Thyne Reid Foundation grant

The BackTrack Youthworks program, renowned for turning around the lives of wayward teenagers in Armidale NSW, has received a much-needed injection of funds from the Thyne Reid Foundation.

The funds will be used specifically to reach greater numbers of “at risk” youth in Armidale and across regional areas. This will be done by employing current part-time youth worker trainees on full-time wages and by employing a full-time work crew supervisor.

The major strength of the initiative is that the youth worker trainees are young men who have progressed through the BackTrack programs and undertaken formal training in youth work. In 2012 they will commence a Certificate IV in Youthwork through Armidale TAFE. Their role within the BackTrack program is integral to the successful outcomes being achieved by the younger participants.

Along with the Youth worker trainees, a Work Crew supervisor, will be employed to be the driving force behind Backtrack’s emerging rural contracting outlet for its’ participants called AgLads. The AgLads work crews will be undertaking rural contract work in Armidale and the greater Armidale area.

Thirteen BackTrack participants are set to complete a Certificate II in Rural Operations in 2011 and these young men will form the base of the work crews.

Growing the capacity to generate income for the programs is essential to their long-term viability and BackTrack’s ability to reach new communities. The funding from the Thyne Reid Foundation has certainly boosted the staffing capacity to achieve these outcomes.

The funds will be auspiced by the Australian Beef Industry Foundation (ABIF), a strong supporter of BackTrack’s community work and role in providing careers in the beef industry.

ABIF is funding a scholarship, sponsored by Rural Press, to send two participants in the BackTrack program to the Rural Leadership Program at Marcus Oldham College in Geelong, Victoria.

BackTrack participants
Back L to R: Dan Perkins, Christopher Cox, Adrian Woolnough,
Middle L to R: Michael Moran, Stephanous Olsen, Nathan Bliss, Tyron Campbell, Bernie Shakeshaft (program manager) Jonathon Brown, Marcus Potter, Joel Griffiths
Front: Fred Campbell