SBWN's community initiative for 2016/2017 has been a roaring success.
This year SBWN has changed the community "give back" initiative. Instead of individual scholarships awarded to young women in the community, we embraced an opportunity to reach hundreds of young women and men around the region.
We sponsored Rebecca Slavin, 2016 Bass Coast Young Citizen of the Year, to speak to secondary schools around the Gippsland region. The schools selected one or more year levels, ranging from year 9 to year 12, to attend her brutally raw and honest account of her recovery from Ice addiction.
Her message hit home with many students, and Deanne Staley received many messages of thanks from both students and parents.
The feedback was all positive, and it has been an honour to have helped Rebecca touch so many young lives. If we have helped save just one family from the heartache and heartbreak of Ice, we have succeeded.
Schools Rebecca has shared her story with included:
- Newhaven College, Phillip Island
- Mary MacKillop Catholic Regional College, Leongatha
- Korumburra Secondary College, Korumburra
- Wonthaggi Secondary College, Wonthaggi
- Mirboo North Secondary College
- Foster Secondary College
Rebecca at Wonthaggi Secondary College with a handful of students
Rebecca with students from Korumburra Secondary College
In the Press
Extract from "The Mirror" after the Foster Secondary College talk:
Ice talk made an impact
Rebecca Slavin ( Bass Coast Young Citizen of the year 2016 ) visited the college last Wednesday to discuss her experiences with drugs and alcohol. Year 10 and Year 11 students were captivated by her story.
Rebecca grew up locally and came from a close and loving family but at the age of fourteen began to experiment with alcohol. At the age of seventeen she had her first hit of the drug Ice, and it was not long before she descended into the hell of severe addiction. Rebecca was totally honest about how she lied, stole and manipulated in order to feed her need for the drug. Not only did it affect her relationships with her friends and family, but she also became a victim of domestic violence.
Associating with other Ice users resulted in Rebecca frequently being beaten. At one stage she was kidnapped and at another had a gun held to her head. She was frequently hospitalised and her heart stopped for a short time - she had experienced death. However, the drug held such a fierce grip on her she went straight back onto it.
As confronting as her story was, the important theme was the message of hope. Rebecca eventually attended over a year of rehabilitation and managed to fight her demons, re-learning the interpersonal skills most people take for granted and regaining a stronger sense of her own values and morality.
Most impressive was the courage Rebecca showed in being able to share her experiences, including answering questions with candour that to others may have been invasive. The college would like to thank Deanne Staley and the Southern Women's Business Network for sponsoring this event. Thank-you to Rebecca for reaching out to our young students and teaching them that no matter what the situation, help is always available.
Student Wellbeing Leader
Foster Secondary College
Pictured from left to right: Joshua Standfield, Deanne Staley, Bronwyn Clifton, Rebecca Slavin, Amy Tudor
Other articles in the press:
Read more about Rebecca Slavin here: