‘It works better’: Participants praise start of Project Booyah

Participants from across Canberra have praised the start of ‘Project Booyah’, an Australian Government Initiative run by the Canberra Police Community Youth Club Incorporated (Canberra PCYC).  Canberra PCYC was today joined by Senator for the ACT, the Honourable Zed Seselja, to announce the first round of funding provided by the Australian Government for the program in the ACT. 

After a successful start in Queensland where the program was developed by the Queensland Police Service (QPS), Project Booyah is now offered for the first time to residents aged 14 to 18 years in the ACT region.  The program centres on collaborative early intervention for young people at risk, bringing together government, community, education, police and health sectors to achieve positive change.  Educational outcomes are an important aspect of Project Booyah, with participants attending the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) to complete a Certificate I or II in Foundation Skills.

Participants have praised the first weeks of the program. “Project Booyah is better than school.  It is good because we get picked up and dropped off, I also really like CIT and how it is a smaller group of people in the class.  It just seems to work better” said one participant, 15.  Another participant, 15, said “I have really benefited from Project Booyah, I think it is a really good program.  Booyah has actually made me a better person.” 

“Hearing participants speak of the benefits they’ve experienced in the early stages of the program is consistent with the success of Project Booyah in Queensland” said Canberra PCYC Executive Manager Cheryl O’Donnell, “with our focus on building positive futures for vulnerable and at risk young people, Project Booyah expands our services for the community.”

“We know the importance of educational outcomes in improving employment options for young people” said Cheryl O’Donnell, “Project Booyah provides the support, mentoring, mateship and a wraparound service to deliver positive outcomes for participants and the community at large.”

QPS received a Gold Award for ‘Project Booyah’ at the 2016 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPA) hosted by the Australian Institute of Criminology.