11h CPDConference

Teenagers and Risky Behaviours Conference

2-Day Conference for Professionals

Teenagers and Risky Behaviours Conference 2020 - Sydney


Surry Hills
27 - 28 Feb 2020
Rydges Sydney Central,
28 Albion Street

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Why Attend

Come to this important conference on teenage health. Learn about some of the tough issues that are confronting teenagers, their families, and schools. Topics include:

  • The age of consent
  • Images of the body
  • Peer pressure everywhere
  • Drugs
  • Sex and sexuality
  • Cyber-bullying
  • Building resilient teenagers

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Day One

8:30 Registration for Day One

Geoff Ahern

Teenagers – Every Teen Counts!

Because adolescence is a time of change and adaptation for many teens, it will be one of the most vulnerable periods of their lives. Healthy habits are laid down now … or not. For professionals who work with teenagers, knowing about healthy development is vital. This session looks at:

  • Are you ready to deal with the impact of physiological changes on a teen’s life?
  • How do hormones and puberty alter behaviours?
  • Is recklessness and immature decision-making a part of being a teenager?
  • How can we conduct a HEADDS assessment?
Geoff Ahern

The Smoking Gun – Teens and Substance Use

There are many opportunities for teens to be introduced to both legal and illicit substances that can cause harm. This risky time when peer pressure is at its highest may result in alcohol and other drug use, which may forever alter the teen's life. This session explores:

  • Early signs of vulnerability to peer pressure substance use and misuse
  • Strategies to divert at-risk teens away from substance use and misuse
  • The signs of substance use and misuse
  • What to do when substances are being used if you discover a teenager is using or misusing a particular substance
  • Treatment options if addiction occurs and substance use becomes a problem
10:30 Morning Tea

Geoff Ahern

Do It! Peer Pressure and Teenagers

This session will highlight the impact of peer pressure on drug-taking in adolescents, with a focus on harm reduction, particularly during high-risk social events like music festivals or end-of-year celebrations, such as schoolies. It will include practical strategies on how to conduct difficult conversations and looks at types of events linked with party drug use in adolescents. Discuss:

  • The strategies most likely to work to prevent the use of party drugs in adolescents
  • Talking about party drugs – conducting difficult conversations with adolescents
  • How to engage and promote harm reduction – a therapeutic approach

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall – Teenage Body Image

Combating negative body image during puberty is not easy. Fitting in and looking the same as peers or others becomes important. At the end of the spectrum, severe mental illness can result. Learn about:

  • Warning signs of negative body image
  • Halting obsessive behaviours
  • What actions to take
  • How to improve teenage self-esteem
  • The link between sports and mental health
  • Body image on the internet, e.g. Rate Me type websites
1:00 Lunch and Networking

Caroline Hunt

Cyber-Bullying – How to Support a Teenager

We all know that cyber-bullying in adolescents is very common and potentially fatal. However, it is a subtle and difficult to discover activity. What should you do? This session discusses:

  • What are the cues that a teenager is being cyber-bullied?
  • Who are the likely perpetrators?
  • What steps can be taken to protect teenagers from cyber-bullying?
  • What actions should you take if cyber-bullying is occurring?
  • Who should be notified?
3:00 Afternoon Tea


Stranger Danger – Online Safety for Teenagers

The internet is a place where people can meet, but what if the other person isn’t who they say they are? This session discusses the possible dangers of making friends with strangers online and discusses:

  • Are all internet strangers dangerous?
  • How can oversharing be detrimental in cases of online friendships?
  • What is online grooming, and how can this lead to real-life crimes?
  • Why is it important for teenagers to know the risks of sexting their online relationship partners?
4:30 Close of Day One of Conference

Day Two

9:00 Commencement of Day Two

Alan McKee

Let’s Talk About Sex

Talking to teenagers about sex and their health is usually difficult and, therefore, avoided. However, assumptions about levels of sexual knowledge and literacy may be misplaced. This session will look at how to talk about sex in a healthy and positive way. It includes:

