Tallum Hutchison (left) and Casey Crawford (right) with Project Booyah police co-ordinator Andrew Treacey.
Tallum Hutchison (left) and Casey Crawford (right) with Project Booyah police co-ordinator Andrew Treacey. Rob Williams

Police's Booyah gives disengaged youth a second chance

A QUEENSLAND Police mentoring program is giving Ipswich youths a second chance to engage with education and their own community.

For 17 weeks a small group of young people are collected from their homes and taken to the Project Booyah classroom, where officers work to improve social, educational or employment skills of the individual.

Student Kasey Crawford previously found group environments difficult.

"I've got a lot more confidence to speak up in front of people and I'm not as shy," he said.

"In a group, I'll come out and say stuff, but before I'd sit back and not do anything or say anything because I was a bit shy."

Andrew Treacey is the Project Booyah police co-ordinator in Ipswich.

"Some of these boys have had various degrees of issues, predominantly they're disengaged with school, disengaged with their community," he said.

"They're getting that self-confidence about them and engaging with the community and hopefully taking that confidence back through school and life.

"It's being proactive in the community rather than reactive."

The class is put through a Certificate 2 in hospitality, giving the students core communication and community skills.

The staff the Booyah Bean Team coffee van, which attends events to sell coffee

Tallum Hutchison said Booyah taught him to focus in the classroom longer without wanting to walk out.



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