“She’s met friends so now she’s confident to go to school”

06 Jul 2016

With the Youth Centre, I was so excited to come back to this because when I left town it was the old [Centre] and I used it...every term my kids would go to either the basketball or I think they did roller skating, all sorts of things, but there wasn’t a lot of recreation in town. I actually had friends who were on the Council who were talking to me about [the Centre] so I was really excited to come back to it.

The Skate Park is also absolutely fantastic – my kids use that. It’s near the soccer oval...that’s just another good thing that’s free and that’s the big problem in this town. We have the mining companies, so the kids are extremely affluent. We also have medium level [income earners], which are like my kids, public servant kids whose parents work and they can afford to send them to things, but then we have a high level of people or homeless people and those kids just don’t get to do things. So things like the Skate Park...are really exciting.

Definitely [there are lots of outcomes coming from the [Youth Centre] and I believe there’s going to be a lot of part-time, casual jobs as well. So a lot of the kids have started enquiring about that, so we’ll just have to wait for them to get to that age. Now we’re just talking to them about being respectful, not causing any criminal behaviour and if they don’t then they’re welcome to come to these sorts of things... All the public are there, the families are there, so we need to make sure our kids are behaving.

I have a young lady who I case manage and she has a lack of family support, like a major lack of family support. So we’ve enrolled her in school and then from that we took her to the [Youth Centre] on a Friday night and she was picked up as having talent [in Hip Hop]. So she was entered into some of the extra programs that we worked in with [one of the workers there]. The IHHP [Indigenous Hip Hop Project] Crew picked her up as being somebody who in the future could be a dancer, [who] could be travelling around just like they were travelling around. So IHHP...that’s a bunch of dancers and they basically do it full-time as a living. So they’ve picked her up and she performed on Saturday night at [the Youth Festival]. She’s going to be performing again next month – twice!

[And] she’s going to netball tonight. So instead of going to emergency accommodation home and just sitting there, she’s actually getting out into the community. Okay, so from that she’s met friends so now she’s confident to go to school [when] before she wasn’t because she didn’t have friends...it’s been just a little shame-busting. She’s learnt a skill, yeah and she’s really enjoying it... It’s a beautiful story.

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