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Standing Tall for Australia’s Youth


Jeanine Treharne, CEO & Co-Founder at Stand Tall Standing Tall for Australia’s Youth.

The Stand Tall –Australia’s largest youth mental wellbeing convention event was founded in 2012 by three mothers of high school students Jeanine Treharne, Angela Farr-Jones and Roslyn Hills in response to the tragic level of drug use, depression, bullying, hopelessness and self-harm among high school students.

The foundation for Stand Tall was simple – to see change in the next generation by providing young students with hope for their future. They set about creating a unique one-day TEDx style event with the aim of getting cut-through with teenagers and change their mindset and ultimately, the course of their lives.

The first event was hosted in 2013 with an army of friends. The inaugural Stand Tall event touched some 1,100 secondary students in the Knox school hall where they were treated to inspiring stories from a diversity of speakers including blind surfer Derek Rabelo who flew in especially from Brazil. They were also entertained by popular young singers, including X factor runner up, Taylor Henderson.

The success of this event triggered a new way of providing effective wellbeing lessons to secondary students. One year 11 student told the crew, that day – “You have to keep doing what you are doing because today you have given me hope. I have had depression for two years and teachers told me I would get better but I didn’t really believe them but today I know I am going to be ok.”


The rest was history.

Stand Tall quickly evolved from a small scale at Knox to two regional events in 2015, then moved to the Luna Park Big Top in 2016 and then found its new home today at the ICC Sydney in 2017.

Stand Tall has now become the largest youth event of its kind in Australia outgrowing the 2500 seat Darling Harbour Theatre within 2 years and today celebrated their 10th event in the 8,000 seat Aware Super Theatre with 6000 students and more than 50,000 watching the live streamed event.

Secondary school student from all backgrounds gather at the ICC Sydney to hear messages of hope and inspiration from speakers who have either faced major adversities or set themselves incredible goals and have then gone on to lead amazing lives.

Through these events Stand Tall arms youth with the skills of resilience, the strength to stand up to bullying, the keys to motivation, the power of perspective, plus the benefits of making good and wise decisions. One massive day of positive input into a young Australian can change a life.

Young people are inspired to dream big and set achievable goals by speakers such as this year’s speaker, the Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne. Whose story is beautifully told in the movie Ride Like a Girl.

Stand Tall promotes the idea that everyone has the power to help others, whether it be in large numbers or the person next door. This year’s event includes young Orange Sky Laundry charity founders Nic Marchesi OAM and Lucas Patchett OAM, Michael Crossland who founded an orphanage in Haiti and Aminata Conteh-Biger who founded the Aminata Maternal foundation that assist young mothers in Sierra Leone.

Schools can also access excellent follow-up resources, online modules for class discussions around the topics brought forward by their inspirational speakers.

This work continues beyond the one-day event, with Stand Tall providing a week-long specialised summer camps in Sydney for disadvantaged and vulnerable teens. The concepts discussed at the event are also developed into online practical wellbeing classes for secondary students.

For more information on Stand Tall, please visit: The event is sold out, however schools and students are welcome to join in the live stream for free!

About Stand Tall   

Stand Tall is a not-for-profit organisation established by Jeanine Treharne and Angela Farr-Jones to build hope and help address mental health issues in young people. From humble beginnings in 2013 where 1,200 secondary students sat in a school hall to hear inspiring stories of hope, the success of this first event triggered a new way of providing effective wellbeing lessons to secondary students.  

Stand Tall has now become the largest youth event of its kind in Australia, experiencing exponential growth over the last eight years. Student cohorts, from a range of schools, gather in the ICC Sydney theatre to hear messages of hope from speakers who have either faced major adversities, or set themselves incredible goals and have then gone on to lead amazing lives.  

For further information or to provide support and donations to the Stand Tall charity please visit  Schools, students and anyone else keen to participate can sign up for the free online event here. The event will be available to view online until August 9, 2021.  

Written by Robyn Foyster

With over 30 years experience as a journalist and TV producer, Robyn Foyster is the owner and publisher of the lifestyle websites, and

Robyn was voted one of the 30 most powerful women in media at the 2015 B&T Women In Media Awards.

Previously, Robyn was the Publisher and Editor of Australia's three biggest flagship magazine brands - The Australian Women's Weekly, Woman's Day and New Idea.

Robyn won Editor of the Year at the 2007 Magazine of the Year Award and under her helm The Australian Women's Weekly won the inaugural 2008 Australian Magazine Award for Australia's best mass market magazine and New Idea won the MPA's coveted Magazine of the Year award.

She can be contacted on


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