Council has teamed up with VicHealth to support an initiative that aims to find out how young people feel about the marketing used by the alcohol industry to influence drinking behaviour.
‘Top Spin’, led by VicHealth, invites young people aged 18 to 29 to share their thoughts, experiences and reflections on alcohol culture through a creative state-wide competition.
Each week, a judging panel of young people, creative professionals and health experts will award a $1000 cash prize, with runner-up cash vouchers also up for grabs.
Mayor Councillor Rob Steane said Top Spin was about supporting young people to peel back the curtain and uncover the tactics used by the alcohol industry to encourage or glorify alcohol consumption.
“According to VicHealth, today’s generation of young people are more aware of the harmful impact of alcohol and are less likely to fall prey to the alcohol industry’s tactics,” Cr Steane said.
“In response to this change, Top Spin, a creative competition, aims to get young Victorians talking, and taking action, about the role alcohol plays in their lives, including the influence of the alcohol industry,” he said.
“We’re hoping this initiative will encourage local young people to stop and think about how their relationship with alcohol is impacted by industry-generated messaging and how they can continue to be the voice for change.”
With support from Maroondah’s Youth Services team, young people like Andy Neilson, 18, are lending their voice to empower today’s generation and help spark a broader conversation about how products are being marketed to impressionable young people.
The Croydon resident, along with other local young people, has produced a short 45-second video clip promoting Top Spin, and has visited local TAFEs to distribute flyers encouraging more young people to submit their entry.
“It’s important [to get involved] because it pushes awareness, not just for those taking part in the competition, but for anyone who sees the entries of that competition,” he said.
Top Spin seeks to highlight the tactics in alcohol advertising, the connection between sport and alcohol, the alcohol industry’s political influence and the boozy culture young adults encounter during major life transitions, like starting uni or getting their first job.
Of the entries received last year, 92 per cent of participants reported increased concern about alcohol harms, and more than half discussed the issue of alcohol industry influence with friends or family.
Top Spin competition entries can be submitted by text, image or video. The competition closes midnight on Sunday 12 May.