Group’s members free to be themselves

A COLAC Area Health program is encouraging girls to be comfortable in their own skin.

The seven-week Girls Taking Action program aims to empower Year Seven girls from Colac Secondary College and Trinity College.

Beacon Foundation presenter Kendall Macdowell, right, is one of two experts teaching Colac Secondary College teens job interview and networking techniques. She is pictured with Bulla Dairy Foods’ Lucy Sudweeks, left, and student ambassador Maddy Mahoney.

The program, which is a follow-up to last year’s Girls on the Go, finished for the term on Monday.

Trinity College Year Seven student Audrey McQuillan said her favourite part of the program was getting to know the girls in the group.

“Each week’s got a topic about being the best we can be, we’ve looked at body image, healthy eating and today we’re looking at beauty,” Audrey said on Monday.

“I’ve come to terms with myself better and realised judging isn’t something you do by appearance,” she said.

Audrey said she would recommend the program to fellow Year Seven students.

“Probably people who don’t like themselves or judge people by their appearance,” she said.

Colac Area Health youth development worker Emma Warton said a Butterfly Foundation framework, Free to BE – a body esteem resource, had inspired the group’s motto “Free to BE”.

The framework is part of the Federal Government’s national body image strategy.

“During the past seven weeks I have seen the girls taking responsibility for their actions, encouraging and supporting each other,” Ms Warton said.

“The two schools have merged really well together and worked as a team to plan the final session break-up party,” she said.

Students interested in joining next term’s program can contact Ms Warton at Colac Neighbourhood House.

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