Family Action Centre, University of Newcastle, ph: (02) 4921 6830.(Source: ?YAPRap?, v.16, n.8, 2006, pp.6-8)


All different, all equal

Ten years ago there was a European campaign against racism and discrimination based on skin colour. 'We have something different now. We have a campaign for participation, human rights and diversity', said Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, launching the European youth campaign, 'All different -- all equal'. The campaign, running from June 2006 to September 2007, is being organised by the Council of Europe in collaboration with the European Youth Forum and the European Commission. See:


New dual diagnosis screening tool

The Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre has developed a new dual diagnosis screening tool called PsyCheck. The much-needed screening tool is currently being distributed throughout the alcohol and drug sector in Australia. See: (Source: ?ADCA News?, Issue 31, July/August 2006, p.10)

Summing up the fifth International Conference on Drugs and Young People

This conference was held in Sydney in May and attracted 400 delegates from Australia and overseas. The keynote speaker was Howard Parker, an Emeritus Professor at Manchester University, who spoke about the shift towards harm reduction policies to combat drug use among young people in Britain. Other speakers focused on topics such as monitoring young people?s alcohol and drug use, alcohol promotion, and peer-led responses to drug issues. The conference was organised by the Australian Drug Foundation, with support from the Ted Noffs Foundation and the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand. Copies of papers presented at the conference are available from the Australian Drug Foundation website: (Source: ?ADCA News?, Issue 31, July/August 2006, p.10)

Seeking help: alcohol and cannabis users top the list

When Australians seek treatment for substance use, the substances that top the list are alcohol and cannabis, according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The report, 'Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2004-05' contains profiles from 635 government-funded alcohol and other drug treatment agencies across Australia. One in three of the 142,144 treatment episodes examined were for clients aged 20-29 years of age, and the majority (two in three) were males. After alcohol and cannabis, the next most common drugs of concern were heroin and amphetamines. Counselling was the most commonly provided treatment overall, followed by detoxification. (The national data set did not include agencies whose sole activity is to prescribe and/or dose methadone or other opioid therapies.) More on the AIHW website at:


Dusseldorp Skills Forum: What?s mainstream? Conventional and unconventional learning in Logan

What?s working and what isn?t in the world of education? Jenni Connor reports the views of dozens of students and educators in conventional and unconventional settings in Logan on the outskirts of Brisbane. An intriguing insight into what is really happening in our schools and beyond. Download the report as a PDF document from:

DSF asks: What?s different?

During early May 2006, the Dusseldorp Skills Forum conducted an online survey of more than 160 schools, TAFEs, community programs and initiatives that provide unconventional learning options for young Australians. The survey included 45 per cent of programs auspiced by schools; 11 per cent by TAFE and 23 per cent by a community based welfare or social agency. There were three police or juvenile justice agency programs, four adult and community education programs, and 28 programs not auspiced by any of the above. Some of the initiatives were long-standing programs, with 15 per cent of them having operated for more than a decade. A further 26 per cent had begun between 1995 and 2000, and all the others began after 2000, with 18 per cent having begun in the past 18 months. A key issue to emerge from the survey was the frustration felt at the low level of recognition and funding that these educational settings receive, despite the role they performed in educating those not served by mainstream settings. The survey brought to light some of the most important program needs in these alternative settings were: securing sustainable funding, retaining and developing staff, and improved partnerships with schools and employers. Only nine programs rated rigorous evaluation as a most important need.
The main results of this DSF survey of unconventional learning programs is available online as a WORD document from:

Training for the labour market with VET

Registration has opened for NCVER's research forum 'A well-skilled future: Tailoring VET to the emerging labour market', which will take place on Friday 24 November 2006 at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. Based on the results of a two-year research program by researchers from the National Institute of Labour Studies and the Centre for Post-compulsory Education and Lifelong Learning, the one-day forum will focus on the expected future in which the VET system will operate. For further information, or to download a registration form, see NCVER's website at: The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) is a not-for-profit company owned by the federal, state and territory ministers responsible for training.


