Miyay Birray board chairman and Moree Mobile Neighbourhood Watch founder Chris Binge, left, Miyay Birray CEO Darrel Smith, Police Minister Troy Grant, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and Western Region Police Commander Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie at the funding announcement today.
Wednesday, 17 May 2017
MOREE is set to benefit from a new program that will transport youth to extra-curricular activities and keep them off the streets of a night thanks to a $243,522 NSW Government Community Safety Fund grant.
Minister for Police Troy Grant today joined Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall in Moree to announce the funding for Miyay Birray Youth Service to provide a number of cultural and sporting activities aimed at diverting young people from anti-social behaviour and criminal activity.
Mr Marshall welcomed the funding injection and said it would enhance Miyay Birray’s current work in keeping young people off the streets and reducing anti-social behaviour.
“Miyay Birray is a well-established local organisation that is doing a brilliant job delivering young people back home to parents or family,” Mr Marshall said.
“However, we’re seeing that many young people may be restless or bored – and for some, it’s leading to antisocial or even criminal activity. These programs will provide an alternative to staying at home or hanging out in public, helping build pride and furthering cultural understanding.
“We must work together to deter young people from dangerous and costly mistakes. The government is investing in strong-evidence based initiatives to steer people away from a path of crime, reduce anti-social behaviour and offending.
“Strong policing is one element of winning the battle against crime – and community-led projects like Night Culture are a proactive way of tackling the social issues that can lead youth astray.”
Mr Grant said crime had a significant social and economic cost, so supporting projects such as the new Night Culture program to reduce crime and offending is money well spent.
“This investment ensures young people in the community have access to educational activities and entertainment that will better equip them to be future community leaders,” Mr Grant said.
“The NSW Government will do all that it can to prevent youth in our regions from finding themselves on the wrong side of the law.
“I’m proud that we are working with communities to create unique solutions that will make a great difference in preventing and combating crime and boosting local safety and pride.
“I thank Miray Birray for designing a specialised program alongside local sport and art clubs that will see young people involved in productive and safe activities and out of trouble.”
Miyay Birray CEO Darrel Smith said the Night Culture program would provide further options for the town’s young people after dark.
“We’ll be providing cultural activities like dance, music, painting and those sorts of things,” Mr Smith said.
“Kids are going to come home with language, art, singing, and dance skills that they can then pass onto their older brothers and sisters as well as parents.
“It’s about getting connections with elders in town, and reconnecting kids with their culture – we’ll be using people with those existing skills in the community.
“The best thing is the whole family knows so they can share the knowledge – if one person comes home with those skills, the whole family can benefit.”
Mr Smith said the programs would offer a deep understanding of indigenous culture – but young people from all cultural backgrounds will be welcomed.
“It’s for all kids who are in the town, anyone who wants to learn. They may not be an artist, but Night Culture will benefit kids who have got things they can already show off – like their sporting activities for example,” he said.
“We’re not going to waste time either, we’ll go straight into the recruitment stage, start to gather those cultural people together, making sure we’ve got a solid program we can deliver.”