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The Australian Government is investing $100 million over the next 10 years in the Youth in communities program, a major initiative that is helping thousands of young Aboriginal people become more engaged with school, work and community life in the Northern Territory.
The Youth in communities program supports local diversionary activities in remote communities for Aboriginal youth aged 10-20 years, particularly those at risk of substance abuse, suicide or self-harm, or entering the justice system.
The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, said a recent evaluation of Youth in communities showed the program was proving popular, with a 50% increase in participants in the past year.
‘We know this program is not only popular with young people in remote communities - it's also having a really positive impact. The evaluation of the program shows participants are more engaged at school and with their peers, they are involving themselves more in cultural programs, sport and leadership activities, and are benefiting from higher self-esteem.'
The evaluation also found that organisations supported by the Youth in communities program had successfully strengthened their service models to deliver better outcomes for young people. This includes encouraging participation among young males, offering youth work traineeships to help create sustainable local employment opportunities, and strengthening relationships with local Elders.
The Minister for Indigenous Health and Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, visited the remote community of Galiwinku to speak with community groups about how the government is working with remote Aboriginal communities.
‘I'm a strong supporter of grass-roots programs that deliver positive results for young Aboriginal people, and that's exactly what Youth in communities is doing," Mr Snowdon said.
‘The Gillard Labor Government is supporting 19 organisations to deliver these important programs across remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. This means that over the next 10 years, thousands of young Indigenous people in the Territory will have more support to make sure they stay in school, get a good job, and become local leaders.'
Youth in communities is part of the Australian Government's $3.4 billion Stronger futures in the Northern Territory package.
Source: Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Ph: (02) 6146 8080