On Friday 19th August, we celebrated ten years of helping young people at risk of being stuck in a negative cycle get back on track. We’d like to extend a big thank you to the Bridge Project’s major sponsor, Far East Consortium, our MC, Channel 9’s Alicia Loxley, guest speakers Mick Malthouse and the Hon Wade Noonan MP, and our band on the night, the Sweethearts! Plus a special thank you to all those that attended and showed their support for at-risk young people in Victoria.
If you’d like to support the Bridge Project, head here: http://bridgeproject.ymca.org.au/
This year marks a decade of the YMCA Bridge Project helping young people at risk of being stuck in a recurring cycle of crime and imprisonment.
The YMCA Bridge Project 10 Year Anniversary Dinner celebrated this special milestone.
Currently the reoffending rate of young people who leave custody in Victoria is more than 50%.
However, for young people who take part in the Bridge Project, this rate drops to just 3%.
This is a remarkable statistic, but behind each statistic is a face and behind each face is a story.
While each story is different, the one common thread is always the young person’s determination to do better.
This was a fantastic event, attended by our network of supporters from across government, private and community sectors
that care about the future of all young people in Victoria and want to make a difference.
Throughout my employment I have had my ups and downs but the Bridge Project has always been there and had my back - Bridge Participant
As Patron of the Bridge Project, involvement and support from Mick Malthouse has been both inspirational and fundamental to our success.
Reflecting on his own life journey, Mick has a strong personal belief that young people should acknowledge their past (particularly if there are difficulties arising from that past) and not wear that past like a ‘badge of honour’.
“Young people need a second chance, we can all assist either by offering an employment opportunity or opening a door for a young person to be given a fresh start.
“We all make the wrong choices in our lives and some of us are fortunate to have good role models to put us on the straight and narrow, these young fellows need that guidance.”
YMCA Bridge Project is happy to announce Alicia Loxley as our emcee for the evening. Alicia is an Australian journalist and news presenter. She is currently weekend news presenter on Nine News Melbourne. This is her first year of involvement with the Bridge Project and we highly value her support.
The Hon Wade Noonan has been a supporter of the Bridge Project since it’s inception and has been an important advocate of our work in the Victorian community over the last ten years.
Due to his past role as Minister for Corrections and his most recent role of Minister for Industry & Employment, Wade understands the challenges faced by young people today and knows the importance of programs such as the Bridge Project.
The best thing about being employed is that my family are proud of me now and I can walk with my head held high - Bridge Participant