Northern Territory Minister for Territory Families Dale Wakefield
First Youth Bush Camps Begin In Central Australia
Victor P Taffa
Two groups of at-risk young people will participate in the first Back on Track youth bush camps this month.
“Youth crime, any crime is unacceptable. Young people who do the wrong thing will face the consequences because all Territorians have the right to be safe.” Minister for Territory Families Dale Wakefield said.
“Youth bush camps involve taking young people and their families out on country with intervention from Aboriginal elders to help young people re-establish their connection to culture and face the consequences of their actions. The camps also involve intensive therapy to change behaviour.”
Camps target young people who have a high risk of offending or reoffending, so that they can face the consequences of their actions and put on a path away from a life of crime.
Non-profit organisations Creating a Safe, Supportive Environment (CASSE) and MacDonnell Regional Council Youth Services (MacYouth) will each run their first camp this month. The programs will include specialist case management to change behaviour.
CASSE Program ‘Shields for Living, Tools for Life’
First group, made up of six young people and their families from Willowra departed on Wednesday 14 October to camp on country outside of Willowra. The program includes five days on country and six months of intensive therapy and workshops. CASSE will hold eight camps for up to 30 young people each year in partnership with the Men’s Tjilirra Movement.
MacYouth Program ‘The Right Track’
First MacYouth camp was held in the first week of October on country near Santa Teresa for five young people and their families. The camp caters for young people aged 10 to 17 years, who are either at-risk or already in contact with the youth justice system. MacYouth will hold four camps, for up to 10 people, per year.
Youth bush camps are part of the most extensive suite of measures to address the issue of young offenders ever seen in the Territory. This also includes youth victim conferencing, extra Police on our streets, and bringing back school-based constables that the CLP scrapped.
For the first time in the Territory’s history, Police, government agencies and NGO’s will now be able to refer young people under the age of criminal responsibility (8-9 years old) to programs that will change behaviour and break the cycle of youth crime.
CLP Country Liberal Party
NGO Non-Government Organisations