The Youth Action project was successfully delivered as a unit of work at Keysborough Secondary College during 2011-2012. The Youth Action project is a research collaboration between Monash University, schools in greater Melbourne, the Pratt Foundation, the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Sport Without Borders and the Australian Multicultural Foundation. The initiative empowers young people, many of them migrants to connect with their local community through action research.
Students were required to an action research project, which saw them identifyand explore barriers to being healthy and active within their schools and community. The curriculum for the project was established in 2011, with Year 7 students from Keysborough Secondary College a part of the pilot program.
Students identified the biggest issues/ movement barriers within the school and community and broke into groups according to which issue they felt most strongly about. In their groups, the students conducted surveys and interviews. They analysed and interpreted their data and generated ideas to create change.
On 25th July, the project culminated in presentations made to students and stakeholders. The presentations were made to representatives from the City of Greater Dandenong, sports associations, teachers, welfare staff and school Principals. Students were not only actively engaged with the project it was all student directed. The students were excited to have their voice heard and felt empowered to generate change. Already, some students have made changes in their lifestyles. For example, a dance club has started and community sporting organisations have started to communicate with the school in order to enhance awareness of sport and physical activity opportunities.