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Police launch 'Next Gen Dreaming' mentorship program with local Aboriginal students

Wednesday, 29 March 2017 10:31:41 AM

Police have today launched ‘Next Gen Dreaming’ – a mentorship program between police and local Aboriginal Students – at La Perouse Public School.

La Perouse Public School comprises 25 students, the majority of whom have Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage, and will all participate in the program.

Created and launched by officers from Eastern Beaches Local Area Command (LAC), ‘Next Gen Dreaming’ aims to strengthen relationships with students and the Indigenous community while working closely with teachers and other staff.

Police have also been guided by community feedback from the local Aboriginal Land Council and other government and non-government stakeholders.

Eastern Beaches LAC Crime Manager, Detective Inspector Stacey Maloney, said ‘Next Gen Dreaming’ expands on the command’s long-running breakfast program.

“Over the past five years, Eastern Beaches LAC has run a breakfast program at the school to help provide a healthy meal for students while engaging in other social and sporting activities,” Det Insp Maloney said.

“The mentorship program will draw on its success to achieve further long-term goals for the school and its students, including increased attendance rates, improved focus on schooling activities, and better engagement with children and their parents.

In keeping with the NSW Police Force Aboriginal Strategic Direction, police and school staff are focused on celebrating the significance of Aboriginality in the local area while recognising the importance and potential of cultural and linguistic diversity.

“Police mentors will manage a range of sporting activities with the kids, and those who show the greatest achievement by end-of-term will be rewarded with VIP visits to specialist policing units,” Det Insp Maloney said.

“We’ll also conduct educational sessions as well as reading and writing tutorials focused on relevant policing topics including cyber safety, bullying, road awareness, and domestic and family violence.

“In addition, police will prepare lunch with the students either before or after each program session to help support nutritious eating and healthy lifestyles,” Det Insp Maloney said.

“As part of today’s launch that included teachers and parents, each participant was presented their ‘Next Gen Dreaming’ t-shirt, decorated with their very own screen-printed artworks they’ve recently completed in class.

“We’d also like to acknowledge Corrective Services NSW and Long Bay Correctional Complex who assisted with the production of the t-shirts; we’re grateful for their contribution and having their artworks utilised is very special for the students,” Det Insp Maloney said.

“Our work with the school has shown really positive results to date so we look forward to seeing what we can achieve together in the future.”