Reconnecting at-risk Indigenous youth in Cherbourg

The Liberal and Nationals Government is investing $400,000 in Cherbourg to help Indigenous young people improve their mental health and reduce the risk of self-harm. 

The new grant will support the development of a Youth Advisory Group to administer a range of programs, including youth leadership workshops, an Annual Cherbourg Youth Festival, an online art store, the Cherbourg NAIDOC Ball, cultural exchanges, and a twice-annual Youth Forum, Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien announced today.

“The Youth Advisory Group will influence priority projects providing young people with a platform to advocate their concerns and ensuring that they are represented, valued and respected,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This will be done through a range of activities and by creating networks and partnerships in the community, giving youth a voice and inclusion on community decisions, as well as mentorship.”

Mr O’Brien has worked closely with the Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council to improve mental health outcomes for Cherbourg youth. 

The Indigenous Youth Connection to Culture program has been co-designed with the Cherbourg community to improve mental health by reconnecting youth with their traditional culture.

Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council CEO Chatur Zala said the $400,000 funding allocated in the Indigenous Youth Connection to Culture IYCC program would allow three years of programs for youth, including mentorship and sporting events.

“These activities are designed to improve the wellbeing of young Indigenous people in Cherbourg, which will build resilience and reduce anti-social behaviour,” Mr Zala said.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Llew for his support to our community to get this very important funding.”

This program contributes to Target 14 of the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap, aiming to achieve a significant and sustained reduction in the suicide of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples towards zero.