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Great things can happen when young people are the agents of change, not simply the targets to be changed.

The young people in R4Respect have teamed up with Griffith Film School to produce a series of animated clips titled “Don’t be a Bad Apple”, that challenge harmful behaviours in relationships.

The animated clips, the latest “weapon” to counter gender-based violence, will be launched on Thursday May 18 at the Griffith Film School in South Brisbane, with Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Shannon Fentiman.

According to Andrew Taukolo, Youth Ambassador with R4Respect, the clips use quirky, fun images and text to spark the interest of young people.

“Top marks to the lead designer, Will Pietsch, a Griffith University animation student; he’s clever and sensitive in the way he gets the messages across,” Andrew said.

Andrew sees violence in his Pacific Island culture and community wide. He sees the harm it causes. He and his young team fight back their nerves and step out in front of classrooms and public gatherings every week. They are showing what respect in relationships means and what crosses the line into harm.

They have clear messages to get across:

  • Don’t hit out, talk through differences.
  • Value culture. Value diversity.
  • Show respect.

Andrew said that since December 2015, the young team of R4Respect has spoken with more than 3500 young people about respect in relationships; participated actively in over 20 community awareness raising events and developed an-on line following of 3000.

“We know from the Our Watch (2015) reports that 1 in 4 young people think it’s pretty normal for guys to pressure girls into sex, and 16 per cent of young people think that women should know their place,” Andrew said.

“We are the generation that can end domestic violence. We need to speak up,” he added.

R4Respect Youth Coordinator Lizzie Gibson said that through their work, R4Respect Youth Ambassadors see how young people “tune-in” when young people themselves deliver the messages in their own words.

A recent survey taken among high school students who took part in activities run by R4Respect showed that 89.5% believed the program had given them a better understanding of respectful relationships and domestic violence. A further 85% said they would recommend more programs like R4Respect in their schools.
The developer of the quirky animated clips, Will Pietsch, is a student at Griffith Film School, a media production baccalaureate college located in Brisbane offering bachelor’s degrees range from film and television production, animation and games design.

Cath Bartolo, the CEO of Logan-based not-for-profit YFS which is home to R4Respect said it was a great opportunity to collaborate with Griffith Film School on this important project.

“We think the film clips communicate really important messages in ways that young people will relate to,” Ms Bartolo said.

“They’re by young people for young people, which is the fundamental principle of R4Respect’s peer engagement approach.”

Event Details-
When: Thursday May 18
Where: Griffith Film School theatre
Cnr Dock and Vulture Streets, South Brisbane
Time: 4.30 to 6.00 pm