Davenport Community Council receive $100,000 grant

GRANT: Lorraine Fergusen, left, Janice McKenzie, Maisie Wintinna, Minister Kyam Maher, Mayor Sam Johnson and Lavene Ngatokorua after the grant announcement at Davenport Community Council.
GRANT: Lorraine Fergusen, left, Janice McKenzie, Maisie Wintinna, Minister Kyam Maher, Mayor Sam Johnson and Lavene Ngatokorua after the grant announcement at Davenport Community Council.

THE DAVENPORT Community Council will receive a $100,000 grant as part of the 2017 Crime Prevention and Community Safety Grants Program. 

The government has released more than $700,000 in funding to projects across the state with the hopes of supporting grassroots programs that will help tackle crime and promote safety.

The $100,000 grant will filter into the Growing Strong project which will deliver a mentoring program in conjunction with elders for Aboriginal youth living in the Port Augusta region.

The Growing Strong program is designed to help Aboriginal youth make better decisions and life choices.

Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Minister Kyam Maher has said this one-off grant will greatly benefit the Davenport community in various ways. 

“The most obvious outcome is helping at risk youth make better life choices to stay out of trouble but I think something else we will see is some of the elders in the community who are helping run the program and teaching culture get the benefit of passing on their knowledge and their abilities.” 

Mr Maher was impressed by the efforts and the leadership of the Davenport Community Council.

“All around South Australia applications are put in and assessed as to what has the potential to make a difference so this was based on the quality of this application compared to other applications from right around the state,” Minister Maher said. 

Council manager Lavene Ngatokorua has said how much the community will benefit from the grant and the Growing Strong program after a lapse in funding for two years. 

“Young people aren’t engaging with any other program so there’s more alcohol, there’s more drug abuse and that’s been a problem,” Ms Ngatokorua said.

“We want to do something about it so we have been looking at youth leadership and that’s one of the positive things that we want to do.

“Our youth is something that we know we need to support, we want the young people to be engaging with the old people to return a bit of culture.”

Mr Maher has complimented the project which will give some Aboriginal youth in Port Augusta the chance to gain valuable skills that will help them get jobs and lead productive lives. 

“The really special thing about this project is the key drivers will be the participants themselves and up to 15 participants will be recruited in consultation with Aboriginal elders,” Mr Maher said.

The Growing Strong project will run in conjunction with other community and government initiatives in the region that strive to create safer communities and prevent crime.