CQ program for 'at-risk' teens gets international assistance
SUN-KISSED from her first week in Australia, Norweigan native Frida Svendsen is on a mission to change troubled Rockhampton teens lives for the better.
Travelling all the way from the University of Stavanger to CQUniversity, the third year social work student will complete her placement with Queensland Police Service (QPS) initiative, Project Booyah.
Already loving her "outback adventure” Frida will carry out her 14 weeks, or 440 hours, of placement in Rockhampton.
"We don't have a program like this in Norway, so it's really nice to see how it works here,” she said.
By going to the other side of the world for her placement, Frida said she hopes to gain a better understanding of different cultures.
"I can learn how to see things from a new perspective,” she said.
"I hope to learn about how your system works in Australia and how it compares to Norway.”
Planning for the girls Project Booyah group that will begin in June, Frida said programs such as this one were great initiatives to implement.
"I think its really important, it helps teenagers who are having a difficult time.”
Frida will complete the placement alongside another social work student, Kate Kaer.
Both girls said they were excited to be given the opportunity.
"It's a great program to be involved in,” Kate said.
"It helps their [the participants] long term future.
"It's putting a lot of what I have learnt so far into practice.”
CQUniversity Program Education Manager Kate Moore said Booyah provides a great opportunity for students to engage in this field of work.
"Booyah gives the students the chance to develop their skills, their knowledge and put into practice their models of working,” she said.
A 17-week program, Project Booyah is designed to target identified at-risk young people and help them onto positive path.
Project co-ordinator Senior Constable Joe Ramsay said Project Booyah has had some very positive impacts on participants and is in its third year in Rockhampton.
The first four weeks cover a respect program, then 10 boys involved will also undertake a Certificate II in Hospitality through Central Queensland University in the remaining 13 weeks.
"We get the boys to think about their communication skills, resilience, respect and how they interact as members of the public,” Snr Const Ramsay said.
"We built up their skills to get them back into school, or back into work.
"These aren't you're mainstream boys, they are disengaged and 'at risk'.
Seeing potential in all the boys, Constable Ramsey said it was about giving them an opportunity to change their lives.
Participant 15 year-old Addison was nominated by his school for the program after coming from a troubled background.
"Booyah has helped me with my behaviour and how to control my anger,” he said.
Becoming more engaged in school since undertaking the program, Addison spoke praises of Booyah and how it has taught him different ways to deal with the up's and down's in life.
"It's great and it's helping a lot of people,” he said.