Launch Pad Grants

The Foundation for Young Australians is now offering Launch Pad Grants to support young people involved in community development initiatives. The aim of Launch Pad Grants is for young people and organisations to work together to develop and implement a creative idea that results in meaningful change for young people aged 12-25 years. Applications close on Tuesday 12 September 2006. For details, see:

Living in Harmony grants

The Australian Government is inviting groups including not-for-profit community organisations, schools and local government bodies to apply for a share of $1.5 million to help promote national harmony. The Living in Harmony grants aim to help local communities to develop projects that promote Australian values, address intolerance and build mutual respect. Applications must be lodged with the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs by 25 August 2006. See: or phone the Living in Harmony hotline, 1800 453 004.


Teens? sleep needs examined

The winter 2006 edition of ?TeenMatters?, the parenting magazine for parents with teenagers, contains a feature by health promotion consultant Thea O?Connor on the unique sleep requirements of teenagers and the impact that sleep deprivation can have on their lives. Developmental changes in teenagers? physiology, consumption of caffeine and energy drinks, high television, computer and phone use and the demands of study and extra-curricular activities are all factors that can reduce the amount of sleep teenagers get. O?Connor says that sleep deprivation can affect teenagers by causing ?irritability, frustration, reduced concentration, poor motor coordination and a weakened immune system?. The article lists seven strategies that parents can implement to help their teenage children get enough sleep, including encouraging tired teenagers to take an after-school nap and introducing an hour of screen-free and food-free time before bed. ?TeenMatters? is published by Youth Off The Streets. (Source: ?TeenMatters?, winter 2006, pp.62-64.)


MCEETYA recommendations

Indigenous education was one of the matters discussed at the 20th meeting of the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA). MCEETYA ministers agreed to improve Indigenous education outcomes by agreeing to a major series of recommendations that encompass the full range of Indigenous education experience, from early childhood to transition to training, employment and higher education. The recommendations, contained in the paper 'Australian Directions in Indigenous Education 2005-2008' include:
* school-community partnerships in schools with significant indigenous student populations;
* development of professional learning programs for school leaders and teachers to help improve outcomes for indigenous students; and
* strategies to retain and attract quality principals and teachers to schools in Indigenous communities.
For Further information, contact Marnie Stitz at Queensland's Office of the Minister for Education and the Arts, ph: (07) 3237 1000, or contact the MCEETYA Secretariat via email: [email protected], ph: (03) 9639 0588.

International perspectives

International Youth Day was celebrated on 12 August 2006

Since 2000, 12 August has been declared International Youth Day by the United Nations. This year's theme was 'Tackling poverty together', and aimed to get young people involved in eradicating the conditions that see their peers around the world living in poverty. 'International Youth Day 2006 presents an opportunity to invite all stakeholders to tackle poverty together by ensuring that young people receive the attention they deserve in global, national and local efforts to eradicate poverty.' See:

Mental health

More early intervention needed for youth mental health in New Zealand

New research into mental health services in New Zealand has found that more early intervention services would mean fewer teenagers and young adults would end up in acute inpatient services. Each year, 18,000 people aged between 18 and 29 use New Zealand's mental health services. The research, undertaken by Dr Hilary Lapsley and Dr Heather Barnett, reveals that young adults can be driven into mental health crises because they are not accessing mental health services early enough. Their new book, 'Journeys of despair, journeys of hope: Young adults talk about severe mental distress, mental health services and recovery', is based on in-depth interviews with 40 young people. Their research shows that a wider range of services is needed, including home-based services and services appropriate for young adults, such as psychotherapy. See:


MCEETYA meeting

State, Territory and Commonwealth ministers with responsibility for education, employment, training and youth affairs met in Brisbane on 6 and 7 July for the 20th meeting of the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA). An information sheet is available at:

EU youth policy

Those interested in youth policy issues in general might be interested in the Youth Knowledge Net portal -- 'a single entry point to retrieve accurate up-to-date research-based information in a user friendly manner on the realities of youth across Europe'. There you can find the European Knowledge Centre for Youth Policy. See: Currently they have a call for tenders for a study on the socioeconomic scope of European youth work, with the aim of bringing youth work and learning to the foreground and so increase the 'visibility and recognition of its contribution to European youth work'.


