Working on reducing alcohol-related harm has long been a priority for Diageo and now Diageo Australia has furthered that commitment by funding the Australian leg of The Smashed Project, in partnership with drama-based education group Gibber.
The Smashed Project is a global program which aims to address the dangers of underage drinking and reduce alcohol-related harm in young people through an interactive dramatisation that resonates with a young audience, and a supporting workshop.
Gibber, in partnership with Diageo Australia, will now take the Australian leg of this program to more than 70 high schools around Australia over the next eight weeks. By the end of its tour, The Smashed Project will have reached more than 13,700 students from years eight and nine.
“Diageo invests significantly to support a positive alcohol culture among adults and reducing alcohol-related harm in our community,” said David Smith, Diageo Australia Managing Director.
“Diageo first launched Smashed in the UK in 2004 and I’ve seen first-hand the positive impact that it’s had on teens, helping them understand the dangers of underage drinking and how to respond to peer pressure.
“I’m thrilled that through our local partner Gibber Australia, we’re now bringing The Smashed Project to Aussie teens and giving them a forum to have an open conversation about the dangers of alcohol and the long-term negative impacts of underage drinking.”
Survey responses of teens in other countries show that the majority of pupils demonstrated significant awareness of the risks associated with underage drinking after witnessing a Smashed Project performance, while 98 per cent of teachers whose students have seen a Smashed Project performance would have the program back again the next year.
Smith added: “The Smashed Project is just one of the investments we make as part of our efforts to ensure a balanced and positive alcohol culture in Australia.”
Last year, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare National Drug Strategy Household Survey showed that Australians are drinking less often, by taking active steps to reduce their consumption. Younger Australians are also reducing their drinking, while over 80 per cent of underage drinkers are now ‘abstaining’.
Gibber Australia CEO Tim Watt said: “The Smashed Project is an effective way to reach young teens on the risks of alcohol misuse because it brings the key messages to life in a format to which they can easily relate. These kids aren’t going to respond to being lectured.”
“I’m also excited that for the first time, the Australian production includes a multimedia element that helps us recreate a more realistic experience for today’s teens with social media channels such as Snapchat playing a big role in the experience.”