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The Maranguka-led 8 to 18 years Working Group meeting last week in Bourke. Photo Twh

The statistics tell the story of the impact of Maranguka’s 8–18-year-old Working Group, a gathering of elders and agencies committed to the young people of Bourke.

Maranguka CEO, Matt Davidson, said the results of the efforts of the working group and other agencies had seen positive change in the community, with police reporting a 72 per cent downturn in youth offences over the summer school holidays, compared to the same period the previous year.

Mr Davidson said the working group aimed to improve the lives of Aboriginal children and young people by aligning schools and local services to the Safe-Smart-Strong strategy developed by the Bourke Tribal Council.

“The focus of this working group is aimed at re-engaging young people with education and building their capacity to lead successful lives,” using a ‘whatever it takes’ approach,” he said.

“Maranguka will provide support to ensure services collaborate for better outcomes for children, young people and their families.”

For Chair of the Bourke Tribal Council, Phil Sullivan, the statistics only tell part of the story.

He said the work being done through Maranguka and across the community would have a profound impact in the future.

“If we don’t take care of the young ones, who will lead us in the future?” he asked.

“Those early years, even before they turn eight, right up until they are 18 or older, are the most important years to teach kids to care for themselves and to respect themselves. […]

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