Teenagers to show us what they really think about alcohol in Horsham

Published on 11 May 2018

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Parents, carers and teenagers will have the chance to gain an insight into the region’s alcohol culture at a performance and information night coordinated by Horsham Rural City Council’s Youth CAN (Changing Alcohol Norms) project and local schools.

The Youth CAN project seeks to see more people socially supporting one another to reduce risky drinking, resulting in reduced harm for themselves, their family and friends, those in the vicinity and the broader community.

The event is in response to local community insights from the Youth CAN project, and a recent Wimmera Drug Action Taskforce survey where 74% of Wimmera people said there wasn’t enough alcohol and drug information provided locally.

The community performance and information night will feature comedian Fiona O’Loughlin as special guest speaker along with short plays performed by Year 10 students and information from local alcohol and other drug services in the region.

Ms O’Loughlin, the recent winner of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! will discuss how she has overcome a serious alcohol addiction and made positive change in her life.

“We are very excited to have Fiona O’Loughlin attending the information evening as she has an inspiring story to tell about overcoming addiction and will encourage our message that ‘It’s OK to say No’,” Council’s Director, Community Services Kevin O’Brien said.

The Youth CAN project has worked closely with St Brigid’s College on a performance based education series that complements the existing Alcohol and other Drugs (AOD) curriculum. Year 10 students will be involved in a full day play writing and performance workshop with professional actor and theatre maker Jim Lawson.

Mr O’Brien said the play workshop sought to find out more about alcohol culture in Horsham, particularly with regard to peer pressure and our communities relationship with alcohol.

“These workshops will give students the opportunity to think about, talk about, write about and perform short plays as a means of communicating what they feel the biggest problems are through performance.” Mr O’Brien said.

The performance and information night will be held on Friday 22 June at Horsham Town Hall (Heritage Hall) from 6pm until 9pm. Entry is free, however a ticket is required and can be obtained from the Horsham Town Hall website: horshamtownhall.com.au/hthevent/its-ok-to-say-no-information-night/

The Youth CAN project is part of the VicHealth Alcohol Culture Change Initiative which aims to change cultures of risky drinking in Victoria.