About

Rize Above is a multi-stream primary prevention relationship education program for young people, developed by Relationships Australia South Australia in partnership with the City of Salisbury.

 Responding to the drivers of violence, Rize Above was built with the guidance and influence of young community members. 

The online course can be completed as part of a school response or by an individual. More on the program below.

Meet the Team

We are a specialist community-focused team, based in South Australia, which provides support and training to young people. We provide therapeutic-education services to young people 12-25 years and support parents, caregivers and professionals to gain skills in understanding and talking about healthy relationships, family and domestic violence and gender equality.

The aim of our work is to assist young people to develop skills to have healthier more equal relationships, and to support caregivers and professionals to become allies with these goals. We provide professional training sessions and partner with senior schools to create community change.

We are allies with community and strive to not only hear the voices of those too often silenced, but to privilege them in the work we do.

Melissa Ruthen (She/Her)

Team Leader Children’s Services North

As Team Leader of Children’s Services North, Melissa oversees a number of children and community programs for Relationships Australia South Australia. As well as Rize Above, there are services to support parenting, children and young people counselling, programs supporting children after separation and community collaborations. Melissa has worked alongside community coordinating events such as the five annual National Sorry Day in the North events, The Stolen Generations Healing Camp, and several family and domestic violence events. She has coordinated industry training days for family and domestic violence with the Northern Regional Forum’s series and several focusing on supporting young people in healthy relationships. She has supported the development, adaption and evaluation of programs to better support community need. She has a strong passion for supporting community voice in all programs and allies with community across therapeutic, educational programs and events. Her passion for collaboration work is built upon a foundation of therapeutic skills, intervention strategies and family and domestic violence responses.

Gabby Owens (She/Her)

Community Engagement / Lead Therapeutic Group Worker

Gabby is a skilled practitioner combining her passion for supporting young people and addressing gender inequality with her frameworks of trauma informed, community-led interventions. Her skills in supporting clients from diverse backgrounds and disability groups is supported by her First Class Honours, Bachelor of Psychology and trainings in family and domestic violence. Gabby’s experience in supporting young people as peer-mentors, as well as in group and 1:1 interventions further supports her skills to support young people as individuals with rights, knowledge and power.  Gabby’s passionate about addressing the ongoing and harmful gender inequalities that disadvantage our communities, particularly in how these impact young people.

Rui Ma (She/Her)

Community Engagement / Therapeutic Group Worker

Rui is one of the friendly faces of Rize Above team at Relationships Australia. Splitting her time across delivering in-school program and engaging young people in the online interactive youth hub, Rui is passionate about working with young people and pride themselves on creating a safe, friendly, confidential, and non-judgmental environment. Coming from education and social work background, Rui has experience working with young people from different cultural backgrounds and LGBTIQA+ community in social and therapeutic group settings where their voices are heard for decisions and development. Rui is also a strong advocate for removing the stigma around youth mental health and preventing domestic violence through improving literacy.

Troy Wang (He/Him)

Community Engagement / Therapeutic Group Worker

Troy maintains a high value in clients and stakeholder engagement with a passion for helping others to succeed. He is strong at advocating for those considered vulnerable or disadvantaged and enjoys achieving outcomes. His background of Master of Social Work and his clinical experience in youth mental health helps him to better support clients. Troy is a flexible person and has a good sense of humour. Troy is passionate about collaborating his therapeutic skills, communicating skills and clinical knowledge to provide early interventions.

Meet the Peer-Mentors in Training

Head over to the Youth Hub to ask the mentors about all things relationships!

Select ‘Ask a Peer-Mentor’ in the Q&A chat box.

Jakyrah (She/Her)

For fun I like to: Play sports and I love to do Aboriginal Art.

Ask me about: Construction

Shaun

For fun I like to: Feed animals, engaged with wood work and keen to do more. Studying Vet science or ornithology.

Ask me about:  Weird facts, wood carvings, snakes or animals

Phoenix(She/Her)

For fun I like to: Watch movies.

Ask me about: Childcare and Aboriginal knowledge

Kynan (He/Him)

For fun I like to: Watch Anime, play games, play basketball or watch shows.

Ask me about: Aboriginal culture and job interviews.

Jamaika - Rose (She/Her)

For fun I like to: Do skid kids (speedway bike riding)

Ask me about: Bicycle maintenance, woodwork projects, riding bikes, making friends with everyone, fashion, year round winter fashion, maths.

