Members of Indigenous Youth Program visit Taronga Zoo

Hayley Griffiths and acting Assistant Commissioner Chad Gillies.

 

ON 10 June, selected youth from the Port Stephens-Hunter Police Indigenous Program were lucky enough to visit Taronga Zoo in Sydney for the day.

This trip was a reward for the ongoing excellent behaviour displayed by these members and they were granted the opportunity to be involved in various activities, behind-the-scenes tasks as well as a general visit to the zoo.

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The Port Stephens-Hunter Police have been running the program for the last five weeks, and next week will be the final week of the course, however this will not mark their final contact with the mentors in the program.

Maddie Wade is a proud Aboriginal mentor for the program and explained how local police will provide ongoing support for the youth.

“For the next twelve months we will be here as a mentor for the kids on the program, we’re their port of call if they need any assistance or guidance,” Maddie said.

The program currently has two girls and six boys involved and over the last five weeks youth have been granted a vast range of opportunities to work with The University of Newcastle, the Newcastle Knights, Taronga Zoo, and of course the Port Stephens-Hunter Police.

Port Stephens Hunter Acting Superintendent Kylie Phillips explained the benefit of the program and its goals.

“It’s a great opportunity for our Indigenous Youths to engage with Indigenous role models and the Youth and Indigenous program run by the Port Stephens Police District is a program that aims to build strong relationships, inspire a positive mindset and Police interaction with the Aboriginal Youth.

“This helps the youth develop and understand the role of Policing in the community and can provide them with positive role models to see what they can achieve,” said Kylie.

Overall, the program has aimed to create pathways for Indigenous Youth, whilst helping connect them with their culture.

 

By Tara CAMPBELL

 

Members of the Indigenous Youth program.

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