The Australian Government is investing $100 million over ten years as part of the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory package in a major initiative that is helping thousands of young Aboriginal people become more engaged with school, work and community life.
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 per cent increase in participants in the program in the past year.
“This is a terrific program that is helping to transform young lives in the Northern Territory. The Gillard Labor Government is pleased to secure its long term future with this $100 million investment,” Ms Macklin said.
“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 today to speak with community groups about how the Government is working with remote Aboriginal communities as part of the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory package.
“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 ten 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.”
Stronger Futures is the Australian Government’s $3.4 billion commitment to Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory over the next ten years. The Government is committed to working with Aboriginal people to tackle the unacceptable levels of disadvantage too many people still experience, build a stronger future and drive positive change.
The Youth in Communities Evaluation is available at the FaHCSIA Website:
Date: 20 February 2013
Media Contact: Carla De Campo 0408 567 720