yRed Newsletter December 2017
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State-wide strategies that support the safety of young people

Earlier this year, several Federal MPs spoke out in support of the re-instatement of the position of a Federal Minister for Youth, which had vigorous backing of youth agencies and youth-focused not-for-profits. 

What this would do, they suggested, is ensure young people’s health, safety, wellbeing and future success on a national scale. Currently there is no Australia-wide strategy addressing the needs of young people or the issues they may face that can impede future success.

The evidence also points to the importance of having such plans and strategies in place, suggesting that jurisdictions have better outcomes in terms of child injury for example, when there is a strategic framework to outline what needs to happen and to measure progress: “Higher traction occurs when: child injury is identified as a national priority issue; there are “current” strategic plans and frameworks that specify objectives and actions to reduce child injury; these plans and frameworks align with broader state plans/strategies relating to child health; and there is corresponding infrastructure, resources and capacity underpinning child injury prevention efforts(MacKay & Vincenten in Clapham et al, 2016: 9).

Youthsafe thinks it is timely, then, to look at what strategies and plans are in place that relate to young people, their safety and their wellbeing on both a national and state/territory level, with a focus on the four areas where young people are most likely to be injured – on the roads, at work, while playing sport and when out with friends (particularly if alcohol is consumed). 

Why is it important?
If you are someone who is working in the field supporting young people, it’s essential to understand the focus of relevant governments to ensure your organisation’s priorities align – particularly if you are applying for funding.  In funding applications you can demonstrate how your initiative fits in to government plans as their plans will tell you where they are most likely going to allocate their limited funding.

Often in plans and strategies, such as those listed below, there are points about where ‘more work needs to be done’ or where there are knowledge or service gaps.  This is a good opportunity for your organisation to highlight where you can provide these services or help increase understanding of a particular issue, thus demonstrating the significance of your organisation in contributing to the strategy’s success. It can also outline who may be responsible for achieving certain outcomes and who would take on what role – take a look at the NSW Strategic Plan for Children and Young People 2016-2019 as an example.

High-level strategies and plans already have many hours of consultation, data collection and research behind them.  This saves your organisation from having to do it – it can help you decide what’s important, not just to governments but to those consulted, as well as the scale of a particular issue. 

These strategic documents can also serve as effective advocacy or lobbying tools for your organisation –  if the plan states something should be achieved by a certain date that is relevant to your work, then it gives you good ammunition to ensure it happens. It can also show to your funders or supporters that your work is relevant and needs to carry on as it’s a key part of the ‘big picture’ plan.  Not-for-profit organisations and charities have the ability to keep track of whether or not these strategies result in real change in their communities and with the groups they work to support, and can report on progress to the relevant agencies.

Elements of strategies and plans can become almost like a ‘mission statement’ for organisations who are similar in purpose and can assist with collaboration or networking to help work towards a similar goal.   

Examining these plans helps your organisation measure success – you can see whether or not you helped to contribute to these desired outcomes, which is then another useful tool for you to show the effectiveness and relevance of your organisation and its activities.

Take a look at the plans below (links to each available plan are listed – if there isn't a current plan found there is no link or listing) and see which ones can support your activities and your own organisation’s planning.

Clapham K, Thompson C and Morris D (2016). Childhood injury prevention: Strategic directions for coordination in New South Wales. Centre for Health Service Development, Australian Health Services Research Institute, University of Wollongong.

There is currently no National strategy addressing young people.
Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022
National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020
The National Sport Plan is planned for release in 2018 and will include proposed health outcomes.
National Drug Strategy 2017-2026
The NSW Strategic Plan for Children and Young People 2016-2019
Work Health & Safety Roadmap for NSW 2022  
NSW Road Safety Strategy 2012 - 2021
NSW Health Alcohol & Other Drug related strategies
Victorian Government Youth Policy  
Worksafe Victoria Corporate Plan
Towards Zero 2016-2020 Road Safety Strategy and Plan
Active Victoria – A strategic framework for sport and recreation in Victoria 2017 – 2021
VicHealth Alcohol Strategy 2016–2019
Queensland Youth Strategy
Safer Roads, Safer Queensland: Queensland’s Road Safety Strategy 2015-2021.
Improving mental health and wellbeing: The Queensland Mental Health, Drug & Alcohol Action Plan 2014-2019
WorkSafe Tasmania Strategic Plan 2013-2018
Towards Zero – Tasmanian Road Safety Strategy 2017-2026
Tasmanian Drug Strategy 2013-2018
Also an annual report which contains substantial data on young people’s health and wellbeing: Report on the health and wellbeing of Tasmania’s children, young people and their families.
South Australia
YouTHRIVE South Australia 2017
Towards Zero Together: South Australia's Road Safety Strategy 2020
Office for Sport & Recreation SA 2017-2021 Strategic Plan
South Australian Alcohol and Other Drug Strategy 2017-2021
Western Australia
Youth Strategic Framework – a new framework is in development  
Road Safety Strategy to Reduce Trauma in Western Australia 2008-2020
The Western Australian Alcohol and Drug Interagency Strategy 2017-2021 (CONSULTATION DRAFT)
Australian Capital Territory
The ACT Children and Young People's Commitment 2015-2025   
The ACT Road Safety Strategy 2011 - 2020
Active 2020: A Strategic Plan for Sport and Active Recreation in the ACT & Region 2011-2020
Northern Territory
Northern Territory Youth Participation Framework 2014-2017
NT WorkSafe Young Worker Program no strategic plan but young worker support resource.
Northern Territory Department of Transport 2014 – 2018 Strategic Plan
Northern Territory Government Sport and Active Recreation Master Plan

Talking with young people at Bstreetsmart Sydney 2017
For the first time, Youthsafe took part in Bstreetsmart Sydney 2017, held across three huge days at Sydney Olympic Park.

