OVERFED AND UNDERNOURISHED KIDS WILL NOT RESPOND TO TRUANCY PLAN
Plans by the Federal Government to fund 400 truancy officers covering 40 schools in indigenous communities across four states and the Northern Territory have been labelled as a “waste of time and money.”
The Government intends to spend $28 million to entice kids to go back to school in Queensland, NSW, South Australia and Western Australia.
The Queensland Government strongly supports the intervention which it believes could normalise many communities.
One of the country’s foremost authorities on indigenous health, Geoff Guest OAM, said the government has put the “cart before the horse.”
In one of the most successful drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs seen in Australia, since 1982 Mr Guest has accepted more than 4000 indigenous and white youths and adults into his program with an acknowledged success rate of 70 per cent.
On the western doorstep to the Atherton Tablelands, Mr Guest and wife Norma have run Petford Farm which was regarded by courts and police as the last step before incarceration for troubled youth.
A large majority of participants in Mr Guest’s acclaimed program, based on horsemanship, station work and home schooling went on to become responsible parents holding a job and becoming responsible citizens.
The planned attempt by the government to encourage kids to go to school was “doomed before it starts,” stressed the 85 year old bushman turned natural healer.
“These kids who wag school have no interest in schoolwork, and don’t bother attending because they have no reason to go,” said Mr Guest.
“The money comes in regardless of going to school so most kids see no point.
“There are few role models because most kids in communities have an atrocious diet of soft drinks, sports drinks, and refined foods which goes hand-in-hand with substance abuse.
“Bad diets and refined, sugary wheat-based cereals for breakfast results in low blood sugar levels preventing kids from concentrating at school, and eventually becoming dependent on marijuana or harder drugs to feel good,” he said.
“A lot of these kids are overfed and undernourished.
“Government authorities do not recognise this essential and basic human requirement of nutritious food and we now have three generations of kids and adults unable to reach their full potential.
“Indigenous community representatives then start to play the ‘blame game’ demanding more and more money be spent on dozens of new programs which fix nothing and further entrench the drip feed from social welfare,” Mr Guest said.
Rebecca Bell, Treasurer of Mr Guest’s support group, the Petford Wellness Association said Mr Guest’s program has been developed by members and researchers as a curricula subject and will be ready to be taught in communities across the country next year.
“Until parents in communities are taught how to prepare proper and nutritious meals and have ready access to fresh fruit and vegetables, consume less refined foods and have a reduction in sugar and alcohol intake, no amount of government programs will change anything for the struggling people of Cape York,” Ms Bell said.
“The association is registered as a not-for-profit charity so any donations are fully tax deductible.”
For more information contact Geoff Guest 40935365 or Rebecca Bell 0467967662