School leaver celebrations in Western Australia: a three-year intervention study

Richard Midford, Nicole Young, Fiona Farringdon, Troy Bogaards

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A project involving community management of school leaver celebrations in Western Australia was evaluated over three years. In the first year formative evaluation was undertaken. The findings were then used to draw up a comprehensive intervention programme designed to reduce harm for the leavers and the host community. In the second year the externally co-ordinated and well-resourced intervention was evaluated in terms of impact. In the third year the intervention was on a smaller scale and coordinated by an agency within the local community. The evaluation emphasised sustainability. A similar mixed methodology, comprising surveys of school leavers, interviews with community stakeholders and participant observation was used in all three years. The findings indicate that strategic support can produce sustainable benefits by enhancing community capacity. Activities that brought leavers together in social situations were well received and worked directly to reduce risk. In addition, the act of providing for the leavers built a relationship with the community, which acted indirectly to reduce risk. This sense of relationship seems to be the key to well- run leaver celebrations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-108
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Health Promotion and Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


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