Generation Next ‘s first Student and Youth Wellbeing Program of 2019 was a huge success. The beautiful creative confines of the Casula Powerhouse Performing Arts Centre provided a backdrop for a day of wellbeing education. It wasn’t just the excellent students from local schools that got to participate, but also more than ten thousand teens via the Generation Next free, interactive, live webcast.

Sarah Alderton from The Selfie Project kicked things off. She mixed the hard hitting social media facts with fun gems of power poses and feel good techniques for self esteem. We learned to follow the stuff that makes us feel good like cute kitten videos and unfollow the stuff that doesn’t… and to give our phones a bit of space, especially first thing in the morning! An animated and engaging presentation with lots of polling and interaction, we discovered that over 40% of those tuning in would prefer to stop using social media if it weren’t for the feeling they would be out of the loop.

Turkan Aksoy was next up and we learned a limp fish handshake does not the dream career make. With some tips and tricks for job seekers and an overview of resources we should all feel confident to reach that career goal. Volunteering was highlighted as a fantastic resume booster, showing both community spirit and citizenship as well as giving an edge in the workplace experience department. We also learned that calling a prospective workplace to name drop your own name a few times can indicate enthusiasm for the job and give a little bit more of an edge.

Gill Hicks captivated us all with her unique ability to make it seem like we’re in a one-on-one conversation, all together. It goes hand in hand with the message of togetherness and humanity that Gill’s story highlights. Her powerful account of the life-changing moments, learning and people met along the way makes us want to be better and do better, not just for this generation but all those that follow.

Peter from Sexual Assault Support Service finished the day with a serious topic delivered in an engaging way. He defined sexual assault and consent as well as society’s tendency to sexualise. We discussed superheroes, cups of tea and limp plants but came out with an understanding of body autonomy, consent and healthy and unhealthy relationships.

Throughout the day we were treated to creative bites from the Real Talk mentors of Bankstown Poetry Slam. They showcased the power of words and the creativity that comes from putting powerful words together. The poetry prompted lots of supportive finger clicking from the audience at the Powerhouse as well as from those participating in the online commenting platform Sli.do.

If you missed out this week, we have another day on Friday 15th of March. Gill Hicks will return along with Brett Lee, Matt X and Jonny Shannon.

Register for the face-to-face program here >>

Register for the interactive livestream here >>