The impact of young motherhood

This is the title and the topic of a paper written by Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) Senior Research Fellow Dr Bruce Bradbury. It outlines current research into the socioeconomic disadvantages faced by young mothers -- disadvantages which often continue to affect these women and their families for many years. Research currently being completed by the SPRC is investigating whether these disadvantages are a direct result of having children at a young age or whether the ?fertility patterns? of young mothers are a product of their social backgrounds. Each of these ?causal mechanisms? for socioeconomic disadvantage among young mothers has distinctive implications for the development of policies to support young mothers. (In this research, the term ?young mother? refers both to teenage mothers and to mothers aged from 20 to 24 years, who experience similar socioeconomic disadvantages to teenage mothers. Approximately nine in 10 teenage mothers and seven in 10 mothers aged 20 to 24 years received income support payments in 2003.) Using data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women?s Health (ALSWH), SPRC researchers found that socioeconomic disadvantage among young mothers was primarily the result of ?selection effect?, whereby ?women with characteristics that mean they are less likely to do well in education and the labour market are more likely to undertake (or be subjected to) behaviour that might lead to pregnancy and less likely to have a termination if they do get pregnant?. These findings indicate that, rather than introducing policies to directly discourage these young women from having children, policies to assist these women?s educational and labour market opportunities would be of greater benefit. (Source: ?SPRC Newsletter?, n.93, July 2006, pp.1,4-6.)


The Spirit of Generation Y

Fewer than half of Australia?s Generation Y (born 1976-1990) identifies with a traditional religion, a three-year study of youth spirituality in Australia has found.
The Spirit of Generation Y project (2003-2006), conducted by Monash University, the Australian Catholic University and the Christian Research Association, found Generation Y relies on family and friends as the sources of its beliefs, values and social support. The study explored Generation Y?s world views and values, sense of meaning and purpose in life, ways in which they found peace and happiness, involvement in traditional religions and alternative spiritualities, and the influences that shaped Generation Y?s outlook and lifestyle.
The project surveyed 1272 people in their teens and 20s. The results were compared with groups from Generation X (born 1961-75) and the ?Baby Boomer? generation (1946-60). Overall, researchers found that less than half of Australia?s Generation Y believed in a God, a third were unsure and one in five did not believe in a God. The study also identified three main strands of spirituality among Generation Y?s -- Christian (44 per cent), humanist (31 per cent) and eclectic (17 per cent). Eclectic spirituality included New Age, esoteric or Eastern beliefs. Some 27 per cent of those surveyed were involved in some kind of volunteer work per month.
Generation Y Christians have moved away from formal church participation, with only one in five attending religious services once a month or more. The majority of humanists surveyed believed that there was little truth in religion and largely rejected alternative spiritualities such as Buddhism. Those with an ?eclectic? spirituality -- more common among young women -- believed in two or more New Age, esoteric or Eastern beliefs (including belief in reincarnation, psychics and fortune tellers, ghosts, astrology) and took part in alternative spiritual practices such as yoga, tarot and tai-chi. Some attended religious services, but most did not. A summary of the 'Spirit of Generation Y' report summary can be viewed at: . (Source: Monash University 2006, ?Study reveals spirit of Australia?s Generation Y?, media release, 3 August, viewed 11 August 2006, )


A new face for social science research: SOSIG becomes Intute

Intute is the new face of the Resource Discovery Network (RDN), of which the Social Science Information Gateway (SOSIG) was a part. Intute aims to promote the most intelligent use of the Internet, and provides a range of support materials and tools for both academics and students. See:
Intute is a free online service providing access to excellent web resources for education and research. The service is created by a network of UK universities and partners, a consortium that brings together the expertise of people and processes, with subject specialists who select and evaluate the websites in the Intute database and write high-quality descriptions of the resources. The database contains 113,426 records.


'Belfast 2006: The Right Justice'

A major world congress dedicated to promoting the rights of children is taking place in Belfast, Northern Ireland, later this month. Held under the aegis of the International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates, 'Belfast 2006: The Right Justice' is the subtitle of the XVII World Congress of the International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates, and will be held on 27 August 2006 to 1 September 2006. A multi-disciplinary event, it aims to attract both members of the judiciary and all those court-connected professionals whose work supports children, families and youth justice. Delegates will include judges, magistrates, lawyers (CPD points will be accorded), psychiatrists, psychologists, policy-makers, representatives from government departments, police, academics, social scientists, human rights organisations, welfare agencies and community groups. Issues touching on the administration of justice as it affects the main influences on children and youth -- family, community, society and youth justice -- will be considered within the context of a set of themes that reflect the rights enshrined in the 'United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child' and other relevant international instruments. Judge Andrew Becroft, Principal Youth Court Judge for New Zealand, is one of the keynote speakers. Contact details and further information is available at:

'Human writes' and 'Rights in perspective' competitions deadlines extended to 1 September 2006

The new deadline for the Human Writes essay competition and the Rights in Perspective art competition is 1 September 2006. See their website at: or email: [email protected] or: [email protected] or ph: (02) 9284 9635.


