INSPIRING NEW BACKTRACK PROGRAM IN THE HAWKESBURY
With Australian-wide community screenings are continuing to take place and with the recent national TV broadcast of Backtrack Boys on SBS – the film has generated huge interest with over 120 communities and towns expressing a desire in starting BackTrack style programs!
A new youth program called RuffTrack that was inspired by Backtrack Boys film operated a 12-week pilot program in NSW’s Hawkesbury/Bankstown area and is was so successful it is now set to continue for a further year. RuffTrack, like BackTrack, aims to connect disengaged youth with their community and to collaborate with local police to make real change in young people’s lives.
RuffTrack came about after Backtrack Boys was screened by a local organisation, Hawkesbury Helping Hands. Local youth police officer Belinda Flynn, and (farmer) Dave Graham, in collaboration with local police, businesses and schools attended the event and the community were inspired to create this new youth program. This is what can happen when a “whole of community” approach is taken!
BackTrack Youth Works are now helping to mentor RuffTrack and we are proud to say our Backtrack Boy Zac is working for BackTrack Youth Works (Zac is currently completing his Cert in Community Services) and he is now mentoring the team in the Hawkesbury and showing them the ropes (or the dog leads!)
Bernie Shakeshaft, founder and CEO of BackTrack told the Gazette he hopes the Hawkesbury community supports RuffTrack to keep it going at Riverstone, so they can continue their goal of helping as many young people having a hard time as possible. “BackTrack is going so well here in Armidale, that we’ve been working for a couple of years on replication and scale, and we have found it works pretty effectively in other towns too,” Mr Shakeshaft said.
“Since the program (RuffTrack) began, every one of the participants’ parents has called me and said they have a new son in their house who is respectful, who communicates, who has started to care about what they’re going through. In just three months, it seems like they’ve totally turned their lives around.” – Farmer Dave
Read more about the way Bernie’s program inspired RuffTrack here.
READ MORE: Rufftrack
Host a screening of the film and start a discussion in your community about helping your young people! CLICK TO HOST PAGE
Read more about the way Bernie’s program inspired RuffTrack here and how the program is set to continue! here