CQU drama students host workshops for youth

31 May 2022

Mackay-based CQUniversity drama students have travelled to Rockhampton to participate in a forum for young people' by young people.

Held over two days' the forum saw four Bachelor of Theatre students facilitate chat groups for Central Queensland youth.

"Young people and secondary school students aged 14 to 25 attended the CQ Health Youth Opportunity Day and participated in workshops including some fun drama games'" CQUniversity Bachelor of Theatre Head of Course and Youth Forum lead' Dr Linda Lorenza said.

"In the workshop after the drama games' the students and young people were invited to join small chat groups with the drama students to watch the Action Reaction: Police Interaction videos. The participants in each group were then invited to talk about the videos and share their ideas about broader concerns in their community."

Dr Lorenza said research had demonstrated that this peer approach was very successful in eliciting frank and open discussion.

"In 2020' Darumbal Youth Network Inc approached CQUniversity's School of Law about developing a resource to help young people about interacting with police'" Dr Lorenza explained.

"Law and drama students collaborated to explore the situations described and as a pilot project' developed the five short videos which became the Action Reaction: Police Interaction series.

"The pilot project clearly identified that the young people would share their own experiences and views with people their own age' the drama students' rather than with an adult figure such as a researcher."

The four CQU drama students that participated in the recent forum included Harlen Devonshire' Sophie Hancock' Esther Elder and Max Kingsbury with the experience contributing to the creative community project component in one of their units of study.

"This project interested me because I like using performing as a form of communication to help people in one way or another'" Harlen said.

As an extension to the youth forum' CQUniversity has been granted funding to conduct a research project that will look into youth priorities' titled Listening to Young People.

"Students and young people can nominate to be on a youth research panel where we will bring the findings from the workshop sessions to the panel in order to identify the youth's research priorities."

The project has been funded by the Queensland Government Department of Environment and Science' providing $200 000 under their Youth Research Grants Program.