What an interesting speaker we had this week.
 
Kelly Taylor from Geelong Youth Engagement join us and shared what this remarkable organisation is doing here in Geelong.
 

GYE is the umbrella organisation with The Geelong Kokoda Youth Program and Spring Back. 
 
All areas engage with young people from 17 schools in the Geelong region, and helps young people work through challenges they are facing in their lives.
 
The reason for disconnection can include truancy, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, suicidal tendencies, self-harming, anti-social behaviour, or family violence.
The young people participate in 20 weeks of physical training along with program mentors from local business and government organisations to at the end will walk the 96km Kokoda trek in PNG.

Kelly was very passionate about her role and has walked the trail herself, she said its easier going up than walking back down, but it’s beautiful and a great achievement when completed.
 
She was joined by Matt Barker an Oberon High school student, is a past recipient of the program and a delightful young man that spoke so well about the challenges he has faced and the difference the program has made to his life.
 
Many questions followed the presentation one being, what support would be needed from Rotary? As the cost for each student is $7000 always financial support is always welcome, but also inviting the young people to join us with fundraising event is helpful because of the skilled needed in different situations
 

I think everyone agreed, a very worthwhile evening and hopefully we will be seeing Matt and Kelly again soon.
 
Something we didn’t know until last week, Judy B shared with us that her daughter and husband PDG Phil have also walked the Kokoda trail.
 
What a great achievement.