Young People Serve as Agents of Change Against Gender Violence

A study on the role of young people as active agents of change in preventing gender-based violence has been launched at Balmoral State High School last 23 May 2019.

Minister for Youth and the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer announced the release of the report entitled “Young people as agents of change in preventing violence against women, which evaluated a peer-to-peer respectful relationships education model called R4Respect.

The research was conducted by Griffith University researchers led by  Dr Karen Struthers, Professor Clare Tilbury, and partners Ruby Gaea sexual assault service, Darwin, and YFS Ltd, Logan.

The research measured:

  • The views and actions of the young participants (YPs) on what constitutes harm and respect in relationships; and
  • The views of the young participants and educators (stakeholders) on the utility of the peer-to-peer respectful relationships education model.

The cross-jurisdictional collaborative research was aimed at informing ways young people can effectively engage in positive change that promotes gender equality and reduces the prevalence of violence against women, following participation in the program.

Participated in by young individuals and adult stakeholders aged 17-25 years from  Darwin, NT and Logan, Queensland, the research measured:

  • The views and actions of the young participants (YPs) on what constitutes harm and respect in relationships; and
  • The views of the young participants and educators (stakeholders) on the utility of the peer-to-peer respectful relationships education model.

Minister Di Farmer said that the report revealed that by letting young people lead the learning, it helped them increase their understanding of respectful relationships and their positive attitudes towards women.

“We are committed to investing in evidence-based programs address the causes of gender-based violence,” she said.

“Changing negative behaviours and attitudes is something which requires a much broader societal change toward gender equality and respect for women.

“What this report tells us, more than anything, is that when young people are given the tools and support to champion respectful relationships, they can create positive change.”

The study was funded by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS). ANROWS Chief Executive Officer, Dr Heather Nancarrow said that the study showed that the education program improved the students’ knowledge and understanding of harmful behaviours and attitudes.

“What’s great to see is that many of the young people who participated showed a greater awareness of what behaviours are harmful with many saying they will act with greater respect in the future,” Dr Nancarrow said.

“We want to help young people to take action and be the generation to end violence against women. Violence can be prevented and it is up to all of us to play our part,” she said.

“YFS runs intervention programs for perpetrators of domestic and family violence, but we think the key to reducing violence is to prevent it by changing attitudes of people when they are young, not once they have established entrenched patterns,” YFS Chief Executive Officer, Cath Bartolo said.

“We know young people can be agents of change. That’s why we set up the R4Respect program in a way that allows young people to lead and educate other young people.

“More can and should be done to ensure as many relationships throughout our country are based on equality and respect,” she said.

“One of the most inspiring features of this research is that young people showed that they can be effective agents of change in preventing gender-based violence, not simply the targets of change. Young people as peer educators can challenge the attitudes of their peers in a way that is engaging and impactful,” Dr Karen Struthers said.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault or family violence, call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit In an emergency call 000.

Terrific Dancing Skills Take Over the Morningside Stage

Morningside’s Balmoral State High School is set to host dance recitals. Students from the StreetTread Dance Studio will show off their moves as part of their third annual end-of-year performance scheduled on the 1st of December. Meanwhile, children from the Maximo Dance Studio will dance the afternoon away on the 3rd of December with their Tea Party & Dance celebration which also marks their end-of-year celebration.

“Street Jam” by the StreetTread Dance Studio on 1st of December

The students are inviting everyone to come and see what they learnt for the whole of 2017. Their theme for this year is the “Olympics”. The recital will be held from 6:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

The StreetTread Dance Studio has always been home to children whose desire is to express themselves through dancing. The studio instil in its students the love for raw urban hip hop, acrobatic, and funky street styles dances. All dance techniques are welcome, may it be breakdancing, pop and locking, tumbling and flipping as long as students find the utmost satisfaction of being able to articulate the feelings that they could not verbally communicate.

Classes are designed for kids aged 2 years old and above. Each session has limited students so teachers can focus and give the necessary attention needed in developing each and everyone’s skills. StreetTread Dance Studio is founded by teacher Michelle Klekner, who brings with her more than 20 years of professional dancing experience to share with the children.


Tea Party & Dance Celebration by Maximo Dance Studio on 3rd of December

Students promise delightful performances over some afternoon tea. The recital takes place from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. They will showcase dances which feature the studio’s original choreography. Performances will range from ballet, national dance, contemporary dance, modern dance, lyrical, jazz, and hip hop, complete with vibrant music and costumes.

Maximo Dance Studio is founded in 2004 by choreographer Olga Lissovskaia, who remains the studio’s director and principal dancer. She has named the institution after one of the greatest Russian ballerinas of all time, Ekaterina Maximova.

The studio has always been proud for being the only dance school in Brisbane that employs the authentic teaching method called the Vaganova Method.

“This is the unique method we use to teach ballet. They stand out from the crowd by their unparalleled poetic spirituality, exceptional harmonious plasticity of movement, and at the same time the ‘iron’ aplomb of the body, with their overall nobility and excellence of technical and performing skills.”

Credit: Maximo Dance Studio YouTube


Balmoral State High School is located at Cnr Thynne & Lytton Rds, Morningside