Dee Why Project


The Dee Why Project is an initiative driven by The Burdekin Association Youth Services – focusing on young people and gaming.

The initiative was funded by the Office of Responsible Gambling NSW, To develop a gambling, gaming, education and case management awareness program for the Dee Why community. It has given Burdekin the opportunity to make a positive difference in the concerning issues of gambling and gaming to a broad range of participants.

Parents are feeling helpless with the new normal of constant screen time. Many families found that their children became dependent on gaming throughout COVID times. They are concerned there may not be enough balance in their social, emotional, and physical lives, and wanting them to get back on track.


In the first stage of the Dee Why Project we conducted a gambling awareness education program for Burdekin clients aged 18 and over, to gain a better understanding of the risks and harms around gambling, alcohol and other drugs.

The Dee Why Project developed a training workshop for Case Managers to provide gaming/gambling education and skills-based training for early intervention and case management to clients.

Workshops were conducted within schools to a younger audience yr 7's to gain an insight into healthy gaming and to minimise harm, dispel myths and misconceptions of online gaming. To identify potential harms of gaming dependency, and to understand the best amount of time to play online and how to balance gaming and a healthy lifestyle.

Due to an emerging concern raised by parents, schools and youth services combined, the Dee Why Project decided to hold a Parents Forum on Gaming and Gambling.

the forum

The Dee Why Project covers the potential harms and risks of screen time and solutions in partnership with special experts from GameAware, headspace & The Dee Why Project.

  • The forum is an opportunity to learn as a case manager the ins and outs of supporting our youth around the trials and tribulations of the world of gaming. Or, as a parent to gain amazing insight to the world of gaming seen through a young person’s eyes. What draws them in? What’s a healthy amount of time to game? Is my teenager dependant on gaming? Andrew Kinch is our key presenter, a previous school teacher also experienced working with youth at risk, his Company GameAware covers workshops, bridging the gaps between gamers, parents and professionals. Reducing conflict around gaming at home, minimizing compulsion and escapism by building resilience.
  • headspace will also be presenting and covering their expertise in the area and linking into services and treatment options.
  • GambleAware’s purpose is to work towards zero gambling-related harm in NSW through research, education and support for individuals and communities. GambleAware is funded by the NSW Responsible Gambling Fund.
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Special Guest Speaker, Andrew Kinch from GameAware, has 30 years gaming experience and 15 years of well-being and teaching experience. His skillset is primed to tackle this issue by using Intelligent gaming strategies to help gamers enjoy their games without it being the number one priority in their lives. Andrew approaches problematic gaming with experience-based strategies and current information on the psychology of games. In 2020, GameAware was awarded the AMP’s Tomorrow Fund and works collaboratively with headSpace to enrich the lives of young people and their family through strategies to make playing video games a hobby, not a habit. Working with parents, youth professionals and schools, Andrew and his team of mentors help empower through education and tools to create healthy gaming habits. Each month GameAware run a range of online and face-to-face programs to support the community.

GambleAware’s purpose is to work towards zero gambling-related harm in NSW through research, education and support for individuals and communities. The work GambleAware does concerns everyone in NSW who is affected by gambling. GambleAware work with adults and young people, families, schools, councils, community groups and the gambling industry to help prevent and address gambling-related harm.

Jimmy Broadbent - Community Engagement Coordinato, headspace Brookvale. headspace is an Australian non-profit organisation for youth mental health established by the Australian Government in 2006.

Filiz Niyazi, Community Linker, raising awareness of Wesley Mission's GambleAware Counselling Services.  Filiz has over 20 years’ experience as a community Trainer, Facilitator and Counsellor.


DY Project Andrew Kinch GameAware Presenter

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Dee Why Project headspace Presentation


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Dee Why Project GambleAware Presentation

Panel of experts

Sarah de Szoeke – A mother of two teenagers, studying counselling, & completed GameAware’s – Parents workshop to gain a better understanding of gaming and to support her children. Dee Why Project assistant and master at all tasks.

Joubes Van Der Merwe - Case Manager Burdekin Association – A keen gamer since he was 6 yrs old and still is, Joubes has come through the other side attending university and has a successful career working as a case manager helping youth risk of homelessness.

Chris Davidson – GambleAware Community Linker/Gambling Counsellor – with over 20 years’ experience as a Gambling Counsellor.

Dee Why Project Panel Q & A

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Photos from parent forum

Parent Forum on Gaming
Parent Forum on Gaming
Parent Forum on Gaming
Parent Forum on Gaming

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