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The Lord Mayors International student welcome saw students from all over the world coming together to be welcomed to Melbourne, Australia for their first semester of study abroad. The weather on the day was fairly dreary; wind, rain and overcast skies, however, the turnout of students was surprisingly high! This event was a fantastic foray into cultural and linguistic diversity, taking the message of safe sex and regular screening to a broader demographic.
In general we were received well, though I found there were some noticeable differences in reactions and attitudes towards our content from the different cultures in attendance. There were a few times during the day that we were truly astounded by the lack of knowledge surrounding sexual health, and more than a few times that we had students giggle and refuse to take our resources out of embarrassment. We took along resources from the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, which offers free screening of STIs without requiring a Medicare card, ideal for international students.
We also brought Wheely Sexy, the spinning wheel of sexual health questions, in hindsight, the questions were perhaps a bit too advanced for the crowd. From our experiences on the day, we all agreed that the content we delivered would have been more beneficial if pared back, taking it down to the basics of sex ed. We managed to hand out nearly all the resources, information cards, condoms and lube that we had with us though, which tells me that probably quite a few of the students that were too embarrassed to talk with us will now have the resources on hand to learn more about sexual health.
By, Georgia- Melbourne Agent of YEAH