Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Supporting young people in La Perouse

A Sydney youth service, which helps hundreds of young people from the Aboriginal community of La Perouse with education, health and link-up services will receive $145,000 in funding to extend the service until June 2009.

Up to 30 young people from the La Perouse community will also be given the opportunity to participate in the successful Indigenous leadership program run by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

Young people have the potential to create positive change in their communities and the Australian Government wants to encourage them to become leaders and strong role models.

The La Perouse Youth Haven, affectionately known as ‘Lapa Bummers’, was started by local volunteers to support young people in the area.

Over the last two years, the Youth Haven has provided educational, social and cultural opportunities to over 230 local young people.

It’s a safe, friendly meeting place for 12 to 25 year olds and at the same time it offers a range of education, health and information services.

For example, the centre provides school certificate courses, a homework centre, school holiday activities and cultural activities.

Young people also have access to computers and workshops that provide drug, alcohol and sexual health information.

The service successfully reaches out to ‘at-risk’ youth, helping overcome issues such as anti-social behaviour, school absenteeism and providing support for local families. It also links up young people to government services and not-for-profit organisations.

The Government recognises the important role played by the La Perouse Youth Haven in supporting the entire La Perouse community through encouraging local volunteers, providing positive role models and nurturing future community leaders.