Casey organisations offer new program for local youth

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By Emma Xerri

Y Victoria and Casey RACE have partnered with Jesuit Social Services (JSS) and the Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) to showcase the importance of positive relationships among young people of diverse backgrounds.

By inviting them to participate in a series of sessions, the partnership hopes to cultivate long-term impact and improve behaviour among Casey’s multicultural youth.

Through the added incentive of free Casey RACE memberships for participants, Casey RACE manager Matthew Slaughter, also believes this partnership can play an important role in allowing young people to feel comfortable and connected to a community facility.

“There was an opportunity to partner with JSS and CMY to create positive change within our community,” he said.

“We offered free memberships to encourage participation. These memberships gave young people access to our facilities and was a drawcard for building relations within groups we’d faced challenges engaging with in the past.”

In the inaugural program of what has the potential to be a highly beneficial partnership, the team delivered theoretical sessions and engaging practical activities to a group of mostly young male participants aged 13 to 17 from African backgrounds.

The session focused on the consequences of pent-up emotions. Participants worked with a knotted rope to symbolise the tension that comes from resisting positive self-expression and to highlight the importance of discussing and addressing personal troubles among trusted peers.

Through symbolic activities like the knotted rope, as well as space for self-exploration, the program hopes growth and reflection can happen naturally and at an individual pace among participants.

“Our aim is not just to identify and solve behavioural issues but to let growth organically occur. The core idea is to create a sense of community belonging through this program,” Mr Slaughter said.

The Y hopes that this partnership will be one of many initiatives centred on supporting young people in communities, and all involved believe outreach such as this has the potential to bring about lasting positive social change.