Connecting Indigenous Youth

Meaningful connection and support for Aboriginal youth

The Young Mens Group is a program that supports young men to remain in school, stay connected to culture and make healthy life decisions. Rural Doctors Foundation Grants for Good Health 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. The Group helps support vulnerable youth in the Gladstone area. These were young men aged 13 to 14, who were mostly coming through from child safety referral systems. The group were meeting after school for a feed, and to play basketball. 

The initial results were showing the service 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 the Rural Doctors Foundation. 

When Peter and Ronald found out they had secured the Grants for Good Health grant, they literally did a happy dance around the office. The youth were also over the moon. The funding meant the facilitators could buy equipment to do fun activities like kayaking, fishing, and hiking.

Giving young men positive role models and optimism for the future.

With funding from Grants for Good Health, the 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 also establishes positive role models at a crucial time in their lives.

Many young men in the group went on to have health checks. These were designed specifically for Aboriginal men as part of closing the gap. The bulk of the participants have stayed in school. The program has also inspired one young man into part-time employment at the local butcher.

The young men refer to Peter and Stuart as “uncles” which is a sign of respect. The boys always ask, “what are we doing next?” particularly when it comes to the weekend and school holiday activities.

Such impact is possible thanks to the support of those who generously give to the work of Rural Doctors Foundation.

There are many more young people who could benefit from innovative programs like this focused on their health and wellbeing.