Member for Penrith, Stuart Ayres has welcomed the announcement by Minister Victor Dominello the Minister for Citizenship, Communities and Aboriginal Affairs of a new $3.1 million Youth Opportunities initiative by the NSW Government. The project encourages young Aboriginal people to build their leadership skills and become more involved in their communities.
\”I am pleased to announce that Nepean Community and Neighbourhood Services will receive a $100,000 grant to support its Making Tracks Mentoring Project that involves 20 young people aged 14 to 17 years\”, said Mr Ayres.
The project will help young Aboriginal people to become mentors to students aged 11 to 13 years, also teaching Aboriginal traditions and culture. The mentors and students will combine to form an Aboriginal Advisory Group to plan and lead community events and discussions on reconciliation and culture. The \”Making Tracks\” program has noticed an increased school attendance and participation and a greater awareness of cultural pride and identity for Aboriginal children.
“Youth Opportunities aims to support local projects which encourage young people to lead and participate in community development activities,” said Mr Ayres.
“We all benefit when young people become more involved in community life and I’m sure this funding will be greatly appreciated by Nepean Community and Neighbourhood Services and the Penrith Community.” said Mr Ayres.
\”This NSW Government initiative aims to improve access to youth-led and youth-driven activities in locally based sport and recreation, cultural and other activities\” said Mr Ayres
Enhancing youth skills and confidence also increases young people’s opportunities to link with training and employment. A portion of the Youth Opportunities funding has been set aside to target initiatives in key project areas or to address a particular certain youth issue.
“Given the right opportunities, the young leaders we nurture today will hopefully become the elder statespeople society can turn to in the future.” said Mr Ayres