headspace Nowra helps bring Wear it Purple to Shoalhaven High School
headspace Nowra helped Shoalhaven High School students make a stand for young people of all sexualities and gender identities this week.
Students from the school's newly formed anti-discrimination group ran two stalls at Shoalhaven High today celebrating Wear it Purple Day- a youth lead initiative that shows support for young people who are same sex attracted or gender diverse.
The Nowra Queer Straight Alliance (NQSA), a group for 16-25 year-olds in the Shoalhaven, raised the idea of promoting acceptance for all gender identities and sexualities in high schools with headspace Nowra staff earlier in the year.
Based on that advice headspace Nowra and NQSA members ran a similar event in Nowra High School for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in May this year.
Shoalhaven High expressed interest in a similar initiative at the time and plans were made to focus on Wear in Purple 2015.
headspace Nowra successfully applied for funding through Shoalhaven City Counil's Youth Advisory Council (made up of young people from local high schools) to support the event at Shoalhaven High.
headspace Nowra used the funds to buy promotional materials for students to wear and give out at the event at Shoalhaven High School.
headaspace Nowra Community Engagement Officer Warren Jones said events like this are important for local young people.
"We've had constant feedback from the Queer Straight Alliance group that high school can be a really tough time for young people who are same sex attracted or gender dverse," he said.
"The great thing about supporting this event with Shoalhaven High School is that it was really young people calling the shots at every level.
"The NQSA identified an area of opportunity, the Youth Advisory Council decided to use their budget to suppport it, and students at the school took the idea and made it happen.
"It's great when we can facilitate young people doing things that they know will help their peers.
"Young people are smart, energetic, passionate and quite capable of pulling off tasks that would daunt many older people- and I think the young people involved in this project are a great example of that."