THE WHEEL THING: Wally Drew of Grafton High and Jordan Laurie of South Grafton High have a closer look at a bike as part of Bike Youth Program between Aboriginal Men’s Group and NSW Police. Photo: Adam Hourigan
THE WHEEL THING: Wally Drew of Grafton High and Jordan Laurie of South Grafton High have a closer look at a bike as part of Bike Youth Program between Aboriginal Men’s Group and NSW Police. Photo: Adam Hourigan

Police get boys riding to a better life

WHEN Aboriginal community liaison officer Gary Brown noticed a spike in push bike thefts, he was inspired to make a change.

And so Chess Employment, NSW Police and the Clarence Valley Aboriginal Men's Group joined forces to come up with the Aboriginal Youth Bike Program.

Every Thursday a group of high school boys spend the day at the South Grafton Ngerrie Lands Council Men's Shed, pulling apart and building old bikes.

Mr Brown said it was a way to get the boys passionate about a project.

"We want them to feel a sense of ownership in what they do," he said.

"We're trying to break the cycle of crime and break down that barrier with police to get them liaising."

With a core group of about eight students a week, the boys head over to the shed at 8.30am to have breakfast and a yarn with the Men's Shed members before getting their hands dirty with grease in the workshop.

Two students, Robert Gibson and Jordon Laurie, agreed they loved the program and were most thrilled that they get to keep the bike they have made at the end of it.

"It's really fun, learning how to fix your bike and we get to go on a camp at the end which will be good," Robert said.

The group will head to Nymboida after the program finishes (around December) and go BMX and bush riding on their new rides.

If you'd like to donate any bikes or help out, give the Grafton Police Station a bell on 6642 0222.



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