Cowra’s PCYC received a timely visit from representatives of PCYC NSW on Wednesday, who were travelling to check out the facilities in the rural areas.
Superintendent Commander of the Youth and Crime Prevention Command, Dave Roptell and PCYC CEO Dominic Teakle had the opportunity to see what Cowra had on offer with Cowra PCYC General Manager Stewart Mead.
Supt. Roptell said it gives them a chance to see what is happening on the ground in rural and regional areas.
“We can engage not only our staff, PCYC staff and employees but also the local community and most importantly, the youth and just see and get an appreciation of what type of activities take place,” he said.
“We sit in the ivory tower, we dictate and we say what should be taking place but actually getting on the ground and seeing it put into action, that’s the purpose of coming out here.”
Mr Teakle said while PCYC maintains a focus on the youth, he said the organisation should try and engage the wider community.
“I think what our challenge as an organisation is… what is it that we can do here that might attract mums and bubs… What about some people who might be at the older end of the spectrum potentially coming in and doing activity classes, because it’s a community facility,” he said.
“We are a community facility, focused on youth programs but equally we should be at the very soul and heart of the community.”
Wednesday’s visit coincided with the announcement of the Rise Up program by Commissioner Mick Fuller, with the aim of connecting young people with jobs and streamlining programs available into different categories.
“It’s a red-letter day for PCYC and youth command in general,” Mr Teakle said.
“It’s about joining all of the agencies at both the top level and right down to the grassroots level with police leading that inter-agency cooperation and sharing of information so we can actually find and identify the young people at risk.
“These aren’t bad kids, they are kids that may not be conforming to what society thinks is the right path.
“The Commissioner took the lead. He believes to break the cycle of some of these young people find themselves in, you got to find them employment and that's the key, they have got to feel they are contributing to society.”
Mr Teakle said the program will allow younger people to get mentoring and skills such as a first aid certificate or white card, to enter back into education or the workforce and continuing to assist them once they are employed.
“Once they are in that job, we will continue that mentoring and journey because we are an organisation that cares for its people.”