Insight: Apr 10

Most of us remember Seven Up, and perhaps Bingo Bridesmaids & Braces, the UK and Australian documentaries that follow a group of individuals every few years.

But do you remember a group of Australian teenagers that Insight has profiled since the age of thirteen?

SBS last visited them at the age of sixteen, and now they’re back, three years later.

Insight speaks to these young adults – a diverse group from all over Australia, with different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds – and looks at the turning points in their lives.

The group discusses the hardest thing they have each had to deal with in the last three years, how their plans and goals have changed, and what they have been up to since they last caught up with Insight – from learning to drive and pay bills, to dealing with depression, hitting the booze and finding love.

“Thirteen” was the winner of a United Nations Media Peace Prize for Children’s Rights and Issues in 2006. “Sixteen” was a journey down memory lane and now “Nineteen” promises to reunite the group introduced six years ago and explore some of the issues affecting them today.

Guests include:

Hayden Coggan
In ‘Sixteen’, Hayden talked openly about coping with the death of his mother. Now he’s doing a boiler maker apprenticeship and has found someone special to share his life with – a woman who he says keeps him on track and who has helped him overcome some problems with alcohol and gambling.

Shane Riley
Shane had dreams of becoming an elite athlete when he was thirteen. Now, he’s putting in hours at an abattoir and sometimes spends his spare time at the local pub. He admits he’s been caught up in some violent fights.

Mona El-Mohtadi
Mona says changing from an Islamic school into a selective high school in years 11 and 12 opened her eyes to other cultures and ways of life. Mona feels she has extra responsibilities now with university and managing her money.

Evan Tancred
Evan has had some big things to deal with since he was introduced in ‘Thirteen’. As a volunteer lifesaver at his local beach, Evan helped save someone’s life. He’s also doing some acting and looking for a job.

Liam Dudgeon
Liam took a gap year after finishing high school to save enough money for university and to look after his father who had had a mental breakdown. Liam says he was bullied during his final years at school and has learned some of life’s lessons the hard way.

Avanthi Bulathsinhala
Avanthi says she felt a lot of pressure during her final year of high school and had a brush with depression. Rather than continue with medication, she says she got through the difficult time by doing the things she loved – reading, playing guitar, and listening to music.

Lionel Wood
When Lionel was 13 he lamented the lack of positive male role models in his home town, Dubbo. Now at 19, Lionel himself has become a role model. After taking on the school captaincy in his final year at school, he now has a direct impact on the kids around him.

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