Lajamanu Youth Program
The Lajamanu Youth Program is Mt Theo Program’s most recent regional initiative, opening in April 2009. The community were enthusiastic about our arrival and waited patiently while we established housing for workers, a program vehicle, program resources, and a process for working with other agencies in the community. Mt Theo Program transferred two experienced youth workers, Amy Hardy and Kyle Jarvie from the Willowra Youth Program to work in Lajamanu. As Mt Theo’s most remote service there have been significant challenges in creating a sustainable base and sound practices so far away from the Yuendumu support hub.
The Lajamanu Youth Program will carry a strong emphasis on multi-media, music and dance, following the tradition of the annual Milpirri celebration. Under the WETT Project, Anna Cadden conducted a 2 week training workshop to coincide with a Warlpiri Rangers bush trip. The resulting production was scripted, filmed, edited and finalized by Lajamanu young people. Two local artists, Shane White and Maxwell Tasman, who have worked for several years with PAW Media, will work alongside Anna to train other young men and women.
A full program of youth activities is now in place, with a growing team of local Jaru Pirrjirdi trainees. Steve Jampijimpa Patrick, creator of the Milpirri project, and teacher at Lajamanu School, supervises and mentors our youth workers to ensure the needs and wants of the community guide all planning.
The Lajamanu Youth Program is wholly funded by community funds, through the Warlpiri Education Training Trust (WETT) and Mt Theo Program private donations.
Youth Program activities target 4 – 16 year olds, providing diverse and interesting alternatives to substance abuse and other anti-social behaviour.