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Queensland Government media release

Local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups can join the fight against youth crime, with tender applications now open for funding to deliver cultural mentoring in Townsville.

Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke said this was a fantastic opportunity for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups to help turn young lives around and hold offenders to account.

“Here in Townsville, like many parts of Australia, Indigenous children are overrepresented in the youth justice system,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“Many of these children have lost their connections to community, culture and country, which leads them down a dangerous path of crime and anti-social behaviour.

“Through cultural mentoring, we want to restore these important connections, and set them on the right path.

“This process is also about holding young offenders accountable for their behaviour, with a focus on respect and responsibility so they understand the impact of their actions.”

Mrs O’Rourke said tackling local crime needed a whole of community approach.

“As I talk with local Elders and members of the community, many are already asking how they can help to break the cycle of crime,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“Through this open tender process, applicants will need to show how cultural mentoring will put young people on a positive path that motivates them into education and employment.

“I look forward to seeing some great ideas come forward that will deliver the outcomes that Townsville needs and turn these young lives around.”

The cultural mentoring service is for 10 to 17 year olds and must be designed and delivered by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people from the Townsville region.

Young people considered at high risk of offending will be referred to the service by Youth Justice case workers, the Townsville Stronger Communities Action Group, Elders, Queensland Police, Child Safety officers, schools, and youth and family support services.

For more information and to apply, visit https://www.hpw.qld.gov.au/qtenders/.

Tenders close at 2pm on Friday 30 June.

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