The Smashed Project warns school students against underage drinking

Don't get smashed: Actors perform at high schools across Australia. Picture: Supplied
Don't get smashed: Actors perform at high schools across Australia. Picture: Supplied

A program that aims to prevent underage drinking through an educational theatre-style performance came to Kogarah this week.

James Cook Boys Technology High School yesterday hosted The Smashed Project, which aims to break the culture of underage drinking and reduce alcohol-related harm in young people.

The program, which is aimed at year 8 and 9 students, is delivered in schools by educational theatre company Gibber Australia.

It includes a live theatre performance, which tells the story of three teenagers whose lives are forever changed by choices they make regarding alcohol.

It is followed by interactive workshops designed to give the audience a forum to have an open conversation about the dangers of underage drinking and how to respond to peer pressure.

It is accompanied by teaching resources and a comprehensive evaluation framework.

Gibber Australia chief executive Tim Watt said the program was an effective way to engage young teens on the risks of alcohol misuse.

Evaluation results showed 98 per cent of students who took part said they were less likely to drink alcohol underage, while 33 per cent said the program increased their awareness of the impact of underage drinking on their physical health.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare figures show Australians are drinking less and that 82 per cent of underage Australians are abstaining from drinking alcohol, up from 54 per cent in 2004.

The Smashed Project is funded by Diageo Australia. Its parent company, Diageo, is a global leader in alcoholic beverages.

Diageo Australia managing director David Smith said the project was part of its commitment to reducing underage drinking and alcohol-related harm in the community.