Starting a dialogue about rejection between male peers and genders from a young age

‘Crushed But Okay’ kicked-off on 4 April 2022 with the release of stylised reaction videos on Instagram’s IGTV and accompanying ‘take action’ resources on this dedicated campaign page; all uniquely co-designed and co-produced with young Australians and talented influencers aged 15 to 20.

‘Crushed But Okay’ is the Alannah & Madeline Foundation’s main project output of our eSafety Online Safety Grants Program – an Australian Government initiative, Improve Your Play. It champions the strengths of managing rejection well early, and equips young men with practical strategies to reflect and communicate respectfully, when online intimate relationships don’t go the way we expect or hope.

In partnership with, Swinburne University of Technology, the Foundation worked to ensure ‘Crushed But Okay’ is an evidence-based and socio-culturally relevant digital intervention. Based on a theory of behaviour change, it ultimately aims to reduce online harms of a sexualised nature against women.

Special thanks

Our Research Partners, Swinburne University of Technology: Professor Kath Albury, Professor Anthony McCosker, Dr. Dan Golding, Dr. Angus Veitch and Joanna Williams. Previously Dr Alexia Maddox (Deakin University).

Our Advisory Committee Members: Julia Baron (YACVic), Dr. Clifton Evers (Newcastle University), Amy Harvison (Top Blokes Foundation), Brent Hedley (Football Futures Foundation), Associate Professor Nicola Henry (RMIT University), Associate Professor Adam Karg (Swinburne University), Associate Professor Steven Roberts (Monash University), Chelsea Roffey (Journalist and AFL Umpire), Dr. Emma Witkowski (RMIT University).

Our Creative Advisors: Scarlet Slipper, Will Ursino, Pat Schlesinger, Jonathan Vickers, Alisa Johnson and Ruby Sheohmelian. Our longest-term youth participants have been involved since early project co-design through to video and resource co-production. They gave valuable insights, authenticity and ideas and helped ensure the ‘Crushed But Okay’ campaign would resonate with and excite young men to influence positive change. The Foundation was so impressed by their knowledge, skills and lived experience that we decided to create our first ever paid positions for young people under 18, starting with these six.

Our Co-Design Participants: Students & staff from eSmart Schools Ringwood Secondary College and St Monica's College (Epping), a Gamers cohort of young men aged 15-16, and organisations The Learning Future and Today Design.