For Elders, Parents and Other Adults
Everyone in the community can play a part in preventing STIs and BBVs—elders, parents and carers, youth workers, teachers, community leaders, religious leaders—anyone who plays a role in supporting and guiding young people.
Providing support to young people in looking after their sexual health starts with:
- being informed about the STIs and BBVs that are affecting our community
- understanding the issues for young people especially in dealing with emerging sexuality, social issues, shame, stigma and fear of disclosing these issues. If you’re informed then you can help others.
Talking to young people about sexual health issues and sex and other related issues such as drug and alcohol use can be difficult. Young people often want advice or guidance but find it hard to ask due to shame, stigma or fear of being judged.
Or they may ask but you feel embarrassed yourself and don’t know how to keep the conversation going.
This section provides resources to assist elders, parents, youth workers, teachers and other community leaders to help prevent and lead efforts to fight stigma and shame that can prevent young people getting tested and treated for STIs and BBVs.
You can also subscribe to, and view, our regular eNewsletters which provide updates to key influencers in regions affected by the syphilis outbreak, on campaign milestones (such as launch events, TV ads, Q&A chat) and new resources, so that they can be used by people of influence in communities to support the delivery of key campaign messages.
The team at Young Deadly Free has been busy creating new videos with communities across Australia. These videos aim to help you when you’re yarning with young people about sexual health issues.
We have worked with local people in all the locations we have visited. You might be surprised to know that most of the time the people you see acting haven’t had any acting experience before! The communities and the people we have met have been very welcoming and giving of their time and knowledge and we are very thankful to all those involved on and off the camera.
We hope you enjoy watching and sharing the videos with your family, friends and work colleagues. We also have more videos for young people.
Yarning With Our Young Mob About Men’s and Women’s Business
Ever wanted to talk to your kids, nieces or nephews about sex and relationships but weren’t sure where to start? These videos are for you! Hear from other Aboriginal and Torres Strait people about their experiences and ways of yarning. This is a 9 part series aimed at encouraging and supporting parents, guardians and other family members to yarn with the youth in their family about sexual health.
For young people and their support networks, this video explores some diverse experiences in how to stay mentally healthy and how to support and look after rainbow youth.
Sexual health education is important.
Research indicates that effective relationships and sexuality education can help young people delay the onset of sexual activity, reduce the frequency of sexual activity, reduce the number of sexual partners, and increase condom and contraceptive use
– SHQ Position Statement shq.org.au
Do you work with youth on a regular basis? You are probably in a great position to provide vital basic sexual health information to your clients. The rapport you have likely positions you as a person who has influence on the youth you work with. At Young Deadly Free we believe everyone has a role play in educating our young people and keeping them free from STIs and BBVs.
Sexual health is complex. There are multiple factors and issues that can impact and influence a person and their decision about their sexual health. This video digs a bit deeper in to some of those factors and may be useful to use in consultations with the community as a way to get them thinking about what factors impact them and their young people locally.
STIs are really common in our youth so its important that all our mob know about them, so we can protect ourselves and our communities.
The Young Deadly Free project interviewed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from across regional and remote Australia. A reoccurring issue that people raised was a concern about the disconnect between adults and youth. We hope this video inspires communities to acknowledge that disconnect and find way to work together to bridge that gap and make our communities stronger and unified. The more connected we are, the easier it is to talk about and tackle difficult issue like sexual health.
The Syphilis outbreak in Australia has now been occurring in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities since 2011. Government, clinics, communities and individuals all have a role to play to end the outbreak. These videos showcase how some people are doing their part to help. Hopefully they give you some ideas about how you can help too.
We have developed a series of factsheets outlining the facts and myths about the STIs and BBVs affecting young people in your communities– how they are transmitted, the symptoms, and information on testing.
The factsheets on each STI and BBV are available in two forms: a more basic information factsheet; and one with more detailed information.
You may be able to assist young people by:
- Accessing these factsheets, and going through these with them at the same time answering any questions
- Encouraging younger people aged 16–34 to have at least an annual test for STIs and the importance of looking after their own health their partners, and the communities health.
We’ve also made some very short animation videos — cartoon like videos — that explain the facts about STIs and HIV in a way that’s easy to understand.
Have a look at these videos — they may help break the ice for talking with young people about STIs and BBVs.
We’ve produced a whole range of infographics on STIs and BBVs. These can be used in social media, in health promotion, in community education sessions, as printed posters, or in presentations. Each infographic has simple messages about STIs and BBVs. Feel free to download the PDFs and use them freely.
Laws covering the age young people can legally consent to having sex differ between states and territories. There are also laws about sexting which young people should know about. Helping young people understand this is an important role of elders, parents and other adults. The factsheets here outline laws, and services that can provide information, advice and assistance in this matter:
- Sex, young people and the law Factsheet
- Sexting and the law Factsheet
- Mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse Factsheet
We’ve found some great resources that provide tips on talking to young people about sex, safe sexual practices and STI/BBV symptom recognition — all in the context of sexual health and respectful sexual relationships. These include resources providing information and referrals for supporting young people in remote communities who are dealing with issues regarding sex, sexuality and sexual health. These may be useful in school environments or other settings where young people are receiving education.
