Camp hope turns lost kids around
SMH 12 April 2008
Hard work, a bush environment and some old-fashioned discipline are saving wayward teenage lives, writes Lindsay Murdoch.
IT'S officially called a facility for troubled youths, among them Australia's worst teenage offenders. But there are no high walls or armed guards here, just a vast threatening tropical wilderness infested with snakes and crocodiles.
Change has come ... 17-year-old Abel Banjo rides with Allan Brahminy down a bush track at the Brahminy Group property in the Northern Territory. Photo: Shannon Joyce
AUTHORITIES had lost hope that Abel Banjo, 17, would end his life of crime. Less than four months ago he was locked up in a detention centre for juveniles, unwanted in the Aboriginal community where he had grown up and become an arbitrary thief and troublemaker.
IT'S a centre for troubled youths, some of them Australia's worst teenage offenders.
But there are no high walls or armed guards at this camp south of Darwin, surrounded by a vast tropical wilderness infested with snakes and crocodiles.
Youth worker Allan Brahminy says young people usually arrive at one of his three Northern Territory camps kicking and screaming.