  • The broader implications of adolescent sexual activity
  • Opening a discussion about sex and behaviour with a teenager without breaching personal boundaries
  • Sexual decision-making
  • Contraception and the morning after pill
  • Pornography – it’s not sex ed

The Rise and Damage of STIs

Chlamydia and gonorrhoea are highest in people 15-24 years of age. However, their symptoms may be silent. This session looks at these common infections and asks:

  • Which STIs are teenagers most likely to contract?
  • What happens when these infections are not treated?
  • What about screening?
  • How are STIs treated when antibiotic resistance is a real concern?
10:30 Morning Tea

Jessica Pratley

When Teens Sexually Assault Other Teens

Sexual assault between teenagers is a phenomenon that is not widely discussed and infrequently reported. However, it is likely to have devastating effects on the victim. Some perpetrators may offend more than once. This session includes:

  • What are the facts about teen-on-teen sexual assault?
  • Is it still sexual assault if penetration does not occur?
  • What are the indicators of teenage sexual assault?
  • What about mandatory reporting?
Jessica Pratley

Age of Consent?

There are many types of consent, which a teenager may or may not be able to legally give depending on age and other factors. Learn about:

  • Is it against the law for a 17-year-old to have sex with a 16-year-old?
  • Can a 15-year-old consent to tattoos or cosmetic breast implants?
  • Can a parent consent to a cosmetic procedure for their teenager?
  • Can parents provide alcohol for 16-year-olds at a party without breaking the law?
  • When does mandatory reporting cease?
1:00 Lunch and Networking

Thea Gumbert-Jourjon

Teens Behaving Badly – Behavioural Disorders in Teenagers

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD) are common problem behaviours that may involve classroom disruption, bullying, failing to follow direction and outright disregard. This session will discover:

  • How to manage severe behavioural disruption
  • The latest theories on management
  • Disruptive, Impulse-Control and Conduct Disorders
  • ADHD
3:00 Afternoon Tea

Geoff Ahern

Bouncing Back – Building Resilient Teens

Yes, it is possible to build resilience in teens. Resilience is a major life skill that helps people throughout their life to positively cope with negativity and to overcome adversity. This session includes:

  • What is resilience?
  • Why can bad things be good for us?
  • Parenting – How can you keep your own fears and anxieties in check?
  • How do you help a teenager develop resilience?
4:30 Close of Conference and Evaluations

The Goal

Need for Program

Approximately 12 to 13 percent of the Australian population consists of 15-25-year-olds. However, the adolescent environment, the bridge between childhood and adulthood, together with bodily changes, may make physical, mental, and social development riskier. Some teenagers have concerns about their health, e.g. their body image and their sexuality. Others disregard their health in quite significant ways, including the use of damaging recreational substances. Promoting healthy habits in teenagers and diverting them from destructive behaviours is the responsibility of all those in positions of professional influence.

Purpose of Program

This program provides insights about teenage health concerns and strategies for promoting a road to a hale and hearty adulthood.

Your learning outcomes:

Understand the many changes that teenagers are faced with and how these impact on their behaviours and moods
Use communication tools relevant to teenagers to promote healthy behaviours and lifestyles during puberty and beyond
Identify and act on early warning signs of risky behaviours and social problems to minimise untoward outcomes on normal development
Engage with relevant referral services and organisations involved with advancing adolescent health to foster a holistic approach to healthy adulthood


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Alan McKee

Professor Alan McKee is an expert on entertainment and healthy sexual development. He holds an Austr... Read More

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To Be Determined

... Read More

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Caroline Hunt

A/P Caroline Hunt is currently the Associate Head (Clinical) in the School of Psychology, at the Uni... Read More

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Geoffrey Ahern

Geoffrey Ahern is a senior mental health clinician and educator who splits his time between working ... Read More

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Thea Gumbert-Jourjon

Thea Gumbert-Jourjon is a registered psychologist who holds a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) degre... Read More

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Jessica Pratley

Jessica Pratley has been working as a Forensic Psychologist since 2007 and was endorsed as a Clinica... Read More


27 - 28 Feb 2020


Rydges Sydney Central
28 Albion Street
Surry Hills NSW,2010


$629.00 (two days)
Book Online Now  

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