Engage with Young People

The SHOUT project provides a simple and practical way to foster young people’s involvement, to listen to their perspectives and experiences of living in their communities and accessing sexual health services and supports, and to be guided by them.

It is now well recognised that an approach that promotes positive values for young people and their sexuality will help create conditions in which good sexual health can flourish. This call for workers to:

  • encourage skill development to make informed and ethical decisions

  • avoid an emphasis on disease and risk - instead focus on rights to access services to maintain sexual health and taking care of self and others when it comes to relationships

  • acknowledge that sexual and reproductive health is challenging for people of all ages to discuss - our diverse cultures, abilities, sexualities, faiths, family and community contexts and attitudes play a key role

  • challenge stereotypes and discrimination and open up opportunities for young people to discuss these issues

Below is a Case Study example of an activity CERSH used to engage young people in the SHOUT project. This activity could be adapted across various settings. 

Contact CERSH for help and information on engaging with the young people you work with.

Case Study: Focus Group Activity

What was the activity?

Using mock-ups of sexual health posters as a basis for discussion (see image on the left as an example), facilitators encouraged the group of young people to write and draw on the posters with suggestions for changes and improvements to the design and messages. The groups were asked to consider specific questions like:

  • What is the message in the poster telling young people to do? Are young people in this town likely to do this?

  • Are posters appropriate ways to get these messages out there for young people to see?

  • Where would you put these posters in your community for young people to see?

What settings was this activity held in?

Schools, youth groups, youth council, flexible learning centres

What was the objective of this activity?

To encourage discussion and engagement with issues around sexual health, treatment and testing and preventive behaviours.

To assist in developing a creative brief for Bendigo TAFE students to develop concept posters for the community campaign.

How can CERSH help to run an activity like this?

CERSH is able to provide:

  • Poster concept designs to use in the activity

  • Facilitator guidelines

  • Possibility of assisting in initial session (dependant on location and resouces)

Case Study: Designing a survey with young people to determine where to locate condom vending machines


Ganawarra Shire and partner agencies consulted with young people about the content, design and implementation of a survey. The resulting survey was used to gather information about access to sexual health information, resources and services for young people living in Gannawarra Shire, and assist in determining where to locate condom vending machines.  The survey is provided here as an example you may wish to utilise for your local setting.

Recommended Educational Resource

The Practical Guide to Love, Sex and Relationships was written by Jenny Walsh, with Anne Mitchell and Mandy Hudson of the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS), La Trobe University. The project was funded by the Australian Government. 

Developed as a teaching resource with activities exploring relationships, sexual consent, equity and sexual and reproductive health. The content can also be used across other settings to engage young people.

The resource includes age-appropriate lesson plans; pre and post-assessment tools for Years 9 and 10 students; links to the HPE Australian Curriculum, and short YouTube videos to use as discussion starters about love, sex and relationships. 

This project is managed by the Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health.

To find out more about our work visit www.cersh.com.au or email us.