Teenagers’ Positive Stories Lead to Positive Choices

Personal and positive experiences young First Nations people shared in a national storytelling competition will be used to develop a new health and wellbeing program for students, aimed at preventing drug and alcohol use.

Page last updated: 07 June 2018

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7 June 2018

Personal and positive experiences young First Nations people shared in a national storytelling competition will be used to develop a new health and wellbeing program for students, aimed at preventing drug and alcohol use.

Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt AM today announced the three winners of the competition, run as part of UNSW Sydney’s Positive Choices Program, funded by the Turnbull Government.

“Their stories are heartfelt and engaging and I congratulate Emily, Jacob and Clair for having the courage and taking the time to share them,” said Minister Wyatt.

“The competition unearthed many moving and uplifting stories about role models, positive turning points in young people’s lives, overcoming drug or alcohol use and resisting peer pressure.

“The entries received show the intrinsic value of connection to country, community and culture in helping our children to make positive choices throughout their lives.”

Emily (14) - who is from Tasmania’s Flinders Island – told how learning to make traditional shell necklaces connected her with Elders and her culture.

Jacob (14), from New South Wales, related the pride in his culture that he learned from a teenage mentor, while Clair (13), also from New South Wales, explained how her difficult decision to remain at her current school ended up increasing her strength and resolve.

“I look forward to these personal stories helping to engage lots of young people because they are about issues that many can relate to,” said Minister Wyatt.

“The storytelling competition has been a great success and will inform the creation of an online, cartoon-based drug and alcohol prevention program.”

The Positive Choices program develops and distributes evidence-based information, resources and school curriculum material to prevent harm from drug and alcohol use among young Australians, with the University of New South Wales receiving more than $3.9 million in Commonwealth funding to support the program since 2011.

All the entered stories are available online at the Positive Choices website.

Media contact: Nick Way, Media Adviser 0419 835 449

Authorised by Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Member for Hasluck.

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