26 September 2023

Troubled youngsters to join JT’s academy

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The Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs is to form a partnership with the Jonathan Thurston Academy to expand the Academy’s JTYouGotThis program for vulnerable young people.

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) has worked successfully with the JT Academy for the past five years, including a recent collaboration to design an intensive four-day JTYouGotThis program working with young people.

The program was delivered in 17 locations, including Cairns, Mareeba, Mount Isa, Townsville, Logan, Zillmere and Brisbane, and was evaluated by the University of the Sunshine Coast, which found it helped reduce offending and improved young people’s relationship with police.

In a statement, the Department said the partnership would allow the JTYouGotThis program to be expanded and enhanced to better engage young people “making a big difference in the lives of those touched by the program”.

“Between 10 and 15 young people will participate in the new 10-week program, which will include goal-setting, mentoring, cultural engagement, and post-program support,” the statement said.

“It will begin in Cairns, expanding to Townsville and Mt Isa within two years.”

The Department said it would refer young people to the program in consultation with the QPS.

Minister for Police, Mark Ryan said Jonathan Thurston was an inspiration on the footy field and he continued to make a positive contribution to the Queensland community through his Academy.

“I’m proud to be part of a Government that partners with people like JT to deliver better outcomes for young people who need a helping hand at a critical moment in their lives,” Mr Ryan said.

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