Broome Youth and Families HUB

A powerful community collaboration drives the Young Warriors Program

The Young Warriors’ Program has been running for four years and it involves weekly trips on country for a group of ten to fifteen boys. The boys have ownership over the trips and they get to set the agenda. On any given Friday, a trip might involve spear fishing, hunting or yarning. The boys are given the space to teach and learn from each other - things like how to catch mud crabs without losing fingers, and how to skin and cook goannas.

The program began with kids who had been flagged by police or schools as needing a bit of extra support. Over the years, this extra support has been strengthened by a fantastic collaboration between Broome-based service providers. A team of staff from Broome Youth and Families Hub, Red Cross and headspace, make sure that the program runs consistently throughout the year. These service providers also support the boys outside the program, with everything from medical support, case-management and counselling, to assistance with employment and training pathways. The group is kept small, as intensive mentoring is the main aspect of the program.

Staff from relevant organisations come regularly along to the group, exposing the boys to a range of additional services in a non-threatening environment. The group also go on work experience trips once a month, giving them an opportunity to explore different training and employment pathways. 

The program is a huge success. Across the board there’s been an improvement in the boys’ well-being and behaviour. A couple of participants are now choosing to stay at school on Friday afternoons to finish off class work and assessments; one participant has just started an apprenticeship with a local company; and another has been out of school for two years, but now has a one hundred percent attendance rate and a part-time job.

When you reconnect kids to country, it gives them a sense that they’re anchored to something, that they belong to something bigger than themselves. The regularity of the program is a winner too, because it’s consistent, safe, positive, and affords the boys the opportunity to develop a strong sense of self-worth.

Click below to see the warriors in action!