Teacher Edward Tafa with Queensland services manager Russell Workman, counsellor Stephen Flanagan and dancer Jervis Livelo at the opening of The Street University
Teacher Edward Tafa with Queensland services manager Russell Workman, counsellor Stephen Flanagan and dancer Jervis Livelo at the opening of The Street University Kelly Daniels

Street University to tackle youth problems

THE Street University isn't your typical university.

Based at Woodridge, it is one of three new centres in Queensland aimed at tackling youth drug and alcohol problems.

The university will take in youth aged 12 to 25 years from Ipswich, Logan and Brisbane, and is an initiative of the Noffs Foundation, one of Australia's leading youth drug and alcohol organisations.

Queensland services manager Russell Workman said the Logan campus marked the launch of the Noffs Foundation in Queensland.

"We specialise in drug and alcohol help for youth via an engagement process," he said.

"We teach graffiti, and are trying to fight graffiti with graffiti.

"We teach the kids respect and engage with them, then we can work on deeper issues."

Mr Workman said all staff were qualified health workers.

"We have hundreds of youth on our books, and are engaging with 30-40 kids a week at this university," he said.

Getting help with the Street University is easy, with youth able to walk in off the street.

"They can also be referred to us," Mr Workman said.

"We are really here to support this community and to see a reduction in criminal activity."

Counsellor Stephen Flanagan said the university was about teaching life courses.

"We focus on three main things - dance, graffiti and hip hop," he said.

19-year-old Jervis Livelo has been working with the Noff Foundation to launch the Logan campus and said the response from the community had been amazing.

"I'm from Sydney, but I'm here to teach dance for a week," he said.

The Noffs Foundation also opened centres in Southport and Caboolture today. They have existing centres in Mount Druit, Liverpool and in Canberra.



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