The Standard

NATIONAL YOUTH WEEKAdvertising Feature

Path to recovery can begin hereAdvertising Feature

Substance use disorders can cause problems such as social health consequences Photo: Shutterstock

WRAD has delivered alcohol and other drug treatment to the South West community for more than 30 years, and continue to grow and develop its services in response to emerging needs.

It now offers one of the most extensive range of services including a bulk billing medical practice and non-residential rehabilitation program, as well the various counselling and support services.

One of WRAD's programs that continues to receive great feedback is the assertive youth outreach (AYO) program.

The AYO program offers alcohol and other drug counselling services to those aged between 12-25 years of age.

The counselling can be delivered at WRAD offices or outreach into schools, health centres and Headspace by appointment.

The issues of youth substance use are a major concern given the potential for long-term harm and is an area where early intervention can be a significant benefit.

Our aim is to create a welcoming and accessible service for young people who might be experiencing problems as a result of substance use to be welcomed into treatment and helped on their journeys of recovery.

The AYO worker has close links with local schools, Brophy Youth & Family Services, Headspace Warrnambool and the child and adolescent mental health service.

Reaching great heights and a confident futureAdvertising Feature

Olivia Biggs with mentees Zac Pringle and Harry Mould. Photo: Supplied

At The Hamilton and Alexandra College, every student is known, valued, and challenged to achieve their personal best.

The College has been supporting graduates to achieve their confident future for 150 years. This looks different for every student, but ultimately it comes down to the individuals drive for success in their choose field of interest or passion.

Through remote learning, many students thrived under the structure of independent learning and self-managing their time and study habits. These are life skills that current youth will draw on through school, tertiary study, and their careers.

At College, the dedicated Year 12 careers practitioner, Mrs Louise Manifold, works with students individually and in small groups to navigate different pathways and to support them to make fully informed decisions.

"A positive outcome of the pandemic is that students have embraced grit and determination; traits that employers and tertiary institutions are looking for. In 2020, I had the pleasure of working with Olivia Biggs, a Year 12 student that personified these qualities. She studied Aviation here at College and was determined to become a commercial pilot.

"Olivia was resilient through the first year of COVID-19 and showed great focus and persistence to achieve her dream. Now she is student of the Qantas Academy and is mentoring two of our current Year 12 students who are interested in a similar pathway. It is exciting to see that she is well on her way to achieving her confident future," said Mrs Manifold.

Olivia is living in Toowoomba and has three months left in the Qantas Academy program.

"I was a boarder at The Hamilton and Alexandra College, and I am grateful for the skills I learnt in balancing study and life. I was a busy student, participating in the Equestrian program, sports and working hard on in my studies to ensure I could follow my passion for flying.

"I'm now part way through the training program and I have my CPL (Commercial Pilot License), MECIR (Multi Engine Command Instrument Rating), Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot License - Aeroplane) and Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating). In the coming months, I will complete my ATPLs (Airline Transport Pilot License), Advanced Diploma of Aviation (Pilot in Command) and MCC (Multi Crew Coordination).

"It is an intense course, with lots of exams, and they describe it like "drinking out of a fire hose". It is more intense than Year 12 but there is no doubt that the well-rounded, challenging, and supportive education provided at College has set me up to reach this goal. I am so excited for my future of flying," Miss Biggs said.

The Hamilton and Alexandra College is a regional, independent school, celebrating 150 years of providing aspiration education for day and boarding students from ELC to Year 12.

To learn more about College, visit or call to make an appointment for a personal tour.