Bernie is the founder and CEO of BackTrack Youth Works in Armidale NSW. He has spent the past 25 years working and living out his passion…. catching wild dogs and wild kids. For many years he lived in the Northern Territory learning his trade in remote areas, learning the lessons of life in the bush and surrounded by wise and skilful Aboriginal men and old school stockmen.
In 2006 with his children growing up and forging their own paths in life, he was determined to turn his vision of working with the most disadvantaged young people in our communities into a reality. To keep them alive, out of jail and chasing their hopes and dreams. 2014 saw him travel overseas on a prestigious Churchill scholarship to learn from some extraordinary organisations that have helped develop the BackTrack model in Australia.
Under Bernie’s leadership, BackTrack has forged a new beginning for over a 1000 young people. Bernie takes great pride in how his vision of giving young people having a hard time a new life journey and a new beginning, is now spreading across NSW with mentoring other communities to get started using the same successful tools that have had remarkable results in Armidale.
“We’ve started something special here in Armidale. I’m proud of what has been achieved to date. The future is what I’m interested in and how we grow and extend new tracks going forward.”