Froggers and 98five unite! We’re pleased to announced that Red Frogs WA general manager Hayden Glass will be joining the team on air each Wednesday afternoon from 4.30pm in Hayden’s Half Hour.
Just in case you don’t already know, Red Frogs look after our teens at leavers events across the country and in Bali and are positive peer presence in places that are often alcohol fueled.
Red Frogs also attend university orientation weeks, music festivals, sporting events and visit schools on a regular basis to educate schoolies to stay safe whilst letting their hair down at the end of a long year of work.
Hayden Glass has been WA General Manager since 2007.
The Drive team sat down with Hayden for a Q&A session ahead of his appearance on Drive.
First of all — why you decide to join Red Frogs?
A group of my mates were heading down to leaves week in Dunsborough in 2001 and asked if I would like to come along. I caught something that weekend — I just loved it. I loved the impact and the difference that we were able to make.
Obviously, 15 years on leavers looks very different as does the role Red Frogs plays. But I still love it — that last week in November is a highlight of my year each and every year!
We’ve seen you in action at Leavers events across WA and in Bali but it’s not just leavers that Red Frogs participate in. Can you tell us where else you go?
That’s right. I think that is what has kept me involved for so long — the fact that red frogs has grown and transformed from what it was all those years ago.
Our University program is a massive part of our calendar. Serving and coming alongside students who live on campus at almost all of the uni’s in WA.
Partnering with them for hydration stations, alternative events (such as cafe crawls), student leadership training, pastoral care training and event support.
Last year, our education program saw us speak to almost 10,000 students all over Western Australia. Preparing them for leavers but also speaking about how to party safely, navigate high school and the transition afterwards.
There isn’t really a music festival that happens in Perth (or WA) that red frogs isn’t a part of. We are involved in hydration stations, chill out zones and being eyes and ears around the festival — making sure people are staying safe and if they need it, referring them onto support services.
Then, in our spare time, you will find us at the cricket! Handing out water, sunscreen, icy poles and of course, Red Frogs!
Targeting the areas where people are in the sun for long periods of time ensuring they’re hydrated and sun safe.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being able to help teenagers and young adults at leaver’s events?
Red Frogs sees ourselves as the fence at the top of the cliff, so the ambulance isn’t needed at the bottom.
I love being a part of the answer in terms of ‘off ramps’ for youth and young adults who might feel they are on the highway of partying and experiential behaviour.
Seeing young people make positive decisions when peer groups or even society might be telling them otherwise. What can be more rewarding than that?!
In your opinion, do we under estimate our young people? It’s very easy to blame society’s wrongs on them.
Let me start by saying, I read the same newspapers and watch the same news shows that you do. I see the devastation and heartache that is sometimes caused by young people. But let’s not tar them all with the the same brush.
For the 15 years and beyond, that I have been working with the young people of this state, I have met some exceptional young people! I have met youth and young adults that bring conviction to me about my dreams, desires and aspirations. And how I live my life.
I have had the privilege of meeting and standing alongside young adults we are going to be proud to call west Australians in the not to distant future. After all, they are the future. The future leaders, doctors, politicians, CEO’s that are going to be running this state. What a massive privilege to be able to invest in them now, when they are mouldable and shapable and at the end of the day, we all benefit.
Which new venues or locations would you like to see Red Frogs attend in the next 3 years?
Oh no, that’s my holiday wish-list! But how good that I could claim it as a work trip too!
Seriously though, in WA we would love to expand our education program to reach more metro schools but also regional schools throughout the north west. I would love to see teams active across more universities and events providing a safety net for youth and young adults who party.
Outside of your Red Frogs role, how do you like to spend your down time?
My beautiful Wife Kylie and daughter Savannah are a massive part of my down time. Savannah certainly keeps us on our toes. The last couple of months, I have enjoyed a little more exercise in my routine along with SUPing down at the river.
Church and my faith play a very big part of my everyday life. My friends are a massive part of my life too, as is good food and good coffee.
How many Red Frogs have you dished out in your 8 years as GM? Answers to the nearest million are allowed.
LOL! I have certainly lost count….. I can tell you though that I haven’t eaten a red frog for over 5 years….. In WA, our teams give away more than 1 tonnes worth each year!
Sweet, sweet frogs. A good way to keep your sugar levels up.
Mike Atkinson | Former Drive producer