Daniel (He/Him)

For fun I like to: Play sports – mainly basketball. I also play video game and like to relax in a park or at the beach.

Ask me about: Anything, as I’m comfortable with any topic and like to learn about things I don’t understand. 

Khaos (They/Them)

For fun I like to: Do makeup and skin care and work on my small business. 

Ask me about: The Khaotic Collection. ‘When life can be difficult, let us make self-care a little easier’.

Kiarrah (She/Her)

For fun I like to: Work on cars, play video games, sleep, annoy my siblings. 

Ask me about: Anything!

What is Rize Above?

Rize Above is a specifically designed multi-stream program which responds to the drivers of violence. It is funded under the Australian Government, Department of Social Services and aligns with The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children. The four streams are:

The projects are designed, developed and delivered with the support of community and whilst delivered as a primary prevention program has components built in to support the sustainability of impacts. 

Intimate partner violence contributes to more death, disability and illness in women aged 15 to 44 than any other preventable risk factor. Every year in Australia, over 300,000 women experience violence.

By the age 15:

  • 1 in 5 women have experienced sexual violence.
  • 1 in 3 have experienced physical violence
  • 1 in 4 have experienced sexual or physical violence by an intimate partner

Gender Drivers which lead to higher probability of violence against women include:

  • Condoning of violence against women
  • Men’s control of decision making and limits to women’s independence in public and private life
  • Rigid gender roles and stereotyped constructions of masculinity and femininity
  • Male peer relations that emphasise aggression and disrespect towards women

Rize Above – Respectful Relationships Education Program actions that disrupt these drivers to lower the probability of violence against women:

  • Identifying and challenging the condoning of violence against women
  • Fosters positive personal identities and challenges rigid gender stereotypes and roles
  • Strengthens positive, equal and respectful relationships
  • Promotes and normalises gender equality

Relationships Australia South Australia

Responding to your needs

Relationships Australia South Australia has over 60 years’ experience in providing services that respond to the needs of South Australians. We are a not-for-profit, charitable organisation, with no religious affiliations.  Our purpose is to provide services which assist people who are vulnerable and disadvantaged, with a particular focus on:

  • Those who are financially disadvantaged and are unable to access other services;
  • Those who are living with complex life situations;
  • Those who are affected by past experiences or health conditions which have a impact on their lives.

At Relationships Australia South Australia we are here to provide the help needed to overcome difficulties so that people can bring about positive change in their lives.

We receive funding from both the Commonwealth and State governments. We are a member of the National Federation of Relationships Australia, which has member organisations in every Australian State and Territory.

Our approach

Our health and wellbeing services are based on a primary health approach. This broad approach recognises the importance of the social environment – families, friends, colleagues, communities – as an influence on how well we feel. We understand that life can have unexpected challenges and we support people during these times. We recognise that there are health inequalities in our society and we work closely with community groups to make sure our services are responsive to diverse experiences and needs.

We employ over 280 staff and provide services from nine different locations, in addition to outreach services to many communities and schools across South Australia.

We are governed by a board of directors. For more information, see Governance.

To learn more about Relationships Australia South Australia please visit www.rasa.org.au

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Acknowledgement of Country


The contribution of Aboriginal Australians has shaped our knowledge of the country and our identity. All Australians benefit from the generosity of Aboriginal people sharing their Country and their culture.

Relationships Australia (SA) acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians; their spiritual, physical, emotional, mental and economic connection to the Land and Seas, and apologises for the atrocities that have been perpetrated on them and their ancestors, and recognises the continued impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians today.

We are committed to an ongoing process of reconciliation and will actively engage in redressing inequitable distributions of the physical, spiritual and political economy, in regards to Australian Indigenous issues.

Relationships Australia (SA) recognises and acknowledges that dispossession of Country, and the disruption to family connections has resulted in a breakdown of social networks created through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian’s Knowledge, Law and Culture. We also recognise the continuous intergenerational impact of the history of invasion, policies and legislation.

 

Rize Above values all healthy relationships inclusive of the vast diversity in how these can look. In this site, and in the programs we aim for inclusive language for our terms and challenge heteronormativity. We acknowledge and respect the diversity of bodies, genders and relationships young people have. Young people express their gender and sexuality in different ways, this program celebrates diversity and aims to promote healthy and respectful relationships for all people.
 
Kids Helpline have put together a great resource which talks to many of the definitions and explanations for LGBTIQA+ terms. You can read more here: LGBTIQA+ Ultimate Dictionary