2016 YOUth MATTERs Forum review


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The Bathurst YOUth MATTERs forum was held at CSU on 29 November 2016, with 180 year 9 and 10 students from 6 high schools in the area. The forum was organised by the headspace Bathurst Youth Reference Group, Western NSW Local Health District (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) and Future Moves CSU.

Students were welcomed by MC Dan Aubin, lecturer at CSU and circus performer, who engaged the crowd with backflips and enthusiasm. Keynote speaker, Romy Listo, flew down from Queensland to present on respectful relationships, focusing specifically on consent in a range of contexts. Student feedback at the end of the day revealed that her core messages had a significant impact, with many of their comments describing what they were going to change in their lives. Some of these are listed below! Following this, a panel of three – Romy Listo, Nicole Johnson (headspace Bathurst) and Jen Syme (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) – answered some important questions that had been texted in anonymously by the audience.

Later in the day, students participated in a range of workshops run by various local specialists. These included: Rent it, keep it; Communication styles; Police powers and fines; Theatre; A day in the life of a uni student; Yoga; The many faces of anger; Mindfulness; Food and nutrition; and The highs and lows of drug use.

Students enjoyed the opportunity to visit CSU, some for the first time. The hot lunch was a highlight for many!

Survey feedback

Students’ responses to: One step I will take towards healthier relationships is:

  • Making sure I have their consent.
    Everyone has their own opinions and a right to say NO.
    Always ask for consent even if it's a little thing.
    I understand that I need to be respectful and respected.
    Ensuring that my relationships are built around mutual respect.
    Being kind to everyone I meet, even if they are rude to me.
    I will know when they're being respectful and I will seek respect.
    Always ask for consent even if it's a little thing.
    Try and communicate more with friends and family.
    Respecting other people's feelings and asking them beforehand for their permission.
    Ask consent for photos of friends.
    To listen and respect people's opinions and to take them into consideration.
    I will take little steps at a time.
    Having more respect for my partner.
    Asking what is okay for their comfort zone.

Many thanks to all those who contributed by volunteering their time, finances and in-kind support.

The YOUth MATTERs forum was supported by a $2000 Clubs NSW Grant.

The YOUth MATTERs forum was also sponsored by the following local businesses and organisations:

  • Gold Sponsor: Bernardis IGA
  • Silver Sponsor: Bathurst Correctional Complex
  • Silver Sponsor:  Reliance Credit Union

The YOUth MATTERs committee would also like to thank Woolworths Bathurst for contributing items towards morning tea and providing fruit for a healthy snack and Office Works for providing a contribution towards stationary items.

Thank you to each of the schools and their staff for supporting this event, and to the students for participating with energy and enthusiasm. We hope that this forum will be a roving one, possibly being held in Orange in 2017. For more information, please contact Jen Syme at 6369 7320.

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