Why this website

This website presents the findings of the YAWG project. When the project team held the workshop to brainstorm and develop this resource, the young women felt that the best approach to get their message out was to invite service providers “behind our curtains” to witness the complexity of their lives and to learn more about the challenges they face as young Aboriginal women. They wanted service providers to hear their stories and their voices so they can better understand what ‘comes with them’ when, for example, they arrive at school in the morning, when they walk through the shops in the afternoon or when they think about reaching out for your help. The young women spoke at length about their experiences with teachers, other school workers and those in child protection. However, this website will also be helpful for youth workers, counsellors, Police and other organisations working with and coming into contact with this group.

This website takes you, the service providers, behind their curtains. It includes audio and video stories, quotes from interviews with young women, the final report from the project and a link to a webinar summarising the research. In addition, the website contains a brief summary of a previous project – Drinking in the Suburbs – which investigated experiences with alcohol of young Aboriginal men and women, a detailed report on the findings of that research and an e-book of quotes from the project.

The stories presented in this website stories are not representative of all young Aboriginal women and girls in Western Australia. Rather, they are a snapshot of the experiences of a sample of young Aboriginal women living in Perth, talking candidly about their lives and their experiences with reaching out for support. Their stories are both negative and positive, and we encourage you to listen without judgement or defence with the hope that you will take something new away with you.

This website has three primary purposes. Firstly, as a professional development resource; secondly, as a tool to use when building engagement and talking with young women about complex issues; and finally as a resource to consider when planning for organisational development. The ‘how to use this website’ section will provide you with some ideas of how to use this website for these purposes.