Rural youth speak out through Heywire

Heywire, ABC Radio's excellent competition for rural youth, is on again and the closing date for entries is 1 September 2006. The annual competition is an opportunity for rural youth aged 16 - 22 to air their feelings about what's important to them from the perspective of regional and rural Australia. Their ideas and writing are broadcast across national ABC radio stations, including Triple J, over summer. Winning contestants get to go to Canberra for five days to attend the Heywire Youth Issues Forum in February 2007, and stay at the Australian Institute of Sport along with other Heywirers from all over Australia. Organisers say they are not so much looking for great story writing as for good ideas that will work well on radio. See: or phone 1800 26 26 46 for details. (Source: Leonie Swarbrick, ABC Radio Heywire, ph: (03) 8412 8007.)


Suicide Prevention Australia: LiFe Awards Nominations

Nominations for the 2006 LiFe Awards close on 18 August 2006. Please note that the LiFe Awards has a 'youth' category. The 2006 LiFe Awards will be announced on World Suicide Prevention Day, 10 September 2006. If you personally know of any group or individual doing great work in the area of suicide prevention, then why not recognise them for their work by nominating them for the 2006 LiFe Awards. Nominations can be made in the following categories:
. youth
. Indigenous
. research
. healthy communities
. public sector
. business and industry
. responsible media reporting print
. responsible media reporting non-print
Flyer and nomination form can be obtained via email, contact: [email protected] or contact Ryan McGlaughlin, Executive Officer, Suicide Prevention Australia, ph: (02) 9568 3111 More information on the LiFe Awards can be found on

Funding for local community-based suicide prevention activities

Tenders were announced recently for the National Suicide Prevention Strategy (NSPS) Community Based Projects. 'Funding under the strategy will be provided to support local community-based suicide prevention activities that contribute to outcomes specified in the strategic framework Living Is For Everyone (LIFE): A framework for prevention of suicide and self-harm in Australia.' The closing date for applications is 22 August 2006. Besides focusing on at-risk groups, the NSPS focuses on suicide prevention activities throughout the lifespan and helps to develop and enhance existing services and programs with governments, business, non-government and community organisations that support people at risk of suicide and self-harm. See the LIFE website at: For guidelines and application forms, see the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing website, (Source: AICAFMHA,, and the AUSEINET website.)


South African study on youth living in violent environment

A study by South Africa's Center for Justice and Crime Prevention, released in May 2006, has found that one in seven young people in South Africa have been the victims of an assault, and one in 10 have been robbed. Of the 4,409 young people surveyed, 41.5 per cent had been victims of crime between September 2004 and September 2005. One in 10 youth reported having had a family member who committed crime, and more than two out of five reported having had a family member in jail.
The center?s research director Patrick Burton said that victimisation of children and youth itself increased the victim's risk of being drawn into violent, deviant or criminal behaviour. The study found that more than a fifth of the young people surveyed lived in homes where domestic violence between caregivers or parents was commonplace. Almost one in two young people knew someone in their community who was involved in criminal activities. More than one in four knew people who made a living from crime. Consequences for victims included the inability to form healthy interpersonal relationships, underperformance at school, depression, anxiety and social withdrawal. As there had been no previous surveys of a similar kind, Burton said it was difficult to say whether or not South Africa was getting more dangerous, but 'what we can say is that there are very few safe places left for young people'. Source:


The Young Achievement Australia Trade Expo

Sponsored by the Victorian Government and the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre, this expo will be held from 11a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre on Saturday 19 August 2006. Through the Young Achievement Australia Business Skills Program, student groups are putting their creativity to the test and starting up their own businesses. Young Achievement Australia is a national independent non-government not-for profit organisation. Contact: Janeene Payne, Program Coordinator, Young Achievement Australia, ph: (03) 9650 2923; email: [email protected]


