Beach pledges $600,000 to disadvantaged youth
Disadvantaged children in one of the more remote corners of South Australia are to get new education and job opportunities, thanks to a decision by Beach Petroleum to underwrite a new three-year assistance program.Adelaide-based Beach Petroleum is one of Australia’s top four oil and gas producers and explorers, and has committed $600,000 to fully fund the initiative of Save the Children Australia.In what will be a pilot program by Save the Children, up to 25 youngsters from Ceduna and surrounding communities will be given a new lease of life.Titled ‘Future Pathways for Young People in Ceduna’, the program will aim to provide local young people with meaningful education and sustainable employment opportunities, and to reduce the number of children in conflict with the law, lowering violence levels among local young people.Save the Children’s SA Executive Officer, Eva Varga said that currently there is an extremely high rate of gang violence and child abuse, with children not completing their education, and significant numbers of young people in conflict with the law.“Indigenous young people in Ceduna have limited employment and life opportunities and expose themselves and the community to an increased risk of violence,” Ms Varga said. “Police in the town have expressed specific concern at the absence of rehabilitation programs for these youngsters to break the cycle of violence and criminal activity – and that concern is echoed by parents, community elders and local agency representatives, as well as young people themselves,” she said.Beach Petroleum Chairman, Robert Kennedy said the company had been looking for some time for a relevant major community support program.“The ‘Future Pathways for Young People in Ceduna’ program offered a genuine opportunity for troubled youngsters to link school programs to alternative education and career pathways through TAFE, and to commence networking with locals employers such as resources companies,” Mr Kennedy said.Ms Varga said Beach’s generosity would enable the necessary three-year assistance program to be fully implemented. “It will primarily focus on interventions by supporting young people to re-engage with education and employment opportunities through re-establishing networks, employment and education connections for young people,” she said.
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