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Connecting at-risk young people with their communities

This week I attended the launch of Community Connecting Youth, a program that aims to support at-risk young people, especially those who have had contact with youth justice services, to reconnect with their communities in a safe and healthy way.

It is important for young people, like everyone else, to repay the community for any offence they commit, but it is equally important to recognise their vulnerability and support them to move forward.

In 2016, my office consulted with over 90 young people who had been in contact with youth justice services. These young people spoke to us about the causes of their offending behaviour as well as possible solutions.

Some of the common themes were that strong role models, affordable and accessible community activities, better support at school, and transitioning to employment would help to break the cycle of offending.

Community Connecting Youth plans to address many of these needs with a network of services including life skill building courses, art workshops and cultural camps for Aboriginal young people.

One of my office’s Ambassadors, His Honour Judge Denis Reynolds, spoke at the launch along with Noongar Elder Dr Noel Nannup.

I would like to congratulate Community Connecting Youth for their successful launch and for developing such an important initiative.