Smashed, an award-winning educational program, has reached 200,000 Australian students and warned them about the risks of underage drinking.

The program launched in 2018 and is delivered by Gibber Educational and sponsored by Diageo Australia. It is now running programs in schools across Victoria, NSW, the ACT, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia, and Queensland. Originally developed in the UK, Smashed has been adapted for an Australian audience, combining theatre with interactive workshops to deliver alcohol education and attitudinal change.

Angus McPherson, Managing Director of Diageo Australia, said that Diageo is committed to the program.

“At Diageo Australia, we’re deeply committed to working to reduce alcohol-related harm in our society and we’re very proud of the great work Smashed has been doing to educate young Australians about the risks of underage drinking. We’re glad that we’ve been able to bring the opportunity to participate in this unique and engaging educational experience to more than 200,000 students,” said McPherson.

The program spread to Queensland this week, bringing the total number of students reached to 200,000. 1127 performances have been given to years 8, 9 and 10 students from 545 schools across the country. Smashed also recently expanded to Western Australia, where it visited 38 schools across Perth.

Smashed ties into health and physical education curriculums for Australian high school students, and provides schools with materials and support for follow up lessons, as well as an online guide aimed at parents.

“The Smashed program has been and continues to be an incredibly effective way of connecting with young people around the risks of underage drinking and alcohol misuse. We empower young people with the necessary skills and knowledge to make healthy life choices around alcohol,” explained Gibber Educational CEO Tim Watt.

Results from Smashed’s latest impact report indicate that 95 per cent of surveyed students are are less likely to drink underage as a result of taking part in Smashed, and 92 per cent believe that the program is an effective way to learn about the dangers of underage drinking. As a result of the program, there was a 25 per cent increase in the proportion of students who could identify where to get help for alcohol-related issues in their area.

Recent data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare indicates that more young Australians are abstaining from alcohol, but programs like Smashed continue to be important means of educating as many young people as possible about the risks of underage alcohol consumption.

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