Moree youth camps connecting young people affected by drug and alcohol problems

MOREE Youth Council is saying no to drugs and alcohol and yes to increasing public awareness in 2021, using a $23,550 State Government grant to host camps aimed at identifying and supporting young people who are experiencing problems with substance abuse personally or at home.

Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall recently met with Youth Council members to announce the funding and hear what was in store for the Let’s Connect Youth Camps.

“At a Youth Council meeting in 2019 the question, ‘who would you speak to if a friend said they had a drinking or drug problem?’ drew blank faces from the room,” Mr Marshall said. 

“In order to fill that knowledge gap free one day camps will be held in Moree, Mungindi and Boggabilla, providing young people with the tools and support to identify friends who do not know where to go or who to turn to when it comes to using.

“Each camp will include a full day of activities delivered by young adults and motivational guest speakers, with mentor support on hand.

“Moree Plains Shire Council hopes the program will encourage more acceptable social behaviours within communities, improve health and wellbeing outcomes and relieve pressure on services such as police and hospitals.

“All these changes will assist in making the entire area more attractive and liveable and I congratulate Moree Youth Council, in conjunction with council, on this initiative.”

Moree Youth Council is saying no to drugs and alcohol and yes to greater public awareness this year, Moree Plains Shire Council Assistant Community Development Officer Jacqui Moore, left, members Millie Mitchell, Kaylib Taunton, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Callum Ward, Aisha Moore and Michelle van Arde.

Council’s Director of Planning and Community Development Angus Witherby said it was an extremely exciting project for the shire.

“Through the Moree Youth Council, council staff identified a gap in young people’s knowledge when it comes to getting help for drug and alcohol related problems,” Mr Witherby said.

“There is an abundance of resources available within our community to help community members facing these very difficult personal challenges, but if our youngest and most vulnerable community members cannot navigate the sea of service providers or have the confidence to refer friends in need, the value of these services is not truly being realised.

“The project will conclude with a gala dinner for all the young adults and their mentors, where participants can reflect on their learnings and discuss mechanisms on how they can approach a friend who is lost or looking for help.

“To ensure nobody misses out, transport will be provided to smaller villages such as Pallamallawa, Garah and Boomi.

“Through these camps we will raise awareness and nurture potential young adults willing to become community leaders and I feel our Youth Connect camps will make a very real difference to the young people of the Plains.”

Media Release: Friday, March 5, 2021