Recently we teamed up with VicHealth to support a new initiative that aims to find out how young people feel about the marketing and clever tactics of the alcohol industry. That initiative founds its expression in a creative competition for young people, and for the last 4 weeks Top Spin has been asking young people to submit entries in response to 5 key themes: Advertising and PR, Influence, Booze and Sport, Life Lessons and Our Mates. Young people have been invited to be as creative as possible and submit entries using text, images and video. Each week a judging panel made up of young people, creatives and public health experts have decided on the best entry with a weekly cash prize as incentive. We are thrilled that one of our YACVic young members, Ruth Nyaruot Ruach, was selected to be on the judging panel.

We invited Ruth to share her spin as a judge for Top Spin with us here!

Becoming a judge on Top Spin

Top Spin

Top Spin logo in red and yellow

I joined the judging panel of Top Spin so that I could learn about the effects of alcohol on migrant communities and to find solutions for these issues. Coming from a migrant background I've seen how alcohol has negatively impacted my childhood and the community. Alcohol is normalised as a necessity in our culture but I’ve seen how destabilising it can be in migrant communities and how members of our community can be prone to alcohol abuse.

I was unsure about what to expect when I joined the judging panel. I had many thoughts run through my head – “Will I find solutions?” and “Will I be triggered by the entries?”.

The "ins" and "outs" of Top Spin

There are several competition categories in Top Spin for participants to enter in. These include Booze and Sport, Life Lessons, Advertising and PR, Influence and Our Mates. The topics help me prepare for the entries. So far I am impressed that there is a wide range of approaches to this competition. I’m very excited to see how participants explore these topics.

I’m in the middle of scoring these entries and it's been both calm and stressful. I have enjoyed reading the submissions and learning from other young people’s experiences with alcohol. The stressful part about Top Spin is processing the information and scoring it based on a criteria given. All judges are given limited time to complete the scoring. Yet when I’m immersed in reading the submissions I don’t worry about the time pressure. Instead, I enjoy understanding people's thoughts, ideas and experiences with alcohol. I am also blown away by the creativity I’ve seen in the submissions. There have been entries that speak volumes in the competition. We're only a few weeks in so I can’t say I have a favourite yet. I hope to see one or a few submissions that "wow me".   

Top Spin

four people drinking with cartoon character next to them

3 insider tips for entering Top Spin:

  • Consider how your text and image flow together or how your video content needs to reflect your message.

  • Experiment with different mediums to explore your ideas.

  • Dare to step out of your comfort zone when producing entries.

Inspired to enter Top Spin?

VicHealth is asking young people to share what doesn’t sit right with them when it comes to the culture of booze, and how they feel about the marketing spin and tactics of the alcohol industry. Spin your ideas for the chance to win weekly prizes up to $1K here. Any young person can submit but to be eligible to win the prize you need to be from Victoria and aged between 18-29 years old. The competition wraps up this Thursday 7 June.

About our guest blogger

Ruth Nyaruot Ruach is a South-Sudanese multidisciplinary artist, who uses art to heal, explore her surroundings and create comfort within her blackness. Ruth is a YACVic member and sits on the judging panel of Top Spin.

Get Involved

Find out more about our participation opportunities for young people here or contact Sam Champion, Participation and Development Coordinator, via or (03) 92673702.

Are you aged 12-25?

Become a YACVic young member and join a community of advocates passionate about young people and the issues that affect them in Victoria. It’s just $3 to sign up!