Page 1182 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 9 April 2008
committed to providing services to young people. That should be remembered in any our discussions that we have.
Galilee is another one that I wanted to highlight. That is a group of people committed to providing specialised care for young people in need. It is a non-denominational Christian organisation which has been operating in the ACT since 1986, and it emphasises the value and self-worth of every individual. It provides a range of services in education, skills development, training, transport and supervision in foster care. The Galilee day program is an alternative education program for young people aged 12 to 16 who are family services clients and are currently not attending school.
Galilee also runs a school with alternative education for disadvantaged young people aged 12 to 18 who are not family services clients, and there are a number of other projects: the lift project, and the living skills for teenagers project focuses on life skills, peer education, free vocational training and personal development for young homeless people aged 14 to 21 years. They also have in foster care the family placement scheme, which is devoted to achieving positive outcomes for children who are unable to continue living with their birth family. The FPS is constantly seeking new foster carers to meet the demand. FPS staff work closely with foster carers providing support, training, guidance and financial reimbursement.
Galilee is another of the organisations that really does do some fantastic work. It has been with us for a long time. We have seen some really positive outcomes out of Galilee, and it was pleasing to see that recently we saw the Australian government provide funding of $475,000 for rebuilding through DEST and the ACT block grant authority, and I also understand that the CFMEU is contributing $50,000 a year to sponsor a teaching position. The CFMEU began its sponsorship at the start of 2006 and aims to continue sponsorship for the next two school years. Galilee is another organisation that has a lot of community support. It is doing some great work in the community to assist young people.
Going back to my earlier points, these organisations are often picking up the pieces. They are picking up the pieces where this is family breakdown, where children and young people are not getting the kind of support that they need that is normally provided in the family structure. The work they do is crucial to helping some of these kids have the kind of life outcomes that we would hope for all of our kids. We know that the early years are so important to how people grow up and to what kind of adults we have in our community. Where families break down, it is so important that these organisations are able to come in and make a difference so we do not see some of the terrible outcomes that unfortunately do come as a result of some of these circumstances.
Another organisation that is dear to my heart is Menslink. It is an organisation that I have had some involvement with over a number of years. I have no formal involvement currently, but in the past I have acted as a mentor in Menslink. The idea in Menslink is the importance of mentoring, the importance of role models for younger men—for young teenage boys, in particular—who most often have some sort of family difficulties. What Menslink aims to provide through mentoring is that young men can actually see a different path; that they can actually be supported in who they