State recognition - No Dramas

19 April 2023

CQUniversity’s No Dramas research project has been recognised at a state level, taking out two awards in the Queensland Government’s Youth Research Showcase.

Through the use of applied theatre, No Dramas was a participatory action research project that enabled youth-led communication on health and justice priorities and involved a crew of young creatives. The project involved First Nations actors and a videographer who created short-form TikTok videos on topics that young people could relate to.

The videos focused on developing communication processes and information sources that aligned with young people's needs and priorities and explored the complex experiences, needs, and priorities of Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people in the region.

“These two awards validate the work that we have been doing as part of this project,” Lead Investigator and CQUniversity Lecturer and Head of Course for the Bachelor of Theatre, Dr Linda Lorenza said.

“At a time when young people are copping bad press, it is really important for society to recognise their lived experiences and to genuinely listen to young people’s ideas. We need to listen to why many young people seek information through TikToks, as well as listening to what information they want to find.”

No Dramas adopted a participatory action research methodology that supported stakeholders - young people and the organisations and individuals that support them - to engage on an equal footing with the research.

“The project's primary outputs are informational videos on substance abuse, police interactions, and bullying, designed to communicate empowering health and justice information to young people.”

The No Dramas project was funded by a grant from the Queensland Department of Environment and Science through a youth research initiative from the Queensland Minister for Science and Youth Affairs Meaghan Scanlon MP.

More than 70 projects from six Queensland universities were funded as part of the initiative, with seven being recognised with awards this week.

CQUniversity’s No Dramas project was awarded the Youth Research Panel Wellbeing and Health Award and The Queensland Family and Child Principal Commissioner’s Award for Youth Advocacy.

“The Youth Research Panel was comprised of a diverse group of young people who viewed all the research projects. They recognised our project responded to the needs and priority issues for young Queenslanders, supported positive outcomes for young people in Queensland now and into the future and empowered young people to shape a positive future for themselves, their communities and Queensland,” Dr Lorenza said.

“We took out the Queensland Family and Child Principal Commissioner’s Award for Youth Advocacy as our project gave the greatest contribution to the Queensland Family and Child Principal Commissioner’s priority areas which include:

  • That Queensland’s young people are empowered and respected and have their rights upheld;
  • The safety, wellbeing and best interest of children and young people;
  • The responsibilities of communities and families to protect and care for children and young people;
  • Amplifying the views and perspectives of young people.”

Dr Luke Price, No Dramas Co-chief Investigator and CQUniversity Lecturer in Law, said he too was thrilled to see No Dramas receive the recognition.

“The awards are a great recognition of the hard work and achievements of everyone involved in No Dramas – from the young people and youth organisations in Rockhampton, Linda, myself, and staff and students from across CQU,” Dr Price said.

“The win demonstrates the value of interdisciplinary collaboration and community engagement in research, and recognises that these approaches can produce high-quality, innovative research with real-world impact.”