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$179,124 funding for Get'n High on Life programme.



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Media Contact Cath O’Connor (03) 5032 4510 -ends-

Friday, 3 August 2007

$179,124 FUNDING FOR GET’N HIGH ON LIFE PROGRAMME

Federal Member for Mallee, John Forrest, said today he was delighted to announce Regional Partnerships programme funding of $179,124 which has been granted to the Mildura Youth Hot Air Balloon Club to continue and expand its Get’n High on Life programme.

“The commitment the hot air balloon club has shown towards young people that are at risk is to be commended,” Mr Forrest said.

“Depression and suicide are, unfortunately, issues that are faced by all ages in our community, including youth. We need to support our young people and encourage them to develop strengths and strategies to combat life’s difficulties,” Mr Forrest said.

The Mildura Youth Hot Air Balloon Club has been operating since 2003 and provides Sunraysia and surrounding regions with accredited adventure therapy training for at risk 14 to 19 year old youths, which aims to build their resilience and self-esteem while teaching them life skills. Participants are then encouraged to move into further education, training or employment.

Vice President of the Mildura Youth Hot Air Balloon Club, Rowland Hughes, said everybody that was involved with the club were absolutely thrilled with the success of their grant application. “This funding brings us 10 years ahead; it’s absolutely fantastic news,” he said.

“We have partnered Mallee Sports Assembly to work with at risk youth to help them build on their life skills. Thanks to this funding we will now be able to work with more young people, as well as undertake many more programmes,” Mr Hughes continued.

Mr Don Carrazza, Chairman of the Sunraysia Area Consultative Committee said the funding will have a positive impact on many young people in our community. “This project involves engaging young people and is a great example of the type of projects we can support in our area.

“Thanks should also go to the Sunraysia ACC’s Executive Officer, Tom Crouch and Project Officer, Jenny Neaves for their work and commitment in helping to develop the project,” he said.

John Forrest MP The Nationals Member for Mallee

Phone (03) 5032 4510 Fax (03) 5032 9407

Media Contact Cath O’Connor (03) 5032 4510 -ends-

The funding will be used towards the purchase of three balloon envelopes (the inflatable part of a balloon), a second-hand bus, the Pinnacle of Terror unit and associated training and four second-hand four wheel drive vehicles.

Mr Hughes said that the cost of the infrastructure, such as the balloon envelopes and the Pinnacle trailer is required to ensure the continuation of all programmes currently offered, as well as supporting future projects.

“The challenge ahead for us now is to attract funding to employ staff. Up until now the programmes have been totally staffed by volunteers, but that can’t go on forever. Ultimately we would love to be able to employ a Koori and mainstream worker and a co-ordinator,” Mr Hughes said.

Mr Forrest concluded by saying that he fully supported the club’s push for further funding to support the important programmes it offers our young people.

NB: FURTHER INFORMATION CAN BE GAINED FROM CONTACTING ROWLAND HUGHES ON 0419 277 044 OR TOM CROUCH (03) 5023 8656.