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All youths need a PCYC

Ngerrie LALC chief executive Wes Fernando, chairman Brett Tibbett and CVYI president (by default) Ursula Tunks.
Ngerrie LALC chief executive Wes Fernando, chairman Brett Tibbett and CVYI president (by default) Ursula Tunks.

ALL members of the Clarence Valley Youth Initiative (CVYI) resigned last week and handed relevant documents and funding back to former president Ursula Tunks before the group formed a new committee aimed at all youth - not just those "at risk".

The move, said former CVYI member and founding member of YouthWorx Grafton John Shearer, was decided upon last week due to the CVYI's apparent failure to attract funding for its main objective - a Police Citizen's Youth Club in South Grafton.

The Police Ball, planned for Saturday, September 8 at the Grafton racecourse, and previously organised as a CVYI fundraiser, would go ahead, Mr Shearer said, but as a fundraiser for Grafton YouthWorx.

Mr Shearer said the main focus of Grafton YouthWorks would be to run workshops and events for the youth of the Grafton district.

Ms Tunks was surprised at the move but vowed to keep fighting for youth services, including a PCYC, for the Clarence Valley.

By Friday afternoon, Ms Tunks, a candidate in the upcoming Clarence Valley Council elections, had recruited former Nationals pre-selection contender Fiona Leviny and Ngerrie Local Aboriginal Land Council CEO Wes Fernando as new members of the CVYI and had retained former committee member Amanda Finucane.

Ms Tunks said there was about $2000 remaining from CVYI's previous fundraising efforts, including the 2011 Mayoral Ball.

This would be donated to the Youth Shed - a project expected to be launched in coming weeks by Ngerrie LALC.

"The Youth Shed is for all children within the Clarence Valley - Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal," Mr Fernando said.

"The shed is almost complete.

"It has been in development for the past few years and has been funded by community support/donations and a few small grants.

"We are sourcing funding to employ a project officer to implement a strategic plan which will identify programs and resources for the Youth Shed.

Mr Fernando pointed to various parts of the shed including tiling and insulation completed by youth from Acmena Juvenile Detention Centre which had provided the youth with some practical trade skills and ownership of the facility.

"This is a huge need in our community for all children," he said. "It is envisaged that we will create a youth board of directors, mentored through Ngerrie land councils staff and board.

"We have created a yarning circle with youth at our land council and they have already set the guidelines and boundaries for the use of the youth centre.

"We are looking for further donations of flooring, mats/rugs and carpet for the office area."

Topics:  fundraiser, grafton, pcyc



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