What’s Your Story? Revealing the change in late night culture one story at a time.

What’s Your Story? aims to improve the drinking culture of young adults aged between 18-24 years who frequent late night entertainment precincts by collecting and sharing stories. These stories highlight positive social norms regarding alcohol culture which could potentially disrupt current drinking patterns for this group.

The session will provide an opportunity for participants to:

  • Understand the method of story collection used
  • Interact with the material collected
  • View a collection of video’s where young people provide their insight and experiences regarding their alcohol consumption.
  • Reflect on the use of story to encourage change and promote health messages to young people
  • Hear about the findings of the project

The collection of over 180 stories provided the premise for understanding the current nature of alcohol culture within nightlife environments in Melbourne, Prahran and St Kilda. The process of storytelling was made up of several different components including character development, emotional connection as well as getting lost in the narrative. It has been through this process that young people had the opportunity to consider their and their friends drinking. We found that connection through narrative is more powerful that traditional health promotion approaches like posters and coasters. This project is one of nine projects funded by VicHealth under the Alcohol Culture Change Initiative (ACCi). It is a partnership project between the City of Melbourne, City of Port Phillip and City of Stonnington with research partners Monash University and Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre.

About your Workshop Leaders:

Maria Plakourakis from City of Melbourne and Julia McCusker from the City of Port Phillip, will co-present the findings about what’s important to community when visiting Melbourne at night and what bearing this has on Melbourne’s entertainment offer, activities within Melbourne’s entertainment precincts and managing demands. The project team consists of representatives from the Cities of Port Phillip, Melbourne and Stonnington. Maria is represented on the project team for the What’s Your Story Alcohol Culture Change Project overseeing its implementation.

Maria Plakourakis has worked as an educator in schools and has extensive experience Coordinating suicide prevention programs and facilitating links to services within the South East region of Victoria.  Maria commenced at the City of Melbourne in November 2006.  Her initial focus was as a Social Planner and Executive Coordinator of the Melbourne Licensees Forum, where she focused on building relationships between local authorities and this business sector, to reduce crime, violence and alcohol related harm.   Maria is currently Senior Policy Officer – City Safety at the City of Melbourne.  She coordinates research and delivers initiatives that relate to Melbourne’s Night Time Economy and advocates for strategic alcohol and other drug harm reduction policy and activities.

Over the last two decades the City of Melbourne has built a strong foundation on which to respond to issues of community safety. Melbourne’s nightlife culture is changing and this has some correlation on the changing attitudes to alcohol.  Young people aged between 18 to 24 years told us their stories about what makes a great night out in our entertainment precincts.  These reflections provide a rich tapestry of information from which to promote messages that are surprising and reveal a deeper narrative.

| May 11th, 2019 | Posted in Uncategorized |

Leave a Reply