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Youth Mentoring Grants Program to counter violent extremism



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ATTORNEY-GENERAL HON ROBERT McCLELLAND MP

MEDIA RELEASE

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600  Telephone (02) 6277 7300  Fax (02) 6273 4102 www.attorneygeneral.gov.au

13 November 20 10

YOUTH MENTORING GRANTS PROGRAM TO COUNTER VIOLENT EXTREMISM

Attorney -General, Robert McClelland, today announced the Government will establish a Youth Mentoring Grants Program as part of efforts to counter violent extremism in our co mmunity.

“The program will support activities that di rectly assist young people to disengage from intolerant and radical ideologies and encourage positive and constructive participation in the community,” Mr McClelland said.

The Government’s Counter -Ter rorism White Paper, Securing Australia, Protecting Our Community , acknowledged the risk of home grown terrorism and highlighted the importance of building a strong and resilient community to resist violent extremism and terrorism.

The Building Community R esilience - Youth Mentoring Grants Program is a pilot project and represents part of the Government’s $9.7 million investment in counter radicalisation initiatives.

Under the Program, the Government will provide grants from $5,000 to $200,000 to help com munities organise and run local programs and initiatives to promote a tolerant, safe and inclusive environment.

“Applicants may propose projects that engage young people in a range of ways, such as enhancing their public speaking skills, encouraging and f acilitating participation in democratic processes and developing their ability to one day become mentors themselves.”

Th e grants complement existing Commonwealth, State and Territory initiatives and will:

• provide mentoring to individuals that are identif ied as vulnerable to extremist views; • equip communities, especially youth, with the skills and resources to actively address intolerance and discourage extremist views; • reinforce the important role youth play i n the community in addressing and countering

issues around violent extremis m; and • educate communities and individuals about count ering extremist views and the avenues available to support them.

“A range of personal experiences can make young people more vulnerable to extremist messages, for example : discrimination, prejudice and marginalisation, social isolation, and worries about employmen t and educational opportunities. ”

“Through th is program, we want to help young people develop skills to deal with these issues in a positive way, while at the s ame time reduc ing the appeal of extremist or radical ideologies.”

Attorney General News Release 2

Applications are invited from experienced community organisations interested in conducting projects to mentor at -risk youth.

More information about the Building Community Resilience - You th Mentoring Grants Program is attached and available at www.ag.gov.au . Applications close on Friday 3 December.

Media Contact: Daniel Gleeson 0417 886 111