Yarning with young people
Yarning Quiet Ways
Yarning Quiet Ways is a resource developed for Aboriginal mums, dads and carers to help kids learn about strong, safe and healthy relationships.
Let’s Yarn! has been developed to assist educators, parents and health professionals to talk with young Aboriginal people about ways of building strong, safe and healthy relationships. The website brings together useful resources developed by WA Health and other government and non-government agencies around Australia.
SHINE SA provides a range of professional development opportunities for Aboriginal Health Workers and other workers who work with Aboriginal people to increase their knowledge and skills in the area of sexual and reproductive health and relationships.
Hepatitis B Story
The Hepatitis B Story, developed by Menzies School of Health Research, is a visual, interactive app in English and Yolŋu matha designed for patients living with chronic hepatitis B (hep B) and their families. It tells the story of the hep B virus, how you get it, what happens over time, how you know you have it as well as details about immunisation and treatment (including a game). There is also a separate women’s section dealing with mother to child transmission and ways to prevent it.
HIV and Stigma in Australia: A Guide for Religious Leaders
HIV and Stigma in Australia: A Guide for Religious Leaders, a booklet produced by the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations, emphasises the role that religious leaders and members of faith based communities can play in reducing community taboos associated with discussing sex and sexual health. The Guide provides links to useful resources and makes suggestions about how faith-based communities can address stigma, both from within the community and from the broader Australian community. Download the Guide.
Us Mob and HIV
Us Mob and HIV is a booklet designed to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s understanding of HIV. The booklet provides introductory information about HIV, transmission and prevention, HIV testing, HIV treatments, health monitoring and care and support needs, as well as contact details for services. The fourth edition of this highly utilised booklet was released in 2021, download the updated booklet as well as the launch of the ‘Us Mob and HIV’ website usmobandhiv.org.au/
The Condoman campaign was developed in the late eighties as a culturally based sexual health resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Condoman is now an iconic figure and his message “Don’t Be Shame Be Game” has reached generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Condoman was relaunched in 2009 by the QuAC / 2 Spirits Project, and he now works with his sidekick Lubelicious.
See the Condoman website.
The 2 Spirits program covers the entire state of Queensland, promoting the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander gay men and sistergirl communities through sexual health promotion, campaigns, community outreach, education workshops, support and referrals. See the 2 Spirits Facebook page.
Having the Hard Yarn in Napranum
Video developed by health workers to assist in having the hard yarn with pregnant mums and partners about STIs. Also covers smoking in pregnancy, alcohol and domestic violence. Stars members of Napranum community. Watch the video.
Nuts and Bolts of Sexual Health
Course (in Perth) designed for workers in the youth sector, including Aboriginal health workers, AIEOs, SEWB workers and other mental health workers, AOD workers, peer educators and health promotion workers. Designed to develop the core knowledge, attitudes and skills required to have conversations with young people about respectful relationships and sexual health issues, and providing information and support. See the website for more information.
You May Have Caught an Infection—please come for a check up
Poster to explain contact tracing, highlighting that clinic health workers can assist and that the clinic will respect privacy. (Queensland specific). View the full poster in PDF.
Resource on HIV for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and community services across Australia, providing accessible information on HIV transmission, prevention and treatment. It explains recent developments in HIV prevention and treatment, and the importance of fighting the shame and stigma associated with HIV and STIs. The website is also intended to support health professionals and educators, with information on latest data on HIV among Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities, key research projects, and links to useful online resources. View the website.
This DVD depicts a story about child sexual assault for services that have Aboriginal workers and people working with Aboriginal communities. View information about the DVD.
Doin ‘IT’ Right!
Kit for health professionals and community workers working in sexual health education with Aboriginal young people. Download the kit.
Growing and developing healthy relationships
A website providing resources for teachers to design and implement a program on developing healthy relationships and social and emotional health, including sexuality. Visit the website.
Getting Tested and Getting Support
Better to know
A website for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women providing information on STIs, HIV, testing and treatment — in two sections, Men’s Business and Women’s Business. Site users can receive SMS or email reminders to have a sexual health check. The site is also a practical tool for clinical staff and counsellors in Aboriginal health services, sexual health centres and general practice to assist patients in partner notification. Users can use the site to notify recent sexual partners that they may be at risk of having an STI and encourage them to have a sexual health check. The notification can be made anonymously. View the website.
The allgood website includes information, resources and service directories on STIs and BBVs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It includes a ‘find a service tab’ to find a local doctor, clinic or a testing centre that provides STI and BBV testing. The website also includes links to local support services.