Learner’s Permit Help Program
Recognising the number of people who are currently driving without a licence in the northern suburbs, the Youth Leadership Group decided to open the Edmund Rice Centre to help people obtain their Learners Permit. The program was targeted at adult humanitarian entrants and ran for four Saturdays throughout November. The Leaders were able to use their skills in translating and communicating with a whole group of people from all different backgrounds to make the program a success.
In one room, the Road Aware Keys for Life program was delivered. At the end of this 4 week program a total of 13 people (including 6 leaders) were eligible to take their Learners Permit Theory Test at the Edmund Rice Centre. All of them passed which was a tremendous achievement for them and the leaders who helped them.
In the computer room, the leaders gave individual assistance to members of the community who wanted to practice for the Learners Permit Theory Test online. The leaders worked tirelessly, often speaking until they were hoarse. Many of the people who attended this part of the program had difficulty with English and the leaders were able to help them attain scores in the high twenties (minimum score for a pass is 24/30).
Special thanks go out to Community Policing and School Drug Education and Road Aware.
Edmund Rice Games 2008
The Youth Leadership Group helped to run two sports competition camps, dubbed the ‘Edmund Rice Games’ for both the Indigenous and Refugee youth at Keith Maine Recreation Centre in Whiteman Park. The camps were designed for current and potential participants in our Refugee and Indigenous sports programs, as well as some of our Youth Leaders. Mercycare and the Department of Child Protection helped in the organisation and implementation of the Games. The purpose of the camp was to encourage the goals of the Olympic movement “to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practised without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play” with the ultimate aim of reinforcing these goals in our own sports program. An underlying theme of the camp was to facilitate interaction between young people and Youth Leaders, with the aim of encouraging the concept of youth leadership amongst our Sports Program participants.
A successful sporting competition was run complete with ribbons and ceremonies, and competition ribbon tally. The Youth Leaders helped to run the sporting competition, including refereeing, scoring and filming the events, and participated in them along with the youth to strengthen the bond between the youth and the leaders and promote the concept of Youth Leadership. They also coordinated the kitchen and cleaning duties. These camps brought the Leadership Group to a position where they are almost ready to run camps independently.
Meeting and Community Policing
Recognising that the interactions with the Refugee youth community and the police is mostly negative, the Edmund Rice Centre Youth Leadership Group initiated a meeting with a representative from Community Policing, Sgt Garry Tuffin, with the aim of learning more about the police force and providing a forum for positive interaction and discussion. The meeting lasted around two hours, an indication that it was enjoyable and productive. All of the people at the meeting emerged with an improved understanding of the issues. The questions posed by the leaders included: Why are young people stopped? What rights do police/citizens have? What are the trouble spots in the area? Where are youth most likely to be stopped? What training do officers get in ‘people to people’ interactions? What is the salary range for police officers? Is it enough for the type of job they are asked to do? What problems does this cause for individuals? What issues do the police have with young people? What are the three most common crimes in the area? Is driving without a license a major issue? In what communities is it largest? To what extent is racial profiling practice? Is anything done to combat it? What can we do to increase positive interactions among youth and police? Specifically, what can the leadership group do? This was followed up by a visit and walkthrough the Mirrabooka Police Station, where the Youth Leaders and local police officer had afternoon tea together. One of or Youth Leaders then served on the committee for the Mirrabooka Police Station Open Day, as part of a continuing association.
National Refugee Week 08 Universal Declaration of Human Rights Project
The Edmund Rice Centre Youth Leadership Group partnered with the Elders Every Human Has Rights Campaign (www.theelders.org) to promote the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by individuals. The Leadership Group opened the Edmund Rice Centre Mirrabooka computing facilities to enable people to sign the Universal Declaration through the Every Human Has Rights Campaign website (www.everyhumanhasrights.org), and provided informational seminars on topics related to human rights. There was multicultural food provided on the day, as well as entertainment, particularly for the young children and adolescents. The day was well attended, with over 140 people visiting the Centre and 116 signatures collected. This was a fantastic achievement for the Youth Leaders, who were buoyed by their improved knowledge of human rights and their improved ability to speak in front of crowds of people. Special thanks to the many community organizations that helped make the event a success including the City of Stirling, Girradoola Lions, the Office of the State Member for Yokine, City of Wanneroo, Edmund Rice Camps for Kids, Office of Multicultural Interests, Community Parks Project, Department of Sport and Recreation and the Department of Education and Training, as well as all of the volunteers, who did a tremendous job.
Community Television Perth (CTV) produced a short film (see below) about the event and the Elders Every Human Has Rights Campaign reported on the event in their campaign blog. The Youth Leadership Group's event was one of two grass roots efforts featured in the Every Human Has Rights highlights pamphlet for 2008. Vision of the video from CTV was part of a video highlights package shown at the Every Human Has Rights Campaign Celebration and media awards, which was attended by members of the Elders and over 30 award-winning human rights journalists.
National Youth Week 3-on-3 Basketball Competition
The Edmund Rice Centre Youth Leadership Group in partnership with the City of Stirling ran a 3-on-3 basketball tournament as part of National Youth Week 2008. The preparation involved our Youth Leaders training as basketball referees so that they could umpire the tournament. Those who didn’t undertake training acted as scorers and assistants and we had help from many other organizations. A total of 22 youth participated in the event predominantly from Sudanese backgrounds. The support from other local organizations was fantastic and the event went very well. The leaders learnt a lot about organization and managing a medium sized event and their reputation in the community continues to grow. Their effort were also reported in the local community newspaper. Supporters of the event include National Youth Week, Edmund Rice Centre Camps for Kids, Department of the Attorney General, Department of Sport and Recreation and the Office of Multicultural Interests.
ERC Youth Leadership Camp 2007
The ERC Youth Leadership Camp was held on 11-13th April at the Ern Haliday Recreation Centre in Hillarys. The purpose of the camp was to introduce the ideas of leadership to the kids who take part in the Youth Sports Programme. Activities included crate climbing, abseiling, lost pilot, rock climbing and a lantern stalk. Youth Leaders were encouraged to use the leadership skills developed to encourage the younger kids to participate in and enjoy the organised activities. The ERC Youth Leaders took on a leadership role during the camp, with each leader responsible for a group of 3-5 kids. One of the tasks of each group was to develop a coaching session for 6 year olds.
ERC Youth Leadership Camp 2006
This was the first ERC Youth Leadership camp. It was held at the Keith Maine campsite at Whiteman Park in September 2006. The camp was an introduction to leadership for the youth between 15 - 20 years of age that have been associated with the Edmund Rice Centre. This resulted in the formation of the ERC Youth Leadership Group.
Activities such as bushwalks, bike rides and games were approached with the aim of improving the leadership skills of the participants. For example, on the bushwalk, the group was asked to come to consensus on the route taken. With the bike ride, the leaders were asked to lead from the front and also to make sure everyone was keeping up, which required some of them to remain behind.