Many young people in Canberra face challenges. I thank those who make their lives easier, including the Canberra Police Community Youth Club, or PCYC. Their crime prevention and youth diversion programs successfully help young people get their lives back on track. For example, 80 per cent of those who complete PCYC’s Project Booyah do not reoffend.
I was therefore happy when my colleague Senator Seselja last week announced Commonwealth Government funding to keep this excellent program running. Many other PCYC programs, however, depend upon local support. So when Executive Manager Cheryl O’Donnell asked me to help with their fundraiser this year, I had to say yes – a really big deal for me since this required abseiling down Canberra’s tallest building, and I’m terrified of heights! Today I had the opportunity in the Assembly to share my experiences taking the ‘PCYC Plunge’.
Because I like to share adventures, I sponsored two additional participants by inviting entrants to describe in 50 words or fewer something they had overcome in their youth. Some of these contributions will be published as a compilation, and I hope they will inspire young people. One winner was, like me, terrified of heights, but she had brought two people who had been there for her over the years: a school chaplain and a youth worker from Woden Community Service.
I am personally grateful to good people like school chaplains, youth workers and the Canberra PCYC for all they do to help young people get through often complicated situations. I am likewise grateful for all who sponsored my participation in the PCYC Plunge by donating. I encourage all Canberrans to support Canberra PCYC and other organisations engaged in this important work of giving young people the tools they need for life.