“We can bring the wider community into our centre to …

Comment on 24/7 youth centre push continues but no location yet by Rachel.

“We can bring the wider community into our centre to mix with these children. Volunteers will help to feed and clothe them. They can mentor, provide activities, help with health and education, provide goods and services, interact with the kids.”
I’m curious to hear more from the steering committee around the reasoning behind a volunteer group maintaining the 24/7 youth space. Is it their belief that volunteers will keep the space open across the 24/7 cycle?
From experience looking at youth spaces, what’s necessary is a group of people with energy and dedication to be available over the long haul, a demand tested sometimes by the nature of the work.
It is about providing food, activities and access to resources, and also about being available to counsel. But What’s 24/7’s plan to account for the broader plan to deal with burn out and the transient nature of volunteerism?
Young people don’t need strangers appearing and disappearing just as quickly; if this venture is about developing relationships along the fault-line of white, indigenous and non-indigenous adults of colour and young people, what’s its plan to create real relationships? Primarily, how will grandmothers and grandfathers be involved? How will different community groups connect with the 24/7 venture?
On the surface it seems naive to suggest that a venue combined with volunteers equates to a solution to the problem as has been stated in the article: that the neglect of kids leads them onto the streets which leads them into problems.
Is the answer simply leading them from the street into a venue? At least, there’s the desire to create positive dialogue around the relationship of the broader community and young people in this town, and that’s something many do think about around the clock.

Recent Comments by Rachel

The Rock: To climb or not to climb
Erwin, people don’t avoid climbing the rock in order to not appear insensitive, they do so because they know it’s insensitive.
Perhaps if people were to stay away because they could not climb, then the significance and beauty of Uluru and Kata Tjuta would be lost on them. We visit places of cultural importance to learn, if not also to exchange. The type of people you hypothesise don’t fit into this category.
Your article questions the strength of wishes of two traditional owners when advising Parks of its sensitivities regarding Uluru, but why does it need to be questioned?
Do you not understand that however “brief” the mention of traditional owners, if they have expressed a wish then that wish stands.
They do not have to express those wishes in a manner that suits you, nor any other white person. Surely you understand this.


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