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ICC Sydney hosts record-breaking youth wellbeing event

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ICC Sydney hosts record-breaking youth wellbeing event
Sydney’s convention centre, ICC Sydney, hosted what is estimated to be a record number of in-person attendees for Australia’s largest youth wellbeing event, Stand Tall, on Thursday.

It is believed 6,000 high school students travelled to ICC Sydney’s Aware Super Theatre, while pre-event registrations indicated the event would also top its highest ever online audience, with streams expected to surpass the 115,000 remote viewers who tuned in last year.

The TEDx style charity event was founded in 2012 by three mothers in response to the challenges they saw young people facing, including depression, bullying and drug use.

The program comprised motivational speakers, entertainment and stories from young talent, who like most of the presenters have faced and overcome adversity in their lives. with Australia’s Gallup Student Poll finding only 42 per cent of young people are hopeful, the event aims to give young people more hope. A previous survey by Stand Tall found 74 per cent of student attendees said they were positively impacted by the event.

“Now in our seventh year together with ICC Sydney, Stand Tall Event has grown from 1,500 in 2017 to 6,000 attendees with more than 115,000 people expected to join remotely in 2023,” said Angela Farr-Jones, co-founder and associate CEO of Stand Tall.

“As Australia’s youth grapple with evolving challenges – from cyberbullying to our environmental crisis and the rising cost of living, never has it been so important to instil hope into the next generation.  

“It is absolutely vital that as young people tackle the broader societal issues or their own personal challenges that they are given hope for a better future. Young role models really do inspire other people. That is why now, more than ever, Stand Tall is committed to providing meaningful connections to support young Australians,” she said.  

ICC Sydney’s CEO Geoff Donaghy addressed the Stand Tall event on Thursday morning.

“ICC Sydney is honoured to have supported our community partner Stand Tall to deliver their extraordinary event for the past seven years,” he said of gathering.

“Leveraging our in house AV technology, talented events professionals and team member volunteers who support the event delivery, we have been able to creatively promote, plan and present this event – helping to expand its reach, to inspire more young people than ever this year and drive an important social impact legacy.”

The event went fully virtual in 2020, which massively increased its reach – 68,000 students and teachers tuned in that year, and a live stream has continued to feature as an element of the event, meaning the messages of Stand Tall can reach young people in regional and remote Australia.

Stand Tall Chief Executive Officer, Jeanine Treharne said the venue’s unique technical capabilities and delivery of the hybrid event made it possible to expand the impact of the Stand Tall event. 

“ICC Sydney was instrumental in helping us to reimagine the Stand Tall event to include a live stream back in 2020,” said Stand Tall CEO Jeanine Treharne in the leadup to the 2023 event.

“This year we have again kept this legacy going and with ICC Sydney’s expert technical support, Stand Tall will reach beyond our attendees at Aware Super Theatre and help us to build hope in the lives of an unprecedented number of young people through the live stream.”

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