Saturday 10 April 2010

Youth Mentoring 2010 Trivia night vital due to no Federal funding

The annual fundraiser for Cairns Youth Mentoring is back again.
This year's Trivia night on Saturday 8th May, is again at the Reef Casino Hotel, in the Michaelmas Cay ballroom.
Tix are only $10 each, or $100 for a table of ten. You can book and pay online.
This annual fundraiser comes in the wake of the Federal Government's removal of funding support from this community scheme that is now in it's tenth year, supporting young people and their families in Cairns.
Several approaches to the local Federal MP Jim Turnour have not had any action to renew or replace the funding.
Jim Turnour said in October last year that the funding will be used for other programmes to "keep children at school."
"The Labor government is reprioritising funding for education and young people at risk," Turnour said last year.
The unique scheme has been matching hundreds of young people for ten years, and the removal of funding support from the Federal Government meant the Scheme nearly closed at the end of last year, if it wasn't for the efforts of former co-ordinator John Shay to encourage the formation of a voluntary community committee.
Under Turnour's watch, we have also seen the termination of an early intervention programme under the Child and Communities department just two years ago, the Aboriginal Douglas House rehabilitation service, and the FNQ small business consultative committee, have all ceased receiving Federal funding.
Warren Warren Entsch who has returned to run against Turnour in this year's Federal election has been extremely critical of the funded removal.
"Funding for Cairns Youth Mentoring was scrapped without a word of protest from any of the elected Labor representatives and no viable alternative offered," Entsch says.
"We are still in communication with Mr Turnour's office, and hope that they can support the Youth Mentoring programme," president of the Scheme Damian Zammit says. "I've been a mentor and have seen first hand the dramatic impact the programme makes to young people in our community."
Woree single mother Jenelle Dillon, who has offered her services to the new voluntary Youth Mentoring committee, knew very early on that something wasn't right with her son.
"They eventually had him diagnosed with autism, a disorder of neural development, often displayed by poor social interaction and communication, and restricted and repetitive behaviour," Jenelle says. "Extreme outcomes can be violent and aggressive behaviour, something Jenelle has had to cope with as a single mum for years."
"The Youth Mentoring programme has been a saviour," she says. "Anthony looks forward to spending time with his mentor and his whole behaviour changes. He has a different outlook."
I engaged with Jim on a couple of occasions last last year, once at TTNQ's launch of their $200,000 government-funded website, where he promised to discuss the matter with Cairns MP Desley Boyle. There's been no response at all since November.

This in today's Cairns Post (12th April, 2010)

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