Youth work, youth research and policy intersect

'The lives of many young people are shaped by conflict and by the often conflicted worlds of home, school, work and community. The approach to ?youth? in Western society is exemplified by concerns about declining values, identity formation, territoriality and association, subculture and deviance. In too many places around the world, oppression, struggle and violence provide the context for the lived experience of many young people.
'Whilst the negative flow in state and media interventions is often against these young people, youth work is routinely engaged in an enterprise which seeks to associate with them in ways that develop their voice, assert their rights and afford the possibility of different futures.'
So reads the web introduction to a conference coming up in Scotland soon. 'Different Futures: An international conference on young people: risk, resilience and resistance' is taking place on 7 to 10 September 2006 at the University of Strathclyde?s Jordanhill Campus in the city of Glasgow. The event will be of interest to those who are concerned about work with young people, including practitioners, academics and policy-makers. The key concepts are related to risk, resilience and resistance; the aim is to share and promote critical and practical ideas that connect to the ways in which young people accommodate, deal with and move within, between and away from conflicting worlds. See:

Duty of care, law and ethics in youth work

Youth Action and Policy Association (YAPA) NSW Communications Officer Nick Manning has compiled a series of fact sheets on legal and ethical issues faced by youth workers. Titled ?Is it ok? Duty of care, law and ethics in NSW youth work: A guide to common legal and ethical dilemmas?, the fact sheets deal with topics such as having contact with a young person outside of work, sharing client information with other agencies and reporting client crimes to police. The introductory fact sheet, published in the August 2006 issue of ?YAPRap?, explains the concepts of duty of care, ethics and professional practice and how these concepts operate in relation to the laws, standards and guidelines that currently govern youth work in NSW. It also includes weblinks to further information on these topics. The full set of fact sheets can be downloaded from the YAPA website: . (Source: ?YAPRap?, v.16, n.8, 2006, pp.9-12.)

ACT event on a strength's-based approach to youth work

On 21 to 22 September 2006, the Youth Coalition of the ACT will hold the 'From strength to strength' conference at the Canberra Business Promotion Centre, Regatta Point, Commonwealth Park , ACT. The conference will explore young people's strengths: 'Working from a strengths-based approach means that we believe that young people have strengths and resources for their own empowerment. The event coincides with the 10th anniversary of this peak's formation. Academics, youth workers, researchers and young people are invited to register for the conference, ph: (02) 6247 3540; email: [email protected] or see:


New people are coming into the youth field all the time, and sometimes, background information is as useful for them as 'newsy' information. (Others may also have had their heads down working so hard that they missed some aspects of news!) For these reasons, we are starting a new section in this newsletter called Did you know? If you have a product or service that has been around so long that people may have stopped talking about you, let the YFX editors know and we might select you to be featured in this slot.

Did you know about NYARS reports?

Our first feature for this section is a long-standing series of reports known as the NYARS reports. In Australia, the National Youth Affairs Research Scheme operates under the auspices of the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) -- which chooses the topics for the annual NYARS research program from a short-list developed collaboratively by jurisdictions. The Australian Government, through the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, provides half of NYARS' annual funding, and the States and Territories contribute the rest on a pro rata basis determined by their youth populations. Up until 2004, the Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies was the publisher of NYARS reports. The report series continues, and is available online in full text on the FaCSIA website at:

What's the DSF?

The Dusseldorp Skills Forum is an independent, not-for-profit body with a mission to achieve changes needed to enable all Australians to reach their potential through the acquisition of productive skills. In particular, the forum seeks to improve the learning and work transitions of young Australians by cooperating with communities, industry, government and non-government organisations to generate ideas, research, tools and information, and to build networks of common interest. This forum is about innovation and change and active engagement with the contemporary worlds of learning and work. 'DSF finances its own work. We are not a grant-giving body. We are not simply a think tank that has no connection to practice. We're interested in better ideas certainly, but not in ideas alone.' The Forum was established in 1988 on the retirement of G J Dusseldorp, founder of the Lend Lease Group of Companies. See:

More acronyms explained: see: