A $15,000 grant for local youth project Trelawney will be a game changer according to BackTrack founder Bernie Shakeshaft.
Mr Shakeshaft believes the funding, which was announced by local MP Kevin Anderson and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Victor Dominello, will make a substantial contribution and provide valuable skills to young people in the area.
“This is a game-changer for us, and we’re very appreciative of Kevin for his advocacy of our initiative.
“We have 80 acres that badly need irrigating; this pump will help our current and future season’s crops.
“Ultimately the greatest beneficiary of this grant will be the students, who with our accredited training will go on to work in the rural sector,” Mr Shakeshaft said.
BackTrack’s Trelawney Project provides accredited agricultural training as an alternative learning pathway to formerly disengaged youth.
Mr Anderson said the Trelawney Project, operating on Trelawney Farm, was making significant improvements with young people in the New England region.
“BackTrack is reconnecting young people with their education, to prepare them to find jobs, and lead happy and productive lives.
The funding grant will provide a new irrigation pump on the farm to assist in the young people’s agricultural training,” Mr Anderson said.
Mr Dominello said the funding was granted because BackTrack works with up to 75 per cent Aboriginal participants, with over 87 per cent of participants transitioning into full-time employment or further education and training.
“The new pump will offer another opportunity to equip young people with the necessary skills to
lead to a potential future career path and their own income.
“The Aboriginal community has told me that at the heart of change is education and employment. I’m pleased this grant will go directly to trying to keep more kids at school and on track to gaining fulfilling employment,” Mr Dominello said.