The iMatter youMatter weMatter Program is an evidence based violence prevention initiative, developed by Doncare which empowers young people to navigate interpersonal relationships, contribute positively to the community as well as promoting a healthy sense of self achieved through interactive Workshops. iMatter is a youth leadership program which aims to empower young people to build self esteem, respect & resilience. iMatter leaders encourage conversation about healthy relationships & equip youth with the tools to recognise & respond to abusive behaviour which contribute to the cycle of domestic violence. Youth led iMatter workshops offer a forum for young people to discuss social & emotional intelligence, respect & equality which promotes healthy relationships.
“I was able to learn the signs of an abusive relationship and learnt about my self worth” 15 year old VCAL student
“we learnt ways to contribute to the community in order to make it a more safe and positive place”. 16 year old Year 10 student
Where we run workshops:
Since 2011, iMatter mentors have delivered workshops to over 2611 attendees at schools, sporting clubs and community groups including Siena College, Strathcona, Whitefriars, Kew High School and Doncaster Secondary College. Participants range from 13 to 18 years of age. We have had some great feedback from the participants who have attended our workshops. Doncare recently partnered with Manningham City Council to run workshops across three sporting club sites in Manningham who indicated strong interest in creating safe, inclusive and welcoming environments for everyone. These clubs include; Doncaster Hockey, East Doncaster Cricket and Bulleen Templestowe Amateur Football Club. Participants walked away with a deeper knowledge of developing a healthy sense of self, learnt more about the elements that constitute a healthy and unhealthy relationship as well as gaining knowledge about what it means to be an up stander in their community. iMatter leaders encouraged participants to spread the word about what they have learnt during workshops to friends and family to help create a ripple effect of knowledge and change.
Feedback from the Hockey Club participants (male and female aged 13-16 years):
- “It helped me to find out what I would do if I was in trouble”
- “I liked having discussions about different issues that aren’t always talked about”
- “I learnt how to look after myself and others”
Feedback from the Bulleen/Templestowe Football Club (male and female aged 15-18 years)
- “I learnt about healthy and unhealthy relationships” (female)
- “I learnt about sharing the information taught tonight with my friends” (female)
- “ It was great to talk about these serious issues with mates” (male)
As a result of our young club members attending this important Workshop, there was a significant increase in knowledge of:
- Understanding what a healthy relationship is
- What to do when you are stressed
- Different types of violence that can occur in unhealthy relationships
- Gender inequity and how to recognise unhealthy attitudes or behaviours that are warning signs of an unsafe relationship.
- How to help a friend, talk to someone they know or seek support if they needed help in the future.
Young female and male leaders passionate about promoting healthy relationships
Doncare’s iMatter volunteer leaders are aged 18-27 years and are making a difference to empower other young women and men to navigate their relationships confidently and safely. Doncare trains leaders who then go on to deliver school workshops to help young people to build self-esteem, respect and resilience; and to prevent violence and promote healthy relationships. The leaders are trained to help raise awareness and create change around societal pressures and social attitudes, identify potential risks in relationships, recognise and respond to controlling and abusive behaviour, understand the dynamics of healthy relationships, and learn how to support yourselves and others who are experiencing violence.
Call Doncare on 9856 1500 if your school would like further details about the in-school and community group workshops and presentations.
iMatter’s domestic violence prevention app received a high commendation as a finalist of the 2016 ANZIAs (Australia and New Zealand Internet Awards). The app was recognised in the Innovation category for initiatives that use internet-related technologies in a new and unique way to make a significant contribution to the social outcomes of a particular group or sector. The ANZIA’s gala event award ceremony was held at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne on 30 August.
ANZIA Award photograph: Kit Haselden Photography.