Army day creates new horizons for teens

Soldiers at Lavarack Barracks hosted teens, youth support workers and the Townsville Stronger Communities Action Group at an army experience day.

Helping young people break the cycle of crime usually involves finding an alternative and positive way to channel their energies.

That’s why we jumped at the chance when the Australian Defence Force (ADF) suggested an army experience day in Townsville for young teenage offenders and vulnerable youth.

Ten young people, aged 15–18, who are either on Youth Justice orders or receiving assistance from the Townsville Stronger Communities Action Group took part in the event.

Many of the teens had never been exposed to a workplace, let alone the army, which offers a huge range of jobs and pathways.

The day included a tour of the ADF’s night training facility, and visits with soldiers at the 3RAR infantry section and the 2nd Cavalry Regiment.

It was a great way to show these young people some of the many opportunities in a workforce that prides itself on values of courage, initiative, respect and teamwork.

One of the teens, who had long thought about joining the army, wasted no time in lodging an application days later to join the reserves.

Thank you to all the defence personnel who hosted the army experience day — it was a valuable step forward in our efforts to improve the life prospects of young people and create a safer community.