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Need help?

We provide free, confidential support.
Mon - Fri, 9am - 8pm
1800 458 685
Worried about someone you care about? NEED HELP NOW?

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Alternatively you can contact us by:
PO Box 2950
Fitzroy Victoria 3065

Tel: +61 3 9415 8881
Fax: +61 3 9415 8882
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While we often think of drugs as either ‘legal’ or ‘illegal’, the truth is most of the time they’re somewhere in between. This means that although the substance might be technically legal, there are laws that restrict how it can be used.

Take alcohol for example, while it’s illegal to buy it (or have an adult buy it for you) if you’re under 18, as soon as that birthday comes around it’s readily available to you. And while ketamine is technically a legal substance, it’s also restricted, meaning if it’s not prescribed by a doctor or vet it’s considered illegal.

If you get caught using a substance illegally, having it on you, growing or trafficking it, you may be charged.

f you get caught using a substance illegally, having it on you, growing or trafficking it, you may be charged. However if you’re under 18 and caught with a small amount of an illegal drug, you may have the option of attending an education program or treatment to save you from being charged with a criminal offence. 

For more information on drugs and the law, head to

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Finding a job can feel like a job in itself, especially if you don’t have much experience. But never fear! There are some simple steps you can take to help you on your search for paid work.

1. Ask yourself what you like doing

Whether it’s music, talking to people, food, clothes, cars, computers, sports or staplers, ask yourself what makes you smile. Chances are you’re not going to land your dream job right away, but having a general idea of the kind of place you would like to work can help motivate you to get there. 

REMINDER: Even the worst job in the world will give you valuable skills and experience to take to your next (way better) one
2. Jump online

There are some great job seeking websites that allow you to narrow down your search by industry, area and type of work (i.e. part-time, full-time or casual). They also allow you to create an online profile where potential employers can view your resume and information.

Check out the following sites to get you started:

You’ll also find valuable tips on how to write a sweet resume and cover letter, as well as the best way to handle a job interview. 

3. Ask around

A huge number of jobs aren’t advertised. That’s because employers would much rather the person they’re looking for just appeared on their doorstep, instead of spending valuable time and money advertising for a position. As daunting as it may seem, calling up a company to ask if they’re hiring (a ‘cold call’) can be a great way to stand out, equally, if you just show up with your resume. If you’re friendly and polite, chances are the person you deal with will be nice and helpful. Even if they’re not hiring, you’ve made a valuable connection that you can potentially follow up with at a later date.

4. Get help

If you are receiving Centrelink benefits like youth allowance, your allocated job services agency should provide you with help on resume writing and finding local job vacancies. Next time you see your job agency worker, ask them for help reviewing your resume. Should you have trouble getting work due to needing more qualifications, your job agency should be able to help you out finding appropriate training and offer help with course fees.

At the end of the day, most employers aren’t looking for the smartest or even the most qualified person to fill the role. Being enthusiastic, friendly, willing to learn, a team player and showing an interest in what the company does will make you stand out from the crowd.

HOT TIP: Most workplaces hate people being late. Find a job that fits into your schedule and make a point of always getting there ten minutes early.

You can also get some help by attending one of our day programs





The Sunshine YSAS team provides the following services to young people from Local Government areas City of Brimbank, City of Maribyrnong, City of Melton, City of Wyndham and City of Hobsons Bay. 
  • Youth Outreach
  • Youth Forensic Outreach
  • Emerging Communities Project

Visy Cares Hub
80B Harvester Road
Sunshine VIC 3020
Tel: +61 3 9091 8200

View in Google Maps >


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Keeping track of money is an essential independent living skill.

The best way to use your money wisely is to keep track of your income and your expenses. This will allow you to realise what your wasting money on so you can save for the stuff you really want. The budget table above is a great way to start, just fill in what you’re spending money on, where you’re getting money from and add it all up.

Use this budgeting table to help you work it all out:

My Budget

Alternatively, there are a bunch of applications available free on smart phones; just search for ‘budget’ and you should find one.

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When youth worker Arry Valastro said “hello” to the young guy hanging out with his friends at YSAS Fitzroy, his bottom lip started quivering. Sensing that he might want to talk away from the gaze of his peers, she invited him into another room for a private chat. 

What followed was a moving, insightful and surprisingly deep conversation. The young man, whose name was Jerry, spoke about the relationships he had with his family and girlfriend, how society viewed him, and how the image he portrayed to the outside world didn’t really reflect who he was inside. Jerry cried, but Arry held back her own tears – she didn’t want to show too much emotion in case it frightened him from opening up again in the future.

As the chat drew to a close, Jerry said, “I always thought you were a nice lady because you always said hello to me when I came in.”
Three years on, Arry still remembers that statement. It taught her that sometimes small courtesies can have a big impact on the people she works with. “A lot of these young people have never had a consistent adult in their life who has treated them with common courtesy and respect,” she says. “It’s those little things that make such a huge difference.”

Now when Jerry comes into the YSAS offices, he sees Arry and says, “Hello, have you got time for a chat?”

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Friday, 28 March 2014

Youth AOD Practice Summit
“Advancing Youth AOD Practice”

Working with the most vulnerable young people around their needs and AOD use is a specialised and yet diverse area. This Summit provided Practitioners with the opportunity to contribute to the conversation about best practice in this field, while advancing their knowledge and skills in working with young people.

The Summit included and encouraged the use of social media technologies to create a collaborative and lively engagement with participants, with the goal of creating a Summit Report to identify key issues for the youth AOD sector reform. (Forthcoming)

Our keynote speaker was the highly respected and engaging Professor Iain McGregor from University of Sydney, who specialises in psychopharmacology.

Youth AOD Practice Summit “Advancing Youth AOD Practice” took place on the 28th of March.
Participants had the opportunity choose from Workshops to advance their knowledge and skills in the areas of:
  • Trauma and young people in youth AOD work
  • Self-injury & youth AOD work
  • Motivational Interviewing in the ‘real world’
  • Using Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) with young people
  • Treatment of Methamphetamine problems
  • Emerging Drugs: The challenges of responding to the next generation of drugs

The Summit was launched by Mr Craig Ondarchie MP, and featured an interactive Plenary session to ask participants
‘How do we advance Youth AOD practice?’.

There was also the launch of an exciting new sector-wide initiative for practitioners, plus a unique opportunity to hear from young people who have been in the care of the youth AOD sector.


The event was SOLD OUT.

or Tel (03) 9415 8881


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