Bringing action to town

Brianna Martin on the right working in her group with fellow group member Jarrod Sansom and mentor Rhianna Patrick. Photo supplied
Brianna Martin on the right working in her group with fellow group member Jarrod Sansom and mentor Rhianna Patrick. Photo supplied

Preventing domestic violence through educating youth is the message Gloucester’s Brianna Martin has brought back to town.

Brianna took part in a youth summit earlier this month, travelling to Canberra to meet with other regional youth from around country who were successful in ABC’s Heywire competition.

The idea behind the summit was to get a group of young people together to brainstorm ideas about what affects their communities and look at ways to help.

Brianna said the big question the group was asked to think about was how to educate teachers to support students dealing with domestic violence, sexual assault and/or mental health issues.

They broke up into group and came up with project ideas about how to tackle the issue in ways that would work in their hometowns. Brianna’s group looked at how to prevent the issue in the first place. 

The key, Brianna believes, is teaching young people about what a healthy relationship looks like.

“Why isn’t this topic already covered in PDH (Personal Development and Health)?” she questioned.

“We learn about healthy eating and healthy lifestyle but we don’t learn about how to identify healthy and unhealthy relationships.”

We don’t learn about how to identify healthy and unhealthy relationships.

Brianna Martin

After deciding on a project, each group had a chance to briefly discuss their ideas with federal and state ministers during a speed networking session.

Brianna took it one step further after spotting a group of ministers at the end of the session. “I walked up to them and pitched my idea,” she smiled.

But where to now?

Well, Brianna is looking for other members of the community to help her work on the idea.

One idea she is looking to implement is the sale of pink roses at Gloucester High School on Valentine’s Day instead of red ones.

“Pink symbolises respect,” Brianna said. “So the idea is that people will be showing their respect for each other when giving them a pink rose.”

“If someone doesn’t respect you then they can’t really love you,” she said.

There are also grants available of up to $10,000 from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal to help launch the project ideas that have come out of the summit. Visit www.frrr.org.au/grants/Heywire-youth-innovation for more information about the grants.