Ararat Police have partnered with Central Grampians LLEN to help the youth hub.
Steadily we are making progress by renovating the building designated for the youth hub. The building has been provided by Federation University Australia. As a result of a severe storm, the building was dirty, mouldy, and essentially fallen apart. Since then, Central Grampians LLEN has been working hard to clear out the entire building, most recently ripping out the ceiling with assistance from Ararat Police.
“Maybe we should wear wetsuits,” Senior Sergeant Damien Ferrari joked.
Ararat Police realise that locally youth are over represented in the justice system and some are disengaged from the normal learning and education environments for many reasons. There are many things the police have in place to try and reduce the numbers of youth becoming involved in the justice system, however they are always looking for new and innovative ways in which to further enhance the current methods.
Police have previously worked with CGLLEN, but the addition of the three-module portable, to be used as a learning hub, is another step forward in being able to provide a safe, appropriate and accessible learning space for the local youth.
Ararat Police are engaged with the local community in many ways and once they observed the learning hub and realised its potentials, they were happy to engage with CGLLEN and come on board to assist. The members at Ararat are very keen to assist where we can and it’s important to keep in mind that many of the current police members have a range of trade qualifications behind them.
The facility requires quite a bit of maintenance and renovation. Senior Sergeant Damien Ferrari feels that if it is shown that the local police are on board to assist that this may encourage other local organisations, businesses and individuals to come on board and get involved with the project.
HELPING YOUNG PEOPLE
If we truly want to engage our youth in meaningful and worthwhile learning activities then we must provide the ability for this to occur, and the learning hub is a vital part of that mechanism. The benefits of having the youth at this facility in a learning environment and teaching them many things, including basic life skills, is enormous. When Senior Sergeant Ferrari was asked why it is so important to put this type of effort into our youth, the answer for him was easy: “it’s because they are our future”.
More work needs to be done, but it has been great to see the progress so far. Central Grampians LLEN would like to thank all those involved in helping create this new space for young people, including Ararat Police: Senior Sergeant Damian Ferrari, Sergeant Phill Messer and Sergeant Mario Miocic.
Soon we will be working on the exterior roof and guttering as they have also been severely damaged. Once those repairs have taken place, we will explore new options for the interior design of the youth hub.