Dareton Youth and Community Drop-In Centre
Sunraysia Indigenous Ministries (A partnership between three local church communities) and GMP extend. GMP Extend will be a primary supporter of the Community Outreach Centre in Dareton NSW. This facility has been operating for 4 years and is locally led. Its focus is on primary age indigenous children transitioning to secondary school from primary school. The Dareton Primary school is 95% Indigenous. The local Coomealla Secondary College is 50% Indigenous and the adjustment has been difficult for children who finds themselves faced with levels of racism and peer discrimination. Activities include cooking classes, indoor sports activities and cultural awareness activities. Recently computer and sewing classes have commenced for their parents.
The Centre is a positive and culturally safe place for local Indigenous youth living in and around Dareton (NSW). They work with agencies and organisations to run art groups, a textile and sewing group, a music and band project, as well as drop-in facilities. The Centre is open for any and all children and youth from 3:30pm to 6.30pm Monday to Thursday.
John Saulo pioneered the Centre with the purpose of building dignity and wellbeing. The community centre is going from strength to strength in 2017 with the new manager, Ilker Deli, who is supported by the team from the Wentworth Joint Parish.
“I am a long term resident of the Sunraysia region after emigrating to Australia from Germany at the age of 15.” Deli says. “I have youth work and community development qualifications — my faith and experiences of youth centres has given me a passion to see hope come in the lives of young Indigenous people of the region.”
Many Indigenous families are transient and Dareton is a town with affordable housing and a natural place for people to move to from the more remote communities along the Darling River and in the area around Mt Isa. Additionally, outside Dareton is one of the highest need communities in NSW. Known as Namatjira Avenue it is home to many people who live in what was a formal settlement. The rates of violence are high as is the level of unemployment.
The activties in the centre increase personal confidence, build self-esteem, support attendance at school and minimise the risk of young people roaming the streets. Their parents also grow in confidence, gain practical skills and increase the chance of gaining employment.
2019-2022 - The provision of a youth drop-in-centre and associated programs including outreach activities in remote communities and programs for parents.
2020-2021: Purchase of the current rented facility and renovations to make the building more useable in both summer and winter.
2021-2020: Re-equipping of the kitchen to make it a training and catering kitchen.