Your school could host 1 of 10 ground-breaking ‘self worth and self protection’ empowerment workshops for teen girls.

Ten fully funded half-day workshops valued at $30,000 to give away to 10 NSW State Secondary Schools.


Tell us how your school will benefit from a KYUP! self worth and self protection program?

Entries close 18 September.

Email to enter.

Entries must include a single A4 page (pdf format) or 3 minute (maximum) video entry with:

  1. School Name
  2. School Contact
  3. Contact Email
  4. Mobile Number
  5. Year Group
  6. Nominate your 3 preferred dates

Winners must agree to delivery of the workshop in term 4, 2017.  Please refer to full competition terms and conditions at

“I liked the depth of discussion the girls engaged with and the way Mel allowed them to grow in confidence during discussion. I liked the collaborative nature of the workshop and the clear relevance it had to their own lives. I thought the mixture of discussion and physical activity was very effective.”

Nathan Mucci, Year 9 Advisor – Woonona High School


The “10 schools in 10 weeks” initiative is designed to create a movement of awareness, life protection skills, and “strong-hearted action” ahead of summer holidays when many teenagers feel especially exposed in unsafe home and social situations.
The KYUP! course is modified for girls from Years 8 – 11. The course introduces and builds on skills essential to a students resilience and sense of self worth.

The interactive style workshop promotes an anti-bullying stance by helping girls identify and develop positive relationships with peers, themselves and the world around them. Girls learn to trust their intuition and find their voice – turning around negative self talk, speak out for themselves and each other and to shout out in self defence.

KYUP! workshops encourage independent thinking in a fun positive environment that fosters learning. Students come away from workshops with increased feelings of self esteem and the knowledge of what to do when a situation doesn’t feel right.

Mel Thomas and the KYUP! Project as seen on The Feed SBS


All ten awarded workshops will be hosted by KYUP! Project founder and 2017 Australian of the Year Nominee, Mel Thomas. Mel is a black-belt martial artist, passionate speaker, published writer and advocate for breaking the cycle of violence against women and children across Australia.

The KYUP! Project was founded on Mel’s passion for self worth and self-defence. It began after Mel was awarded the Layne Beachley Aim for the Stars Foundation grant in 2013.  Mel is a writer, speaker, media commentator and mother of two children with over 15 years martial arts experience in Hapkido, the Korean art of self-defence. Mel owns her story with warmth, humour and honesty, and is immensely proud to be a vocal, passionate advocate for change in the fight against violence.