In the past, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has funded print media campaigns in response to the fact that young adolescent males are not fully hard wired to comprehend the consequences of poor decision-making by informing them of the consequences of bad behaviour.
Utility Creative worked with DOJ with an idea to develop an interactive program to teach young males about making the right choices in life.
The challenge was to devise a program to be rolled out in secondary schools in areas with high rates of youth violence that would engage the target audience and provide them with genuine insight into their decision-making.
The team collaborated with adolescent psychologists to write the program that consists of a range of audio and visual material including an interactive game facilitated by guest boxers such as Sam Soliman. The program helps young males understand their critical life-stage, and the difference between good, bad and ugly choices within the context of consequences.
Since its launch, the Choices program has been rolled out to over 150 groups statewide. The program has evaluated positively with the majority of participants showing significant improvement in their awareness of the consequences of their actions. As a result the program has received three rounds of funding and additional programs have been developed based on the Choices model to target adolescent females and Koori males.
The program gained outside interest from the Collingwood and Western Bulldogs football clubs with Brownlow Medallist Dane Swan and Daniel Cross guest facilitating a number of sessions. The program was the theme of a Collingwood/Geelong clash at the MCG with Dane Swan featuring on the cover of the AFL Record for an article on the importance of good decision-making.
In addition the program has received press numerous times in the Herald Sun and The Age newspapers and on Fox Footy.