FROM THE DIRECTOR OF STUDENT WELLBEING, MATT PORTER
Year 12 Safe Schoolies presentation from “Red Frogs”
On Tuesday this week our Year 12 students attended a presentation from Red Frogs on schoolies safety. The Red Frogs started in 1997 at schoolies on the Gold Coast, as a small group of volunteers. Today Red Frog Volunteers attend events and schoolies hotspots around Australia, Bali, Fiji and Vanuatu.
Red Frogs provide a positive presence for thousands of young people within this party culture. They support young people by walking them home, waiting for cabs and Ubers to arrive, distributing bottled water and sunscreen, cooking pancake breakfasts and contacting emergency services and/or families if and when required. Red Frogs acts as a safety network during a challenging and vulnerable time for school leavers.
This year, over 1,500 Red Frogs will volunteer nationally. They will distribute 7 tonnes of Allen’s Red Frogs lollies. Volunteers will offer direct relief to over 75,000 school leavers and conduct information sessions such as this one to over 60,000 secondary school students. Red Frogs spokesman, Marty l’Ansan described their work as being like the “net at the top of the cliff”. Prevention is always better than cure.
For more tips on celebrating schoolies safely please refer to the “Info for Parents” link below or my previous Nurrunga Article – https://waverley.nsw.edu.au/news/wellbeing-report-celebrating-schoolies-safely/
RUOK? Day – 13 September 2018
Thursday 13 September is RUOK? Day. This is a significant event on the College calendar due to the close connections between the Waverley College community and the fantastic work done by this organisation in promoting positive mental health and help seeking behaviours.
On Thursday at Recess and Lunch, Lacey House ran a bake sale to raise funds for the RUOK? charity. One of the biggest protective factors in adolescent mental health is positive social connections. A range of house competitions ran at lunchtimes this week designed to promote positive social interactions between our students and thereby expand their support network.
If you get a nagging feeling that someone you know or care about isn’t behaving as they normally would, then ask. If you notice sudden changes in someone’s mood, behaviour or if they seem distant or disinterested, then ask. The important thing is to be aware of others around us, and trust our gut if something doesn’t seem quite right, and ask, RUOK?
This one simple phrase can be enough to start a conversation and encourage a friend, colleague or family member to open up about the challenges they may be facing. If a person responds that they are not OK, don’t feel as though you need to fix the situation or provide all the answers. Follow these 4 simple steps to help them access appropriate support.
- Encourage Action
For more information about how and when to ask and what to do if you are concerned by the response see the following website https://www.ruok.org.au/how-to-ask
RUOK? day is also an opportunity for students to reflect on their own health and wellbeing; please look after yourselves and seek support through the relevant Head of House, our School Counselling team or external support services as required. A list of these can be found in the A-Z of wellbeing in the student diary and on our College Website.