March 11, 2022

The Morrison Government is delivering $206,450 under round six of the highly successful Safer Communities Fund to improve community safety in Warrnambool and help marginalised youth to build resilience, strengthen community connections and job readiness skills.

Member for Wannon, Dan Tehan said he was delighted Brophy Family and Youth Services Inc at Warrnambool had been successful in attracting funding for their ‘STOKED Surf Therapy program’.

The ‘STOKED Surf Therapy program’ aims to divert young people from making unhealthy life choices, divert them from the criminal justice system and reduce instances of anti-social behaviour through a surf therapy program and educational workshops, said Mr Tehan.

“This project will target up to 224 at-risk youth aged from 14 to 25. The participants will be sourced through referrals from a wide range of services such as Victoria Police, youth justice, alcohol and drug services, schools, homelessness, mental health, and other services

“The program is a great example of using local natural assets such as Warrnambool’s surf beach to engage with and help improve the life circumstances for marginalised or disconnected youth in the area.

“The benefits of this program are twofold with our local young people having the chance to reach their full potential and our Warrnambool residents and visitors will also feel safer in their community.

“I congratulate Brophy Family and Youth Services Inc for their ongoing work in delivering services to improve the life circumstances of our youth”, said Mr Tehan.

The funding boost under the Safer Communities Fund Round Six (Early Intervention stream) means that 75 practical community-led projects across Australia will be supported to work with local high-risk young people to break the cycle of repeat offending and brings early intervention funding to a total of $69.5 million.

“The Morrison Government is backing our community-led solutions to crime – to ensure all residents can go about their daily lives free from violence, harassment and anti-social behaviour.”

Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs Jason Wood said the additional funding was in response to overwhelming demand from the community and will support organisations with demonstrated experience in helping marginalised youth, to build resilience, strengthen community connections and job readiness skills.

“These community organisations do vital work in helping get young people on the right track. We know that some young people engage in activities or have negative experiences that leave them at risk of joining gangs, committing serious crimes, and disengaging from the wider community,” Assistant Minister Wood said.

“The challenges we’ve faced over the last 2 years as a result of the pandemic have only added to the sense of social isolation and disconnection that some young people feel.”

“This program ensures young people can get the support and assistance they need. I thank and congratulate the local grant recipients for their ongoing work, which we are proud to support. It’s all about creating a stronger, safer community.”

The funding will be delivered under the latest round of the Safer Communities Fund which has invested more than $265 million and provided over 720 grants directly to local communities to deliver grassroots crime prevention initiatives since 2016.

Media contact | Cate Mercer-Grant 0408 564 232