Cowra Probus inducts its first life member

Cowra Probus had their July meeting in the Masonic Hall in Cowra in accordance with the current restrictions.

A new member was inducted, Terry Koen, and he also gave the talk of the member behind the badge.

Terry started working up at the Soil Conservation Service in Cowra in 1991 as a statistician estimating different things such as; brumby numbers, dust storms and tides.

He has moved around with his employment working at Bourke and Mildura, being with the department of Agtriculture in Tasmania for a number of years.

Terry and his wife are both keen walkers. He retired in 2019 and is looking forward to becoming involved with Probus.

President Richard inducted Doug Beer as the Club's first Life Member for everything that he has done since joining Probus.

Doug has been president a number of times and a very active club member for many years. Congratulations Doug.

The guest speaker for the month of July was Stuart Mead who spoke about the PCYC in Cowra.

The PCYC mission is to get young people active in life, to develop their skills, character and leadership and prevent crime by, and against young people.

Stuart said the club delivers activities (eg. basketball) and hosts events (eg. boxing tournaments) that generate a surplus so they can run programs that fulfill their mission. The core mission is to execute, in partnership with NSW Police the RISEUP strategy.

RISEUP is a new strategy connecting disengaged young people to workplace opportunities by building their engagement with education, employment opportunities and the community.

RISEUP incorporates a suite of programs that encompass a range of strategies including early intervention, developmental crime prevention, positive relationships, support networking, functional numeracy, literacy, nutrition and behavioural workshops. They all include a job-ready component and link young people with employers.

What this looks like in practice is that each Wednesday morning at 7am, PCYC pick up about 20 kids from their homes, bring them to the club, give them a workout, breakfast and a shower and then deliver them to school at 9am. Over a 12 month period they have had a 90+% attendance. This is delivered by NSW Police with assistance from the Cowra Neighbourhood Centre and PCYC staff.

In 1937, NSW Police Commissioner William Mackay established the first Police Boys club in Wolloomoolloo with the proposal for Rotary support as follows:

"To raise funds to provide suitable places where lads, brought up in industrial areas, could meet, play, engage in sport, giving them a chance in life, and preventing them becoming street corner loafers."

While PCYC is a charity, it operates as a social enterprise in that 50% of its revenues come from trading activities, 25% government funds, and 20% is through fundraising.

PCYC in Cowra operate from two buildings with three full-time and eight casual staff. This comprises two NSW Police youth case managers and a civilian club manager.

They deliver a range of court and field sports comprising touch football (300 plus players), indoor netball, volleyball, basketball and indoor soccer. They also run amateur boxing and Judo as well as gymnastics and parkour. The club currently has approximately 600 members and has recently started offering 60+ gentle exercise classes for what it calls their "Silver Squad". This is offered Monday and Friday each week at 11.30am and is well attended.