A game changer for Canberra schools
Canberra high school students are being challenged to think critically about alcohol advertising, as they take part in an innovative new program designed to counter alcohol industry messages.
Media literacy program Game Changer+ is an initiative of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), and is supported by the ACT Government under the ACT Health Promotion Grants Program.
The program takes a proactive and preventive approach to improving public health and minimising risky drinking behaviour with a curriculum designed to equip students with key media literacy skills so they can interpret and challenge unhealthy advertising.
The eight-lesson program, which complements schools’ existing health education curriculum, is being taught to Year 9 and 10 students at Canberra High School, Caroline Chisholm School, Namadgi School, and Radford College.
What is (alcohol) media literacy and why does it matter?
‘Media literacy’ refers to the skills and knowledge needed to analyse and evaluate media.
The Game Changer+ course is based on a successful New South Wales initiative developed by a team of researchers from the Australian Catholic University’s Centre for Health and Social Research (CHaSR) in Melbourne.
Lead researcher Professor Sandra Jones, Director of CHaSR, says that media literacy is an effective ‘counter marketing’ intervention in response to the barrage of sophisticated and powerful alcohol industry messages targeted at young people.