Palm Island Community Company secures $235,000 Queensland Government grant to develop youth training program

Minister for Seniors and Disability Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships The Honourable Craig Crawford

Palm Island youth who have disengaged from the formal education system are the target of program to be delivered by the Palm Island Community Company in partnership with the Palaszczuk Government.

The Bwgcolman Youth Program will support local 13-to-17-year-olds by linking them with training, education and employment opportunities.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Minister Craig Crawford said the project was one of five locally led initiatives across the State, totalling more than $1 million, to improve community social health.

“The Social and Emotional Wellbeing Program supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to improve mental health, emotional wellbeing, and social outcomes,” Mr Crawford said.

“It will also respond to substance misuse, and reduce rates of suicide in their communities,” he said.

“Like other Local Thriving Communities initiatives, the Program supports First Nations peoples to make decisions about their own future, build on their strengths, invest in things that will make their communities stronger, and make an enduring difference to people’s lives.

Member for Townsville and Minister for Resources Scott Stewart commended the Palm Island Community Company for its leadership and initiative in securing a $235,000 Program grant to make this critical need a reality.

“In partnership with the Government and organisations like Connect’n’Grow and Central Queensland University, the program will divert young people from harmful behaviours, including alcohol and drug use, and criminal activities,” Mr Stewart said.

“Education is incredibly important for young people and helps them build their futures.”

Palm Island Community Company Chief Executive Officer Rachel Atkinson said the program underlined their commitment to making the local community safer, stronger and more prosperous.

“Our program will foster pride in cultural identity, support leadership and capacity building, and encourage hope in the future, as a way of strengthening mental health and building resilience,” Ms Atkinson said.

“It will create two part-time traineeships in youth work for local young people who will lead youth activities and mentoring delivering significant benefit to our community.”

Applications for grants funding were assessed, shortlisted, and awarded by an independent expert panel.

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