Connecting Indigenous Youth

Meaningful connection and support for Aboriginal youth 

The Young Men’s Group supports young men to remain in school, stay connected to culture and make healthy life decisions. A grant from Rural Doctors Foundation gave a funding boost to this innovative program.

Members of the Family Wellbeing team of the Nhulundu Health Service had been running the Young Men’s Group unofficially, without funding. They support vulnerable youth aged 13 and 14 in the Gladstone area, who were mostly coming from child safety referral systems. The group were meeting after school for a feed, and to play basketball. 

This connection was making a world of difference in their lives.

Peter Stuart and Ronald Donald from the Nhulundu Health Services knew they could do much more with a little support.

 And so, they applied for a grant from Rural Doctors Foundation. 

With the funding, Nhulundu Health Service has been able to continue the Young Men’s Group in an official capacity. The Young Men’s Group offers an opportunity for young men to open up and talk. They discuss topics like education, sexual health, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as anger management.

It establishes positive role models at a crucial time in their lives.

When Peter and Ronald found out they secured the grant, they did a happy dance. The young men were also over the moon.

This funding meant they could buy equipment for activities like kayaking, fishing, and hiking.

Positive role models and optimism for the future

Many young men in the group have now had health checks designed specifically for Aboriginal men as part of closing the gap. The majority have stayed in school and one has been inspired to take up a part-time job with the local butcher.

Peter and Stuart are referred to as “uncles” which is a sign of respect. The boys always ask, “what are we doing next?” particularly on weekends and school holidays.

There are many more young people who could benefit from programs like these that focus on health and mental well being.