Programs to help troubled youths
A DIVERSE group of community organisations have joined forces to create a program that will steer troubled youth away from crime and towards a better life.
The Richmond Local Area Command (LAC), Lismore PCYC, Aboriginal Community Justice Group, the Attorney Generals Department and the Ngulingah Local Aboriginal Land council have developed a program to bring local youth out of isolation and into healthy lifestyles.
The Midnight Bundjalung Program kicked off last Friday at the Lismore PCYC and will occur on alternative Friday afternoons for the next few weeks.
It involved a group of 20 teens from the Ballina, Lismore, Casino and Coraki areas who took part in small-motors workshops, kickboxing, basketball and drug-and-alcohol, road and domestic violence lectures.
Each lesson includes a family violence prevention, alcohol or drug harm reduction and healthy life component.
Attorney Generals Department Lismore Aboriginal Community Justice Group co-coordinator Amanda Dodds pioneered the program with Lismore PCYC youth case manager Senior Constable Sarah Marcon.
Ms Dodds said a lot of the teens in the program had been involved in crime and had issues with drugs and alcohol.
"We are trying to deter them from crime," she said.
"Some of these kids have been in trouble with the cops and we want to show them other ways to get through life.
"There are a lot of drug and alcohol issues.
"We want to give them a better understanding of the consequences of their actions and that there is a better life out there for them."
Senior Sergeant Brett Marshall Zone Commander for Northern Region PCYC said this could be one of many positive initiatives implemented in the area through the PCYC and other agencies to achieve a better outcome for youth.