The event, supported by the Centre for Road Safety, Transport for NSW, is aimed at students in Years 10, 11 and 12 to help them understand the consequences of road crashes and the potential serious injuries that could result from taking risks on the road.

The Youthsafe team spent our time at the event meeting with young people and their teachers sharing information and resources.

Students could take a ‘passenger pledge’, saying what they would do to help drivers reduce risks caused by distractions.  Strategies such as ‘helping with directions’; ‘keeping the noise down’ and ‘checking your speed’ were some of the ideas put forward by the students.

Some participants completed a survey to give us feedback on their views about how passengers might affect the safety of everyone in the car, and how comfortable they would be (or not!) to speak out if they thought the driver was doing something risky on the road.  Of the 100 young people surveyed, 66% said they felt ‘comfortable’ or ‘very comfortable’ about speaking up, which is positive news.
To thank the students for their time, we were able to offer a prize to survey participants. Thanks to the generous support of HTC Australia, one lucky student received an HTC smart phone.

Youthsafe has used some of the valuable feedback gathered from students to help us develop our new infographic supporting passenger safety.

The Youthsafe team at BStreetsmart Sydney 2017

Learner Driver Mentor Programs – new initiatives

Thanks to the support of Transport for NSW, Youthsafe is looking to do some further work to support Learner Driver Mentor Programs (LDMPs). 
The Community Road Safety Grant will allow us to update our LDMP toolkit, as well as develop an online portal where operators, and potential operators, can access information, share documents, ask questions and download resources. 
We will be consulting with all LDMP operators on our database – but there could be some programs we don’t know about. So if you or someone you know is involved in a program, please get them to contact so we can hear their views on program needs and challenges to ensure we address them in our project.
Teaching Aussie Teens to Drive

For some, the thought of becoming a supervising driver to a novice Learner driver is a very daunting prospect. 

To help anyone embarking on this journey, Youthsafe's Vice President David Riches has written a book Teaching Aussie Teens to Drive, based on his many years of experience as a road safety consultant as well as countless hours working with parents and young learner drivers.

Youthsafe is very proud to support David’s work, which we think is essential reading for all supervising drivers.

The ebook, valued at $19.95, is currently available to download for free from the Youthsafe website

We encourage you to share with your networks:

New passenger infographic
As a result of our surveys with young people attending Bstreetsmart Sydney 2017, we have developed a new infographic to add to our ever-growing suite of free resources. 

Speaking to students at the Bstreetsmart event earlier this year (see above article), we understood how much a passenger can influence a driver’s behaviour, both positively and negatively, and how they can support the driver in reducing in-car distractions.

Drawing from this survey data and recent information from Transport for NSW, Youthsafe has included some statistics and data on crashes caused by distraction, as well as tips and strategies for reducing distractions which can increase risk of injury in this new resource.

This new infographic can be downloaded for free from Youthsafe’s website.

John Alexander MP visits Youthsafe
Recently Youthsafe welcomed a visit from the Federal Member for Bennelong, John Alexander MP. It was a great opportunity to show him our new offices and, more importantly, to thank him personally for his role in helping us access funding from the Federal Government’s Infrastructure Grants Program. 

The funding enabled us to purchase an electronic smart board, a state of the art piece of kit which will add greatly to our work.  Not only is it a great device to use during meetings and brainstorming sessions, but more importantly we can use it to enhance our sessions for young people to ensure they are interactive and engaging, using the latest technology available. 

Mr John Alexander MP (centre) with the Youthsafe team and Youthsafe Chairperson Professor James Middleton (far left).

Youthsafe's new website

Youthsafe is very excited to announce we have a new website.  A bit more streamlined and with a modern look, you’ll still find our most popular page of ‘facts and figures’ around youth injury (now updated) as well as free resources such as our range of infographics.

A new feature is the ‘education portal’.  Now all our video-based scenarios from our DVDs including What’s the Plan?, In Working Order and Plan 2 will be available through our website, as well as session plans, background information and suggested classroom activities for educators to allow them to use the materials to their full potential. We would welcome feedback on this new page from anyone who’s keen to access the resources and use them with young people they work with.

Click on the image below to take a look.
Youthsafe Christmas hours

The Youthsafe offices will close at 5pm on Friday 22 December 2017 and re-open on Tuesday 2 January 2018.

We’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and happy break and look forward to working with you again in 2018.

Reminder: Youthsafe has moved

Our new address is:
Suite 304, 5-9 Devlin Street Ryde 2112. 

Our phone number remains the same: 02 9817 7847.
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