NSW Police Force’s Central West Police District is coordinating a modified Active Citizen Program to comply with COVID-19 restrictions in 2020.
The Active Citizen Program will be run throughout Condobolin, Lake Cargelligo, Parkes, and Forbes.
Participants this year include Billie O’Bryan (Condobolin), Kiara Harris (Condobolin), Kaiden Atkinson (Condobolin), Latrell Dutton (Lake Cargelligo), Jacob Beetson (Lake Cargelligo), Emilio Dutton (Lake Cargelligo), Jake Smith (Forbes), Baiden Forster (Forbes), Tyrhys Jones (Forbes), Trudy Richardson (Parkes), Charlie Oraha (Parkes) and Jayden Pope (Parkes).
It aims to build leadership skills, confidence, increase employability and awareness in being an active citizen in their local community whilst enhancing cultural knowledge.
The program is for Aboriginal students in Year 10, who are selected by their school executives each year. This year, there are 13 participants, including one mentor – who was invited back after completing the program last year to further build their leadership skills and confidence.
Activities this year have included visiting significant local cultural areas with local elders talking about the history of the town; completing workplace courses, artefact activities and visiting Condobolin SES unit.
The highlight so far has been an online link-up with former NRL star, Jonathan Thurston, where the students had the opportunity to ask questions.
Upcoming activities include completing courses, health checks, presentations by a NSW Police Officer and Aboriginal Elder and YouGotThis program through the Jonathan Thurston Academy on life choices and building self-confidence.
The students will also visit local businesses and community groups to discuss ways on being an active citizen and why they choose to give back to their communities.
Central West Police District Officer-in-Charge, Inspector Shane Jessep, said Police were pleased to be able to offer the modified version of the program this year.
“The Active Citizen Program gives local police and businesses an opportunity able to be involved in developing leadership qualities of young people in our community,” he explained.
“Participants also have this exciting opportunity to build their skillsets and learn – not only from local identities, but also famous people – which will help them become the best versions of themselves as leaders.”
Central West Police District Youth Officer, Senior Constable Daniel Greef, said the student’s positive interest in their communities and culture is infectious.
“We are excited to be able to work with and build-up these future leaders of our communities and see them grow,” he stated.
The Active Citizen Program is run in line with Fit Together as part of the Rise Up! Strategy.
This year’s Active Citizen Program is supported by Evolution Mining (Lake Cowal) and Forbes Shire Council.
By Melissa Blewitt.