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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places

Whitelion seeks support to help save young lives

Date posted: 17 April 2012

Whitelion, a not-for-profit organisation operating in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australian and Tasmania, are seeking more volunteers to help out with their cause.

The organisation was founded by Mark Watt, and is dedicated to providing support to and creating opportunities for youth involved, or at risk of being involved, in the criminal justice system, many of which identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. Mr Watt was himself a victim of family violence and an unstable home life, causing problems at school.

However, when Mr Watt started receiving mentoring from his peers and adults, his life began to turn around. With Whitelion, he aims to give the same opportunities to disadvantaged youth, knowing mentoring, support, and targeted care can help save lives.

Whitelion needs volunteers, and those who make it through vetting and training often find they get as much out of it as the youths they are helping.

'It changes mentors' lives and young peoples' lives,' Mr Watt says. 'Our mentors stick, and quite often it becomes a sort of purposeful friendship for life. We ask for 12 months, but often in five, six, seven, 10 years' time they are still meeting.'

Beyond volunteering, those interested can support Whitelion through its yearly Bail out, an event in which people spend a night in prison, experiencing similar things that youth go through when they are incarcerated.

Further information can be found by contacting Whitelion.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald


900 Park Street
Parkville Vic 3052
Ph: (03) 9389 4420
Fax: (03) 9389 4284


Last updated: 17 April 2012
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