Media Release by Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion

Government gets behind programme for Illawarra youth

St George Illawarra Rugby League Club (Dragons) players and officials will promote healthy lifestyles and goal-setting with groups of at risk young people, under an initiative supported by the Australian Government.

Federal Minister for Community Services, Senator the Hon. Nigel Scullion today launched the Dragons Youth at Risk Community Programme which aims to improve the participation of at risk young people in the Illawarra community.

‘The Australian Government is happy to work with the Dragons to improve young people’s participation in the community as part of the Youth at Risk Community Programme,’ Senator Scullion said.

‘The partnership between the Dragons and the Australian Government is welcomed as a chance to utilise the skills, expertise and knowledge of a successful Australian sports team, and the company and sponsors behind their success, to deliver support and personal development guidance to young people in the Illawarra.

‘This project gives youth service providers: Southern Youth and Family Services, YWCA Shoalhaven and Central Illawarra Youth Services, the chance to raise money and provide incentives for the young people accessing their services.

‘The Dragons will work with youth service providers in the Illawarra to support events and a range of activities aimed at building young people’s skills and self esteem, which has a positive effect on the wider community.

‘Linking the Dragons, Youth Services and the Australian Government is a great example of the type of partnership model the Prime Minister has been promoting through his Community Business Partnership initiative,’ Senator Scullion said.

This initiative is funded under the Youth Sponsorship programme, in place to help young people reach their potential and engage with their families and communities.

The Dragons will provide places for identified young people in sports clinics, referee, coaching and sports first aid training, provide tickets to Dragons games for mentors and mentees in the Partnering Employment Pathways Mentoring programme and help with fundraising and promotional activities among other things.