First Cohort Graduates From Project Booyah Toowoomba

Eight young women have become the first to graduate from Toowoomba’s inaugural Project Booyah cohort, an award-winning Queensland Police Service early intervention program aimed at curbing youth offending and supporting bright futures for young people.

They are among 71 young people across the state graduating from 10 Project Booyah programs this week, after the first semester of 2024.

Project Booyah is a 16-week program providing mentorship, leadership, education, adventure-based learning and vocational pathways to young people at risk of offending or disengaging from education.

Participants are involved in a variety of courses and activities, from barista qualifications to abseiling, team camps to apprenticeships and training.

Each activity is aimed at building confidence, self-esteem, emotional regulation and drive to achieve their dreams while also providing pathways to study, training and employment.

Project Booyah Toowoomba Co-ordinator Senior Constable Dan Masson said he has seen an incredible transformation among the eight graduates.

“The highlight for me has been to see the girls’ confidence grow, watch them form new friendships and see their perseverance to achieve,” Senior Constable Masson said.

“Since the program began none of the girls have been involved in any offending behaviour, which is an outstanding outcome for them and our community.

“Most will be going back to school, with some wanting to pursue future careers in youth work, childcare and personal training.

“Three also have part time jobs which is fantastic to see their work ethic and commitment.

“I’m looking forward to Project Booyah continuing to grow here in Toowoomba to support our young people and community.”

More than 970 young people have graduated from Project Booyah programs since 2016.

Since 2022, approximately 2-in-3 participants continue further education or training, while 30 per cent obtain employment through the program.

Project Booyah State Co-ordinator Senior Sergeant Lester Brooks said the key to Booyah’s success is it does not just end at graduation.

“Each of our graduates continue to be given ongoing support and guidance into the future,” Senior Sergeant Brooks said.

“We are incredibly proud of the young people who have been through Booyah and really turned their lives around.

“It shows the importance of early intervention strategies like Project Booyah, in giving young people the tools and support they need to stay on track and help us break the cycle of youth crime.”

Project Booyah operates in partnership with PCYC, with 10 programs delivered this semester around the state, including Toowoomba, Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Logan and the Gold Coast.

The establishment of Project Booyah in Toowoomba has been co-funded under the Queensland Government’s newly formed Youth Development Partnership Fund – a joint initiative between the Department of Tourism and Sport and the Queensland Police Service.

Uplifting youth through the power of sport and active recreation learning activities, the fund supports the expansion and creation of youth programs delivering an avenue for personal growth and development.

Learn more about Project Booyah.

Project Booyah programNumber of graduates in Semester 1, 2024
Sunshine Coast8
Moreton Bay5
Gold Coast7

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