We recently held a graduation ceremony for our ReBoot program, which supports young people aged between 14-18 years who are involved with the youth justice system and want to make positive changes in their lives.

HYPA Case Managers support participants to address their barriers and reconnect with the community, along with preparing them to take part in the Operation Flinders camp. The intensive, rural environment helps participants to officially break away from their past behaviours and grow as valued members of the community.

Families, loved ones and mentors watched the graduates with pride as they received their certificates and shared their personal stories and new found goals for the future. At the beginning of the program, only 12 months ago, these same young people were heavily involved with the justice system. Many were dependent on drugs, experiencing homelessness, estranged from their families or destined for a troubled future.

One of the graduates, Nam was struggling before being involved in the program and said that it has changed his life for the better.

“When I started ReBoot I was on the wrong path, but since working with Conrad and Jill and completing the program, my life is different.

“I’ve now got somewhere to live, I’ve completed a course in kitchen operations, and I’m doing work experience at the National Wine Centre and about to start a business management course, as one day I want to open my own restaurant.

“I’ve also reconnected with my sister who didn’t want to see me and now we are really close,” Nam said.

HYPA ReBoot Co-Ordinator Leanne Cornell-March said the young people work with case managers and peer mentors to identify and achieve their personal goals, reconnect with their family, school, or employment and address their offending behaviours.

“The ReBoot program is so successful because it gives participants the skills, tools and motivation to transform their lives.

“ReBoot works to break the cycle of crime and show young people there is another way. The transformation of this group of young people is inspiring and it was so nice to attend the graduation and see the graduates in front of their loved ones and mentors, so proud of their achievements,” she said.

Nam’s sister May-linh attended the graduation and couldn’t help but beam as she watched her brother receive his certificate and share his personal story.

“ReBoot has totally transformed Nam’s life.

“Before starting the program he was heavily involved with drugs, in trouble with the law and had no desire to live. I am so proud of him for the changes he has made in his life and the plans he has now made for his future.

“Thank you to everyone involved with the program who helped changed Nam’s life, he couldn’t have done it on his own,” she said.

HYPA delivers the ReBoot program in collaboration with Australian Red Cross and The Attorney General’s Department.