Home' Scoop : Scoop 52 Winter 2010 Contents Fairbridge is a place where young people can
grow -- within themselves, within society and with
the earth. This inspirational vision has helped
thousands of young people. text natalie butler & hayley myors
With a life that was going off the rails after his parents divorced, Isaac
Loder (right inset, above), who was aged 14 at the time, could feel
himself going into a downward spiral.
"I was getting down and uncertain in life and things were really hard. All I knew
was that I wanted to work in the outdoor industry but I had not done well at school
because of everything that was happening in my life," Isaac says.
Fortunately, he made contact with Fairbridge, a youth charity based in Pinjarra
devoted to helping young people reach their full potential and create a positive
life change. Created in 1912 by Kingsley Fairbridge, it s the only charity in
Australia that owns a whole heritage-listed townsite.
Fairbridge WA Incorporated CEO Mark Anderson (left inset, above) has
been involved with community youth work for 30 years and says Fairbridge
provides a variety of opportunities for young people to experience real-life
training with a range of programs and services including mentoring, life
skills, education and training and employment.
"I ve not really ever come across another place like Fairbridge. We re able to truly
move young people from being isolated, and often negatively contributing to the
community, through a pathway where they can become valued," Mark says.
To raise money for the youth programs, the historic village is available for
functions and with the regular Fairbridge folk festival held in April, more than
220,000 people access the village each year.
Last year Fairbridge worked with 186 different youth and community groups.
"We have 36 formal written partnering agreements with other like-minded
organisations, from universities to community organisations to government
departments, where we work together to bring about sustainable change,"
Mark says. "For us, if in four years time a young person has moved on
from Fairbridge, and they re still living a positive, sustainably changed
life, then we know we ve done our job."
Isaac began contact with Fairbridge in 1998 and began working with their
adventure department in 1999. In 2002, after discovering a flair for mechanical
service and repairs, he took a four-year automotive apprenticeship with Lane
Ford. He is now the service manager of Merredin Toyota.
"The whole Fairbridge experience has set the strong footings in my life that
will never be lost or forgotten," he says.
For more information about Fairbridge and its programs visit fairbridge.asn.au.
359 Rokeby Road SUBIACO WA
Phone 08 9388 3399 firstname.lastname@example.org
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