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» Alcohol & Other Drug Education » Why Choose Us?

Why Choose Us?

Our story began in 1999. We were invited into a complex scene in Victor Harbor by SA Police and began implementing positive engagement strategies with school leavers converging in the area. By collaborating with the community, we were able to respond to the volatile situation and transform it into a safer celebration known today as the Schoolies Festival™.

Encounter Youth has been providing our Alcohol & Other Drug education program to students, parents and teachers since 2000 when we discovered the inherit need to educate and inform students before heading to Victor Harbor for their celebrations. This has grown significantly, and we are now the largest provider of school Alcohol & Other Drug education to South Australian secondary students, educating over 30,000 young people, parents and teachers last year.

Our Educational Approach

Empower Education takes a positive and holistic approach. We come alongside and support your school’s existing drug education program. When our seminars are a part of a wider program, it makes both your school’s program and our presentations more effective and more likely to promote lasting changes in your school community.

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (PDF) produced an excellent report that explored young people’s opinions on Alcohol & Other Drug education. Among the findings, two things helped shape our approach. On the one hand, the research revealed that young people desire “drug education that was perceived to be balanced, ‘real’ and non-judgmental, with programs delivered by ‘outsiders’ (not teachers or those in positions of authority)”. On the other hand, “drug education that provided accurate information not skewed towards scare tactics to prevent young people from taking drugs”.

Supported by fact-based research, our approach focuses on the growing number of students across the country who are choosing not to drink alcohol or take other drugs. From this foundation, we address the realities that some students do drink at risky levels and others engage with drugs. We discuss strategies to reduce harm and to look after others if a night doesn’t go according to plan. Our approach is engaging and interactive yet void of scare tactics and sensationalism.

Independent Evaluation

In June 2021, Encounter Youth commissioned an independent evaluation for our Alcohol & Other Drug education program. The purpose of this evaluation was to identify how the program aligned with best-practice, its impact and to provide recommendations for ongoing improvement. 
Surveys and interviews were designed to evaluate the program and over 5,000 survey and interview responses were collected.
Why Choose Us, Empower Education
Why Choose Us, Empower Education
To find out more about what the evaluation said of our program, see the Independent Evaluation page.

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If you’d like to make any enquiry or a booking, we’d love to hear from you.