Surfing is part of the Strong Brother Strong Sister mentoring program.[/caption]
The Djilang Gambling Awareness Program will run alongside those existing programs, which have supported more than 2,000 First Nations young people in the Geelong community in the past four years.
Member for Geelong Christine Couzens welcomed the launch of the program on Wadawurrung Country.
“This important initiative will enable Strong Brother Strong Sister to continue their great work with young people, supporting local Aboriginal youth who are at risk of gambling harm,” Ms Couzens said.
Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation CEO Shane Lucas also applauded the introduction of the program and its method of delivery.
“This program has been created in line with the principles of Aboriginal self-determination, which is a very important step for everyone involved,” he said.
Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne said the government took gambling-related harm seriously and would “continue to support programs that help young people break the cycle and get back on track”.
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The Geelong region will be home to Australia’s first youth specific First Nations gambling awareness program to support young Wadawurrung people.
Aboriginal-owned organisation Strong Brother Strong Sister has been selected to deliver the Djilang Gambling Awareness Program which will receive state government funding of $250,000 over 15 months.
Strong Brother Strong Sister is 100 per cent Aboriginal youth-led and operated and was selected for its extensive experience working with young people.
CEO Cormach Evans said the organisation would engage with Elders, families, schools, sporting clubs, child protection, corrections, and other services throughout the region to support individuals or families experiencing gambling-related harm.
“The Djilang Gambling Awareness Program will focus on supporting young people and provide a different layer of support – not just for this generation and community, but the whole next generation as well,“ Mr Evans said.
He said it aims to help young Wadawurrung people pursue self-determination through social, emotional, and health and wellbeing measures, with a key focus on minimising gambling harm.
Mr Evans founded Strong Brother Strong Sister in 2017 when he was 27 years old and it now offers a range of services and programs across Australia including mentoring and youth groups.
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