Nicoline is the program coordinator of Talking Realities, a young parenting peer education program.
In 1997, utilising a community development framework, Nicoline began working with young mothers who could use their experiences to inform young people about the significant social risks attributed to early parenthood (ie, interruption to schooling, reduction in career prospects, interruption to the process of transition to adulthood, potential poverty and social isolation), allowing them to make informed choices.
Since then, a program model has evolved that provides young families with a number of entry points into Talking Realities, including an intensive supported playgroup, a young parent group, accredited peer education and leadership training programs.
In Talking Realities, the emphasis is on developing the skills and knowledge to:
- acquire accreditation towards a TAFE certificate and/or a Year 12 equivalent
- take on voluntary roles and traineeships, and to gain employment
- facilitate the Talking Realities presentations in secondary schools and youth services.
The Talking Realities program is currently located in four metropolitan areas, with regional services in South Australia and two interstate agencies in Perth and Melbourne.