Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 14 February 2007



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 14 February 2007

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Parliamentary Record 12


Debates for 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; Parliamentary Record; ParliamentNT




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES Wednesday 14 February 2007 3892 Sydney there is a Youth In Search program which is widely televised. In Tasmania, there is the Wilderness Program, and in South Australia there is Operation Flinders. What we need is a program where these people can be taken away from their peers, put in a situation where they have to take responsibility for their actions, where they are challenged, and in a new environment. I have talked to one of the Rotary groups, and I am seeking an organisation that will take this task on. They are usually run by volunteers with specialist people to help the young people, but they are not something that I have been able to find within the Territory for the children I am talking about. If you think back, growing up can be pretty tough for some of our young people. They often get on the wrong track and are influenced by the wrong people. They are egged on and get a bit of a kick out of trying to push the boundaries as far as they possibly can. However, if we do not stop them now, they will end up coming into conflict with the law and going down a path we would hope they would not. In my searching around, I have looked at Operation Flinders, which is a program that basically says: We want to reinforce positive change for this person. We want to point them in a new direction, given them counselling and make them more responsible. We want them, when they have finished this course, to come back into their home environment and have a better attitude to the society within which they live, their family, perhaps stay at school longer than they normally would and not want to opt out too early as often many of these young people do. Basically, they will be given a new start to life. It is interesting that it is hard to find a program like this to give parents a bit of hope. A parent who was a professional, a very good operator, has recently left Alice Springs to take a teenager away and put him into a high school elsewhere because the parents felt the only way they could break the cycle was to get him away from town. That is a drastic move for any parent to make, but I can understand what they are saying. I am going to seek further whether there is something government can assist with, perhaps even start. I am sure there are voluntary organisations such as the Variety Club, which raises funds that could be used to set up a camp such as this. We have facilities such as Hamilton Downs. The government owns Owen Springs. Perhaps we could set up some sort of adventure camp on one of these premises and take these teenagers out of their environment and put them in a situation where they have to take a deep breath and start all over, see the positive things in life and how they can contribute to their family. I will be talking to the Minister for Family and Community Services. I am quite sure there are other members of parliament who have had parents approach them, as I have, about teenagers who need help. I am stymied. I am not sure where to go next, because there seems to be plenty of programs for children who have broken the law and go through diversionary programs, but there is nothing for those young people who are on the fringe, and they are the ones we need to capture now and stop before they go any further. I ask if there is a member of the Assembly who can give me information about a program along these lines, I would appreciate it. Mr HENDERSON (Wanguri): Mr Deputy Speaker, I begin by extending my congratulations to Mrs Denise Smith from Leanyer Primary School. The last day of school in 2006, 15 December, marked the end of Mrs Smiths teaching career in the Northern Territory. Denise has been a teacher with us in the Northern Territory for almost 25 years. Included has been time devoted to teaching at what was then Casuarina High School, Jingili Primary and Leanyer Primary Schools. Denise has been a member of Leanyer Primary School staff for the last 13 years, teaching in both the upper and middle primary areas. Denise is an excellent teacher. Planning, preparation, teaching, evaluation, refinement, revision and extension are aspects of the teaching equation fully covered, both thoughtfully and thoroughly. Henry Gray, Principal of Leanyer, describes Denise of a role model in the way she developed her program; a very professional person who has been acknowledged as a thorough and meticulous staff member. Denise takes advice and shares her thoughts in a professional manner, in a team teaching situation she has developed with colleagues. She contributed to both unit and whole staff meetings, to administrative matters and professional discourse. Denise has taken a keen interest in the wider context of school activities and participated in many extracurricular activities. No doubt, her most major contribution has been in the area of dance. Within and outside the school, Denise has been responsible for preparing children to dance in a technically correct and highly artistic manner. Through dance, she has done a lot to develop the confidence of children in the area of performing arts. She has motivated countless numbers of children to a love of dance and performing arts.