Sunday, September 22, 2019

Previous Projects

This page provides information on projects undertaken by the Youth Coalition prior to 2010, including:

  • Young Carers Research Project;
  • The Coloured Kit;
  • Ecstasy and Related Drugs Peer Education Research Project; and,
  • Drugs in the Family Project.

More information on each of these Projects is provided below. For further information, contact the Youth Coalition on (02) 6247 3540 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Young Carers Research Project (2005)

Funded by the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services, this Project sought to discover more about the lived experiences, needs and goals of young carers in the ACT in an attempt to identify more responsible and accessible service delivery.

Click here to view the report Stop to Listen: Findings from the ACT Young Carers Research Project.
Click here to view the report Reading Between the Lines: Listening to Children and Young People about their Experiences of Young Caring.
Click here to view More Than Words: Supporting Young Carers and their Families.

The Coloured Kit: Empowering Young People who have a Parent with a Mental Illness/Dual Diagnosis and Their Families (2006)

The Coloured Kit is a resource that provides support and information for young people who have a parent with a mental illness/dual diagnosis and their families. It was produced as a collaboration between a group of experienced young people, the Youth Coalition of the ACT and the Children of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI) Project, Mental Health ACT; and launched by Ms Katy Gallagher MLA on 16 November 2006.

The Coloured Kit consists of three booklets: the Young People’s Section, the Workers’ Section, and the Support Services and Resources Section. These were revised and reprinted in 2007. Hardcopies of each booklet are available from the Youth Coalition office.

Click here to view Booklet 1: Young People’s Section*.
Click here to view Booklet 2: Workers’ Section**.
Click here to view Booklet 3: Support Services and Resources Section.

*Two resources included in Booklet 1 can also be downloaded separately:
Click here to view My Care Plan.
Click here to view Some Mental Health Terms.

**Two resources included in Booklet 2 can also be downloaded separately:
Click here to view How I Want to Be Supported: Tips for Workers from Young People.
Click here to view Checklist for Workers.

Ecstasy and Related Drugs Peer Education Research Project (2006/2007)

In 2006, the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) secured funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, and ACT Health, to investigate if peer-led interventions are able to educate ecstasy and related drugs (ERD) users about the specific risk of mixing ecstasy with other pharmaceuticals that stimulate serotonin production.

This research took place over the Australian summer of 2006/07 in four sites - Sydney, Adelaide, the ACT and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The study received approval from the University of NSW Human Research Ethics Committee. The Youth Coalition of the ACT coordinated the Canberra site.

18 young people volunteered to work as peer educators for the project in the ACT. They received training on alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, ecstasy and related drugs. From this training the peer educators generated drug related harm minimisation messages for their peers. Both NDARC and the peers reviewed the messages to ensure their accuracy. A fact sheet and drug information cards were also developed to share these harm minimisation messages with a broader audience of young people and youth services across the ACT.

Partnerships were formed with venues and promoters and event organizers, who generously supported the project to attend 6 events at the Australian National University, University of Canberra and Indyfest between December 2006 and March 2007. The researchers and peers evaluated each event.

At these events, an information stall was set up and the peer educators provided information on a range of ERDs-related issues and safe partying. People visiting the stall were asked if they wanted to complete a questionnaire regarding the information they had received from the peer educators and any potential impact this may have on their future behaviour. A request for a three month follow-up interview was made. Those who agreed to be followed-up were contacted by phone over email and a second interview was conducted to identify if information had been retained and/or any behaviour change that may have eventuated as a result of the peer education.


  • 18 peer educators who generously volunteered for the project;
  • Annie Bleeker and Ed Sillins, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre;
  • Amanda Bode and Carrie Fowlie, Youth Coalition of the ACT;
  • Andrew Welling, Save-A-Mate, Redcross;
  • ACT Steering Committee;
  • Australian National University Bar;
  • University of Canberra Bar;
  • University of Canberra Students Association; and,
  • Indyfest.

Drugs in the Family Project (2005 – 2010)

The Drugs in the Family (DITF) Project was a five year project that ran from July 2005 to June 2010, funded by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs through the National Illicit Drug Strategy Strengthening and Supporting Families Coping with Illicit Drug Use funding policy.

The DITF Project aimed to support the improvement of service delivery in the alcohol and other drug, family support, mental health and youth sectors to young people and families affected by alcohol and other drug use. Key areas of the Project included information and resource development, training, and networking and linkages.

Examples of activities that took place through the DITF Project include:

  • Monthly Comorbidity Bus Tours of alcohol and other drug and mental health services;
  • Bimonthly Training and Professional Development Calendar;
  • Auspicing the Family and Adolescent Network;
  • Coordinating the Training and Professional Development Network;
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Services in the ACT Directory 2006; and,
  • Providing support to other Youth Coalition sector development activities, including the Big Red Book, monthly forums and seminars, and training and professional development opportunities.

Click here to view the Drugs in the Family Project Evaluation Report that was developed in July 2009, and provides an overview of the Project.