Moree's Barry Swan appointed new role with Youth Insearch

ROLE MODEL: Moree Gamilaroi man Barry Swan has been appointed as an Aboriginal youth support worker with Youth Insearch.
ROLE MODEL: Moree Gamilaroi man Barry Swan has been appointed as an Aboriginal youth support worker with Youth Insearch.

Moree's Barry Swan has recently began a new role, which will see him partner with other community services in and around Moree to help rebuild young lives.

Mr Swan has been appointed as an Aboriginal youth support worker with Youth Insearch, which works to reduce the incidence of self-harm, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, crime and violence in 14 to 20-year-olds.

It runs one of the most successful youth intervention programs in Australia, with more than 80 per cent of participants making positive changes in their lives.

Youth Insearch is often the last resort for many of its young participants: the organisation steps in where other interventions have not worked.

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Mr Swan will be part of Youth Insearch's unique peer-to-peer support program.

The proud Gamilaroi man has extensive experience working with young people and managing youth programs.

For the past 27 years, Mr Swan has been working closely with young people in a few different roles, most recently as senior project officer with the Moree Place Project at the NSW Department of Communities and Justice.

Mr Swan said his focus would be on supporting and working with local young people to empower them to reach their full potential.

"I've lived in Moree for all of my life and I know the issues youth face here," he said.

"A lot of the kids in the area know me, and I can steer them toward appropriate services and engage them with the Youth Insearch program.

"I can understand their experiences on a personal level."

Youth Insearch CEO Stephen Lewin said Mr Swan will help young people build life skills, develop healthy relationships and access appropriate services.

The Youth Insearch program has a high Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation rate, with 28 per cent of participants and 20 per cent of leaders of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background.

"We want to open the Youth Insearch program to more young people in Moree, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people," Mr Lewin said.

"We look forward to working with Barry to support more young people who are having a tough time."

Mr Swan will be working alongside Scott Dodd, regional coordinator for New England and Rebecca Brewer, community coordinator for New England.

Mr Swan commenced his role as Aboriginal youth support worker on Monday, August 17 and is based in Moree.