INDIGENOUS youth in greater western Sydney were yesterday allocated $474,000 by the federal government in Blacktown to help them stay out of trouble.
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said Marist Youth Care at Blacktown would get the funding for its Daramu Program for Indigenous Youth.
‘‘The funding is part of the federal government’s $120 million on legal assistance for indigenous people on prevention and diversion programs for those at risk of offending, and on projects designed to reduce rates of re-offending,’’ he said.
“Marist Youth Care will help many indigenous young people and their families by improving safety and reducing incarceration,” Mr Dreyfus said.
Greenway MP Michelle Rowland said the Marist Youth Care’s Daramu Program would provide case management to indigenous youth who have had, or are at risk of having, adverse contact with the criminal justice system, to reduce their chances of offending or re-offending.
“The funding is included in the budget and is part of the Rudd Labor Government’s Indigenous Justice Program,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s a big boost for indigenous justice services in Blacktown and enables Marist Youth Care to make a real difference to the lives of indigenous young people, their families and the community.’’
Cate Sydes, chief executive, Marist Youth Care said the funding would boost indigenous justice services in Blacktown and make a difference to the lives of indigenous young people, their families and the community.
She said Daramu was a holistic program named after the life-sustaining image of a tree as an organic system.
“If the whole system is diseased, you can’t just treat one of the roots and expect the rest of the tree to be healthy.
‘‘You must treat the whole tree as well as the soil in which it grows,” she said.