Boot camp in danger of closure

Trainers and recruits at a boot camp geared at transforming the lives of troubled teens.
Trainers and recruits at a boot camp geared at transforming the lives of troubled teens.

A COMMANDO-STYLE boot camp that has changed the lives of at-risk youths from across the region could shut down if government funding doesn't find its way to the right spot soon.

For the past 21 years corporate trainer Bob Davis has been trying to get support for his mentoring program Operation Hard Yakka which is aimed at giving troubled teens the chance to learn life skills.

So far he has only been able to secure enough resources to run one program but he says the success stories should encourage further funding.

He says of the 14 participants who took part in the program, one has joined the army, one has a degree in music, three have full-time jobs, one is undertaking an apprenticeship, two returned back to school, three have taken on certificates in manufacturing and engineering and all who attended have improved their home and social skills.

He believes the program works and could save teachers, parents, police and ambulance officers and parents a “lot of heartache”.

“I'm sick and tired of federal ministers going to sleep or switching off when I meet with them, or too interested in their own benefits and state MPs saying they don't have the money but are prepared to waste it on band-aid programs,” Mr Davis said.

“It costs $8000 to transport a person under police escort to Brisbane from the Wide Bay and a minimum of $70,000 per year to keep them in detention.

“Operation Hard Yakka costs $5000 per participant for the full 28 days and 27 nights which includes meals, accommodation, activities, uniforms, equipment and instructors.”

The program is geared to take place at the Susan River Home-stead. A forum will be held at the homestead on the Maryborough-Hervey Bay Road on Tuesday, October 19, from 9.30am to 12.30pm for people interested in supporting the program.

For more information phone Mr Davis on 0407769124.

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