Young people are being encouraged to participate in a competition aimed at generating community conversations about personal attitudes and respect.
Justine Elliot wants school students aged 10 to 14 years to enter a competition that is part of the ‘Stop it at the Start’ national campaign to break the cycle of violence. Entries close 14 August.
The minister for social services and prevention of family violence said the competition was designed to prompt adults to consider their attitudes and discuss the concept of respect with young people.
“We can all do that, all adults — parents, grandparents, community members, teachers. We’ve all got a role to play in influencing how young people understand respectful relationships,” Elliot told ABC radio.
“We’re asking [young people] to have a think about the idea of respect and have a conversation with people about it, and then submit either a written piece of up to 1000 words — that can be a short story or a poem or an essay; or they could do a drawing, a creative illustration as well.”
Winners will be chosen from schools across Australia, with eight written and two illustrative submissions to be picked.
Each winning entrant will receive a $500 gift card for themselves and another one for their school library.
“I encourage young people and their families to start that conversation about respect — it’s really important.
“Young people, they pick up so many things from people in terms of what they say, their gestures, the words we choose. So, we really want to encourage young people to think about what respect means,” the minister said.
The government will choose a selection of submissions to be included in a special publication showcasing some of the pieces made for the competition in a book.
“We need to raise awareness about having respectful conversations and how we treat one another, what words we use.
“It’s really important to do that and this is all part of that broader Stop it at the Start campaign,” the minister added.