Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation

$250,000 to help youth

• Participants and mentors in the successful “Back Track” Program at Lake Cargelligo.

By Melissa Blewitt

Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo will benefit from a $250,000 grant that is aimed at helping troubled teens and preventing youth crime.
Minister for Police Troy Grant and Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries made the announcement on Monday, with funding being secured through the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government’s Community Safety Fund.
The program will be delivered as a collaboration between Western Plains Regional Development Corp., Lower Lachlan Community Services, and Central West Family Support Service.
WPRD Executive Officer Anne Coffey said the funding will be used to extend the best elements of ‘Back Track’, which will now be known as ‘Down the Track’ in Lake Cargelligo.
“This program was originally funded through Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF) and has been extremely successful with engaging 12 young men who have since all received part time employment,” she stated.
“We have held very successful shearing schools and a fencing school, which included a Certificate II in Agriculture. There is a very strong mentoring component into the program, similar to the ‘Back Track’ program at Armidale, where mentors support individual young men to overcome barriers to employment and to guide youth into more positive behaviours.
“This approach, not only provides success for the individual involved, but leads to a safer community for all.
“Part of the program will be extending youth centre hours for older children and widening the intake to include young women, non-Indigenous youth as well as young Indigenous men.
In Condobolin, the project will extend youth engagement activities including using the ‘Drop In’ centre for targeted youth needs, with an intensive intervention program aimed at referred disengaged young people in the community, as well as skills development for staff, mentors and participants.
The recent Growing Lachlan Report, which was undertaken by the Community Connection Officers, highlighted the need for more programs for youth and the need to improve Community Safety which was used as a basis for the grant.
Mr Humphries said the project will provide troubled teenagers in the region with mentoring to improve their skills, boost their self-esteem, and strengthen ties with their families and their communities.
“Lachlan Shire faces many community challenges, including high youth unemployment, crime rates above the State average in many categories, and problems with drug and alcohol abuse.
“Helping troubled youths turn their backs on lives of crime and anti-social behaviour will have major benefits for the safety and prosperity of our community.”
The Community Safety Fund has already delivered close to $5 million in support for crime prevention initiatives across NSW.

Positive Projects

By Melissa Blewitt

Communities across the Lachlan Shire will benefit from over $80,000 in funding that is designed to address local needs.

Five community projects have been given funding through the Lachlan Region Community Grants Program, which will contribute to community renewal, and or rebuilding, in the areas of social and community well being, economic, environmental, health, educational and cultural areas.

CTC@Condobolin has received $13,102 funding for their Big Screen Big Outdoor proposal, which included purchasing an outdoor cinema package to be used across the Lachlan Shire.

The cinema package will be transportable, inflatable and include an eight metre wide screen.

“The whole idea of purchasing an outdoor cinema package is so that communities across the shire can utilise it for fundraising initiatives,” Western Plains Regional Development (WPRD) Executive Officer Tammy Bugg said.

“The outdoor screen is all about providing family orientated fun for all ages that towns across the Shire can use to raise money for needs within their communities.

“It [the package] comes with its own carry case, inflator and speakers so it will not be restricted to one area.

“For example, if Tullibigeal wished to fundraise for their school, they will be able to hire the screen from us [CTC@Condobolin] at a fee yet to be determined and use it to raise money. All funds less costs will be returned to the community accessing the equipment.”

Ms Bugg added she hoped the cinema package would provide “something different” for Shire communities to access, and in turn stop people travelling out of town for such activities.

“We need to celebrate what we have with who we have,” she said.

“This proposal was all about helping to create a sustainable community, and now we have this exciting new facility for the Shire to access.”

The Tottenham Swimming Pool Amenities proposal was also successful in this round of funding receiving $25,000. This complemented the wonderful achievement  of over $23,000 they had raised towards their goal of updating the 50 year old swimming facilities within the town.

“Their funding will go towards replacing the old swimming pool amenities and kiosk facilities, which have significant issues,” Ms Bugg said.

“They have no disability access, no hot water in sinks or showers, the plumbing is prone to problems, and the facilities are not pest proof.

“Their goal is to have this project completed in time for the 2017 swimming season. The money they raised was outstanding for such a small community. They have really supported the program well.”

Other projects to be successful were Central West Family Support Group’s Hotzspotz initiative which received $20,000; Lower Lachlan Community Services received $12,000 towards the Lake Cargelligo Community Hub; and WPRD received $12,500 towards its Community Connections program Linking the Lachlan Vital Signs.

The grants program was made possible through partnerships with Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation and the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.

This is the final year of the program.


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