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AVETRA 2009 Conference
Youth Week 2008
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Sunrise Health Service is a community controlled organisation that strives to provide equitable and culturally appropriate Primary Health Care outcomes for Aboriginal People living in the Sunrise region. Sunrise should always provide good governance at all levels to ensure our work lasts forever.
The Wugularr Youth Petrol Sniffing Prevention Program:
As a result of the number of petrol sniffers on Wugularr Community and the damage that was being caused by them, Sunrise Health Service (SHS) was asked to auspice a Shared Responsibility Agreement between the Community and the Federal Government.
In June of 2007 a Youth Worker was appointed by Sunrise Health Service and a vehicle was leased. Operating from a premise that sniffing occurs not only as a result of boredom, but from a dis-ease resulting from a lack of cultural input, family disintegration, a sense of worthlessness and social isolation, a program has been developed by the SHS Youth Worker, in collaboration with community members.
Chester, Geoff, Cerise, David anTerrence at the Youth Centre.
Key elements in the program include:
The overall management has seen a combination of sending clients to the Council for Aboriginal Alcohol Program Services (CAAPS) to participate in their volatile substances rehabilitation program. This is done on either a voluntary basis or by being mandated through the courts or by the Minister on the recommendation of the Volatile Substance Abuse (VSA) section of the Department of Health and Community Services
As CAAPS is only able to take 6 clients, including carers, from the whole of the Northern Territory, we have been taking the sniffers to a remote location. This location is Emu Springs, to re-engage in cultural activities such as hunting, fishing, visiting sacred sites and learning the stories.
Emu Springs was chosen for its distance from other communities where there may be petrol (too far to walk). The residents are willing to share their local knowledge and stories with the attendees. There is adequate accommodation for the operation to cater for the needs of both male and female participants on their separate visits.
Being away from the Wugularr Community, it provides an opportunity for the Youth Worker to engage and build a relationship with the sniffers and commence programs such as “Rock and Water” and “Pathways to Self Discovery,” “The Straight Talk Manual,” and “Skills Training for Aggression
Adventure Challenges to build the capacity and self-esteem of those participating, or at risk of participating, in harmful practices. By meeting the challenge of activities such as rock climbing, abseiling, bush navigation and canoeing, the participants are provided with ‘teachable moments’ for learning life lessons and the strength to live drug-free.
Increasing the number of after school activities occurring on the community. Included in this has been the development of a Youth Centre, sporting activities, and bush activities such as hunting, fishing and bush tucker.
Establishment of trainee youth workers to continue the program after the initial funding agreement has ceased. A minimum of six trainee youth workers are needed to operate the program because of the nature of Indigenous cultures with their ‘skin’ groups and taboo relationships and to provide a mutual support base. In order to fulfil this need training is being provided up to the level of Certificate II in Community Services Work and Certificate III in Youth Work in partnership with
Charles Darwin University
. Particular emphasis is being put on suicide intervention and alcohol and other
Trainees have also undertaken ASIST suicide intervention training and "Rock and Water" training.
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