Originally written by AMI HUMPAGE
A LEADERSHIP program is to be developed to assist the youth of Portland and Heywood.
Funding of $100,000 has been awarded as part of the Federal Government’s $240 million Stronger Families and Communities Strategy to the Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation to develop the program for both indigenous and non-indigenous youth.
Winda-Mara economic development consultant Andrew McEwen said the program would be for students at Portland Secondary College and Heywood and District Secondary College as well as one or two groups of young people who have left school.
“We are extremely happy with the funding. This is the first time the systematic development of a youth project has been developed for indigenous people through community consultation,” he said.
The project will be facilitated by a youth worker and the essence of the project is that the young members work out what project they want to do in their community.
“The project can be environmentally based, sport based or business based, the choice is completely up to the young people to select what they want to do,” Mr McEwen said.
The members of the project will plan, design, implement and carry out their selected project developing enterprise skills and self confidence.
Mr McEwen said similar programs have been used elsewhere in Australia and have been very effective in helping the transformation of a young person into a young adult, and from school to work.
He said that the program will also provide the group members with support and one-on-one mentoring, will provide leadership development workshops and adventure activities.
“The project will also provide training and support for teachers and youth workers involved in the program and through a range of organisational support from the Glenelg Shire Council, Brophy Family Services, the Portland and District Community Health Centre, Portland Secondary College, Heywood and District Secondary College and Winda-Mara,” he said.
Mr McEwen said the projects offered an opportunity to develop leadership potential by incorporating youth in practical projects in the community.
A meeting will be held in August to develop a time line for the project and the implementation of the project is expected to coincide with the last term of the school year and follow into the first term of 2002.
Mr McEwen said as part of the project the Commonwealth Foundation student exchange would hopefully reserve four places for people in the group to travel to Sudaten in South Africa, to expose them to reconciliation in that country.
“The exchanges are not confirmed as yet, but we hope they soon will be, and they can be used as an incentive and reward for youth in the program.”