Life is all about choices and CQUniversity's Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music (CQCM) students are determined to help high schoolers make the right ones.
Bachelor of Theatre students recently hit the road to perform their annual applied theatre project' Choices' which promotes key safety messages around alcohol' drugs' road safety' violence and sexual activity for young people.
The performance uses a music theatre format of comic skits' songs and dance which is updated each year in line with current government campaigns and pop culture references.
A small team of senior students' who were involved in previous years as performers' form a leadership team to write and update the script' audition and cast' choreograph' stage the work and coordinate ongoing rehearsal of the actors' singers and dancers.
Now in its 24th year' Choices has been performed over 300 times at secondary schools' to more than 35'000 Year 12 students.
CQCM Professor Judith Brown AM' who was involved in the development of Choices' said the free educational show had been a success' with generations of Queensland students exposed to the show's important safety messaging.
"Before the implementation of Choices' students in North Queensland received the health' safety and legal messages concerned with safe partying in formal presentations from teachers' police officers' health workers and other community leaders'" she said.
"The applied theatre format of Choices has proven to be more effective in engaging Year 12 students as they head into their final year of schooling."
Choices has also been identified as one of the Mackay Police Service's key crime prevention initiatives in the region as it specifically targets students who have the potential to engage in risky activity during their end-of-year Schoolies celebrations.
Since its inception' the Queensland Police Service (QPS) has provided uniformed officers for the entire length of the tours to all the schools.
Uniformed police officers take part in the actual performances and also join the panel discussion at the end of each show' allowing the students to freely ask questions about any of the topics raised.
The presence of uniformed police officers in Choices adds vital credibility to the messages being presented and helps to build positive bridges between the school leavers and the police – an important aspect of crime prevention.