Girl power program for final term

An award-winning violence prevention education program will award ten fully funded half-day workshops valued at $30,000 to NSW Secondary Schools in the ten-week final term this year.

The KYUP! Project is designed to create a movement of awareness, life protection skills, and “strong-hearted action” ahead of summer holidays when many teenagers feel especially exposed in unsafe social situations.

The violence prevention education programs are an interactive-style workshop for groups of 50 students. Workshops target all-girls or all-boys and are best suited to Years 8, 9 and 10.

All ten awarded workshops will be hosted by 2017 Australian of the Year Nominee, Mel Thomas. Mel is a black-belt martial artist, passionate speaker, published writer and advocate for breaking the cycle of violence against women and children across Australia.

Mel’s personal story is compelling and inspirational. As a survivor of childhood domestic violence and both ‘victim and perpetrator’ of teen bullying. She overcame adversity with enviable street smarts, resilience and courage.

Ms Thomas said her workshops encourage independent thinking in a positive fun environment that fosters learning. 

"Students come away from my workshops with increased feelings of self-esteem and the knowledge of what to do when a situation doesn't feel right," she said.

Trazel Scott.

Trazel Scott.

Hennessey College Principal Trazel Scott said her school would consider applying to host a workshop.

"This is something we'd look into because we are always interested in giving our students positive experiences," she said.

Ms Thomas said more than 10,000 students and young women have participated in the KYUP! violence prevention education programs since 2013.

“How hard a girl fights for her own safety is often in direct measure to how much she believes she’s worth fighting for -- so I’m all about them owning how amazing and special they are first and foremost, before helping them find their voice, trust their instincts, and fight their way out of difficult situations if needed,” she said.

“My workshops encourage independent thinking in a fun positive environment that fosters learning. Students gain increased feelings of self-esteem and the knowledge of what to do when a situation doesn't feel right.”

TO ENTER, submit a single A4 page or maximum 3-minute video entry to the website and tell us why your school will benefit the most from empowering teen girls with self-worth and self-protection skills. Entries close 18 September. Winners must agree to delivery of the workshop in term 4, 2017.