Community safety will be enhanced in Moree with Miyay Birray Youth Service Incorporated to roll out an early intervention project to help divert high-risk Aboriginal young people from a life of crime.
The project will target up to 30 high-risk Aboriginal youth, providing them with the support they need to help keep them away from negative influences and anti-social behaviour.
Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, announced $1.5m in funding which will help the service run the Warrayma-Li Bamba-gal (Build Strong Mob) Project.
"All local residents deserve to feel safe, and all of our young people should have the chance to achieve their full potential," Mr Coulton said.
"Miyay Birray Youth Service already does a great job supporting young people in Moree through a range of activities. This funding will build on this work."
The funding will allow Miyay Birray to provide:
- Evening activities for young people from Thursday to Saturday nights;
- Education/Life skills and employment-related activities including vocational training, apprenticeship and employment opportunities;
- Young leader programs including on-country camps and youth forums; and
- Social service collaboration giving participants access to support services through community networks.
Miyay Birray CEO Darrel Smith said the funding would go a long way in helping to engage those at-risk young people.
"To receive this funding is absolutely great," Mr Smith said.
"It will allow Miyay Birray and our partners to have the ability to work outside our normal hours to provide support, mentoring and activities for young vulnerable people.
"It will also allow us to employ additional staff that will give an even greater footprint in the Moree youth space. This will ensure a better individualised delivery of support and a better collaboration between young people and services."
Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs, Jason Wood, said the additional funding was in response to overwhelming demand from the community and would support organisations with demonstrated experience in helping marginalised youth, to build resilience, strengthen community connections and job readiness skills.
"These community organisations do vital work in helping get young people on the right track. We know that some young people engage in activities or have negative experiences that leave them at risk of joining gangs, committing serious crimes and disengaging from the wider community," Mr Wood said.
"The challenges we've faced over the last two years as a result of the pandemic have only added to the sense of social isolation and disconnection that some young people feel.
"This program ensures young people can get the support and assistance they need. I thank and congratulate the local grant recipients for their ongoing work, which we are proud to support. It's all about creating a stronger, safer community."
"The Coalition Government is backing our community-led solutions to crime - to ensure all residents can go about their daily lives free from violence, harassment and anti-social behaviour," Mr Coulton said.
The funding will be delivered under the latest round of the Safer Communities Fund which has invested more than $265 million and provided over 720 grants directly to local communities to deliver grass roots crime prevention initiatives since 2016.