How my SWL placement turned into a campaign

SWL Student's deskOver the past 6 weeks, I’ve been doing structured workplace learning one day a week with BGKLLEN.

BGKLLEN stands for Bayside Glen Eira Kingston Local Learning & Employment Network. BGKLLEN only has four staff members and they are great to work with. They are dedicated to creating equal opportunity for all people in education and employment and they like helping each other out. They don’t rush you to think of ideas, they give you time and when you have one, they are very open to it. I have taken part in lots of activities and learned that you can have fun no matter what you are doing (even making labels!). I have used Excel a lot and now feel better about formulas and autosum but the best thing they asked me to do was to brainstorm ideas about how I can help other young people.

At the end of the mind map, I had looked at issues facing other young people but one stood out to me – healthy relationships are super important. When everybody gets along with each other it gives people a chance to live a full life. Families, friendship groups and social activities all should be aware of issues facing young people so they are able to create the right place for them.

Here are some things I learned from surveying other students that I hope you can use:

  • It is more often that girls get hurt by unhealthy relationships
  • Schools and other social activities should make a commitment to not using or allowing people to use the term “like a girl”
  • Young people are pretty happy at home although some people aren’t and need help
  • Schools and social activities should try and build relationships with young people so they feel safe to share their problems
  • Young people’s opinions are valued in their home so communities should also respect young people’s’ opinions on decisions that may affect them
  • Although most of the students didn’t think they were getting picked on, there were enough that did feel bullied which means we still have work to do
  • The best support is to get young people to help other young people who are being picked on


I’d like to thank Laura and my VCAL coordinator for organising the placement and the BGKLLEN team for supporting me.

At the end of my placement, I decided to donate my pay to the Watarrka Foundation to help build a school in an Aboriginal remote community in Lilla, Northern Territory which I visited on camp.

*student name and identifying details withheld

P.s. please watch my video followed by the Always #likeagirl campaign: