Space mural paints a bright future for young offenders

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Young people have recently put the finishing touches on a mural at Nakara Oval in Darwin as part of a youth justice program run by Anglicare NT.

The #U-Turn program provides an opportunity to at-risk young people to get their lives back on track and give back to their community as an alternative to detention.

Jem Wood, Operations Manager Child, Youth and Family, Anglicare NT, said the program supported restorative justice and growing the life skills of vulnerable young people.

“This approach to youth diversion recognises the impact of trauma, and works with young people to develop skills, independence and opportunities for success,” she said.

Territory Families, Housing and Communities Youth Justice General Manager Michael Hebb said the Northern Territory Government provided $5 million in funding each year for seven organisations, including Anglicare NT, to deliver programs for at-risk youth in the Back on Track Program.

“These programs educate young people about the impact their offending has on the community while providing an opportunity for them to do some good,” he said.

“The difference it can have on a young person’s life when they have something positive they’ve contributed to that they can feel proud of is amazing.

“I hope these young people will view this mural as an example of the lasting impact positive actions can have on a community.”

Artist Luke Pearce from Proper Creative has been working with the young men from the start to finish of the program.

Luke said there was a loose design brief with the space-inspired design combining futuristic elements with identifiable features from the Northern Territory, including barramundis and mountain ranges.

“The young people have been awesome, really enthusiastic and have picked it up really quickly,” he said.

“It has been great to see the young men put in the work, show off their creative flair and produce such a fantastic piece of art.”

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