People and Places
20/12/2020
Mount Martha teen speaks out with ABC

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Mount Martha 18-year-old Tamsin Griffiths was announced by the ABC as one of 32 young winners of the inaugural Takeover Melbourne storytelling competition on November 27. As a part of the new initiative, the ABC partnered with VicHealth, Resilient Melbourne and the Centre for Multicultural Youth, strengthening the voices of young Melburnians aged 12 to 18. Out of the hundreds of entries, Tamsin and the fellow winners, representing each of the local government areas of Greater Melbourne, were selected to have their stories featured on the ABC.

In relation to Tamsin’s topic, it all began when she decided on the subject for her Year 12 extended investigation class where the Woodleigh student focused her thesis on sex education. After seeing an ad for Takeover Melbourne, Tamsin jumped at the chance to share her research and passion with others. After compiling a mini speech to summarise her impressive thesis, she submitted it right on deadline. After her success, ABC staff worked with her to focus in on the serious issue and edit the draft to perfection. 

“When I first heard the news that I’d been selected as a winner, I was very excited,” said Tamsin. “I wasn’t sure if they’d be looking for a piece like mine as it was different from others submitted, so I really didn’t think I’d get in. But I wanted to give it a go. Lots of people in my community have heard it. I am hoping to take the issue further; there’s some promising pathways, so watch this space.” 

Tamsin’s thesis, Where does the responsibility lie?, is an analysis of the ability for a current school-based sexual education program to respond to changing contemporary needs. It explored the fact that schools are a trusted source of sexual education for students, where they are able to access accurate and relevant information that can improve the sexual health of these individuals. Having surveyed more than 550 Year 11 and 12 students across Victoria, Tamsin concluded that the results of the survey highlighted a need for more research and a need for updated information to be included in the sexual education curriculum in Victoria. She also suggested it could begin with modernising the chapter for Year 10 students within the State Government’s Catching on Later sexuality guide.

It’s a compelling audio piece titled Sex is a Natural Part of Life, So Why is it Not Taught Adequately in Schools?, with Tamsin’s passion for acting eloquently bringing the key points home to the listener. Having always been involved in school productions and having studied drama, she’s ever so keen to continue with it in 2021 in addition to pursuing law and psychology at university. 

“I’m so proud to be recognised for sharing my story in the first Takeover Melbourne series,” Tamsin said. “Raising questions about the world we live in is one way young people can shape the future. Takeover Melbourne has given us the opportunity to have our voices and stories amplified.” 

To hear Tamsin’s story, head to abc.net.au/takeover 

KATE SEARS

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