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Robyn’s thoughts on youth crime

Bourke student Robyn Gillon believes that Bourke crime issues can be fixed by giving young people a goal in life. Photo Layton Holley

“I want to be something for myself and a role model for my family and community,” Robyn Gillon said, eyes sparkling with determined ambition.

“I’m an outgoing person, whereas my family are more introverted, so I want to be a voice for myself and my family, a voice loud enough to be heard, so my motivation is to get through (school) and keep going because I know that my family are rooting for me – I have a big future ahead of me.”

I met Robyn a couple of months ago when some politicians came to town to discuss youth crime with the community at the PCYC.

The meeting was just your standard question and answer scenario – many words were used to say very little – until Robyn, in her Bourke High School uniform, took the floor and demanded attention.

The speech she then made, entirely off the top of her head but straight from the heart, was born of the sincerity and conviction only attained through lived experience and moved all who heard it almost to tears as she outlined her life as one of fifteen children, and her determination to make her community better for all.

From that speech, she was awarded a scholarship to a boarding school in Bathurst, but after a couple of months, she felt the pull of her hometown once again and returned, realising that her presence was needed with her family.

“There is only so much you can do to fix the situation here,” she said regarding youth crime.

“Politicians can do just as much as they want, but at the end of the day, most of it is talk.

“They’re not involved enough in our community to know what is happening or know our struggles – why come to a town and pretend you know what’s happening when you don’t know what’s happening?

“There are a lot of unfollowed promises that are made, and it is hard to see that happen in a town as beautiful as ours,” she said.

Youth crime, she explains, is a problem that cannot be solved entirely through legislation and politicians, but instead is a problem that must be solved by the people of the community, who know the pain and so know the cure.

Robyn notices the effect role models in the community make on the youth in allowing them to dream bigger and set goals.

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