Family Planning Tasmania at UTAS – TUSA Clubs and Societies Market Days
Thank you to the Tasmanian University Student Association (TUSA) for inviting us along to all three campus Clubs & Societies’ Market Days. These Market Days are a fantastic opportunity for us to come along and chat with students about their sexual and reproductive health and have a bit of fun while doing so.
TUSA holds Market Days for the different university clubs and societies to help new students join up and learn more about life on campus. A select amount of community organisations relevant to students’ lives are also invited to attend. The atmosphere is lively and energetic, with live music, DJs, and many students attending. It’s an excellent opportunity for Family Planning Tasmania to have a presence, as we like to help students keep themselves safer while enjoying the fun on offer at university.
We understand that university can be a time with increased sexual activity and can be the first time young people have sexual contact with others and experience freedom away from the home environment. It’s particularly important, when alcohol and partying is involved that students are armed with information about how to keep themselves and any potential partners safer, to protect themselves against unplanned pregnancy and STIs and where to go to find contraception options that suit them. At Family Planning Tasmania, we bulk bill for full-time students, meaning they can access our clinical services at no cost.
Going along to health promotion events such as these is also really important to discuss access to termination of pregnancy and dispel any misinformation in the community around how to access this health service.
Image below: Educator Louise attends the Sandy Bay Clubs & Societies Market Day.
This year, Family Planning Tasmania staff attended the Sandy Bay, Launceston and West Park campuses, using National Condom Day messaging as all the events fell within a fortnight of 14 February.
National Condom Day is an annual campaign to encourage the use of condoms and promote safer sex practices, celebrated by the health promoting community. This year’s theme was Yours, Mine and Ours, and featured cute and approachable graphics of condoms and dams to facilitate easier discussions around safer sex and remove the taboo associated with these conversations.
Condoms are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy while being the only form of contraception that can also prevent STI transmission. We give out hundreds of free condoms at our stalls, and encourage students to use condoms when having sex and remind them of the importance of safer sex practices.
Image below: Clinical nurse Alison attends the Launceston Clubs & Societies Market Day.
As part of our health promotion stalls, at Family Planning Tasmania we also like to be interactive. Students are able to ask any questions they might have, but they are also invited to play the fishing game – a question that asks ‘what will you catch?’. This demonstrates to students that while having casual sex, you may not realise what you may catch in terms of sexually transmitted infections, and unplanned pregnancy, and what to do if this happens. We find this game helps bust the stigma in talking about these topics.
Thanks again to the Tasmanian University Student Association (TUSA) for having us along for 2023.
Image below: Burnie campus TUSA Clubs & Societies Day – image borrowed from TUSA’s Facebook page.