On 27 June 2010 the Minister for Youth, Kate Ellis, announced new Australian Government initiatives to promote positive body image among young Australians.
The new initiatives aim to build young people’s resilience to negative body image pressures and promote leadership on this issue in the fashion, media and advertising industries.
The announcement included the release of a statement in response to recommendations from the National Advisory Group on Body Image. Minister Ellis also gave her support for a Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct.
- Read the Minister’s statement ( PDF 503KB | RTF 30KB)
- Read the Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image ( PDF 548KB | RTF 109KB)
Individuals and their immediate social environment
New initiatives to build young people’s resilience to negative body image pressures focus on the education environment and include:
- Support for The Butterfly Foundation for a major expansion of their body image education services. Training and workshop materials covering topics like media literacy and self esteem will be developed and delivered to approximately 2,500 educators around the country – directly benefiting around 100,000 young people.
- Development of a ‘body image friendly school’ poster and supporting materials to provide practical guidance for all schools on this issue. Education Services Australia is undertaking this project, and the Australian Government will distribute the poster to every primary and secondary school.
Industry and Popular Culture
Initiatives to encourage media, fashion and advertising industries to promote more positive body image messages include support for the Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct. The Code provides guiding principles for these industries and is an important call to action.
To encourage industry efforts and take-up of the Code, a new national body image friendly awards scheme will also be developed. The awards scheme will focus on initiatives targeting young people and is expected to be launched later in 2010, following consultation with industry groups.
A significant feature of the awards will be a body image friendly symbol. Award recipients will be able to display this symbol as public acknowledgment of their leadership and achievement in this area.
These new initiatives support the Australian Government’s commitment to young people through its National Strategy for Young Australians, which includes a focus on body image under the health and wellbeing priority area.