100 kids on the street in the middle of the night

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

Sir – Last weekend I accompanied an associate on a research assignment. We went into town at 1.30am over four nights and observed and interviewed some of the many youths present in the vicinity.

 

We were quite surprised to count over 100 of them, both boys and girls, ranging in ages from 11 to 17.

 

There were also adults present some fighting, many drunk, too drunk to get in anywhere so they were absorbed into the throng of youth.

 

We stayed until around 3am each morning and noted we never saw a police vehicle or night patrol or youth patrol on any day at any time we were there.

 

When asked most had the same answers to the same questions:-
“What are you doing” – Nothing.
“Where have you come from” – ?
“Where have been tonight” – Nowhere
“What have you been doing” – Drinking
” is there anything on or open?” – No

 

As a result I created this all ages event to combat youth boredom

https://www.facebook.com/events/447192385445351/

 

 

Russell Bray jnr

Alice Springs

 
 

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2 Comments (starting with the most recent)

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  1. Russell Bray jnr
    Posted April 9, 2015 at 5:02 am

    Hello Joel,
    My original letter was not about alcohol at all.
    My letter was about the “youth” on the streets with nowhere to go and nothing to do. Unaccompanied children, as young as 11, mixing with drunk and agro adults. Left to fend for themselves while hanging out in dark parks and streets at all hours.
    Why? No Youth patrol or night patrol vehicles or workers anywhere not even police. And when something happens, who gets blamed? Not the adults, not the government, council or any youth organisations.
    The NT government (and Federal?) need to take ownership of the issue. They put around $20m per annum into Alice Springs youth organisations and programs then wipe their hands of all responsibility.
    Until Jo-Blo gets his bin kicked over then its “Kids are to blame” “Boot Camps” “Curfews”.
    The kids cop the flack for laziness of overpaid under worked bureaucrats who simply turn up at work to draw a wage and run the programs and anyone with an idea into the ground to ensure their wage for another year.
    The Government needs to have some checks and balances in place to ensure these organisations are actually running programs, that the programs are relevant and the money is being used effectively before handing out more.

    I know they will say “the crowd was unusually large due to lightning carnival”. Poor Excuse!
    It was not the first carnival so they should have been prepared, plus it coincided with the school holidays, but, not one funded organisation or department arranged a thing. They had NOTHING in place for any local or visiting youth (12-25).
    After talking with the “youth” and seeing what I saw, I felt compelled as a father and a community member, to put this event together so the youth have an option that is FREE, fun, safe and secure.
    I did it inside two weeks, arranged DJs, security, equipment hire, advertising – all with absolutely no money, except my own. Imagine what I could do with a venue, company car and a few hundred thousand dollars.
    BYO – stands for Bring Your Own whatever.
    Be aware there is time set aside for non drinkers: 8-10pm is designated u18 only to accommodate the younger smaller patrons and their parents or sitters.
    The event is not intended as an “anti” anything so as to be “inclusive” and open to everyone in the community. Youth by definition can be 25yo so they can legally drink.
    There is no difference to the kids going to this event or to Gillen club or Henley on Todd except this event has licenced security and no doubt there will be police patrolling. Anybody supplying a minor with alcohol will be ejected and their name may be passed on to police.
    If the u18 come with their own alcohol, security’s only role is to ensure they and everyone else remains safe.
    We will not stop them from consuming it – that’s for their parents or the police.
    As long as they are having fun, safe, secure and out of sight out of mind of Jo-Blo.
    It will be a success compared to anything else on offer. O, wait, there is nothing else.
    The last event we held was run exactly the same and we had over 450 people attending, all of varying ages and stages of inebriation and not one incident.

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  2. Joel Olzomer
    Posted April 8, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Russell, you have done well in doing some research and put your own time aside to take an interest in this issue.
    However, after reviewing the Facebook link, I note that it is a BYO event.
    As you clearly demonstrate the social issue of alcohol in your above letter and that this event is a way to tackle the issue, I would hope that it is a BYO chair, BYO soft drink, food etc. Not BYO Alcohol. Can you please clarify?

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