RESTART: Julie Ewart, Julie Benson, Sgt Rene Bond and Alex Speedy will be working with the students in the Restart program at the South Burnett PCYC next year.
RESTART: Julie Ewart, Julie Benson, Sgt Rene Bond and Alex Speedy will be working with the students in the Restart program at the South Burnett PCYC next year. Jessica McGrath

Troubled youth given a chance to restart

MURGON and Cherbourg youth will be given extra support with a new program at the PCYC.

South Burnett PCYC will start the Restart program during the new school year for young people who are at risk of suspension, disadvantaged or disengaged.

Toowoomba PCYC branch manager Sgt Cam Crisp said the program, led by Sgt Rene Bond and her team, would help change the number of disengaged students and youth crime occurring.

"We've met with the grandmothers, the men's shed, all the major players over in Cherbourg and all they want is to give them a hand," he said.

Cherbourg elder and indigenous teacher Bevan Costello said accepting this program was the best thing the community has done.

"Education, a lot of young people do not realise how important it is," he said.

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Mr Costello said a lot of these students are low in their literacy and numeracy and they are often disruptive to get out of school due to the shame factor.

Some of these disengaged students then get bored and this is when the crime occurs.

Murgon and Cherbourg education coordinator Simon Cotton said education was crucial for everyone.

"We can't loose that attachment to the classroom, as soon as that cord is broken through a suspension, it is very difficult to connect again," he said.

Cherbourg State School, Murgon State School and Murgon State High School have invested $152,000 over the next 12 months for the program.

The program will focus on getting students back into the cycle of education, rather than becoming disconnected.

"Often it's quite difficult through shame, the kids in the classroom are coming forward in their education," Mr Cotton said.

He said everyone in the community were responsible for keeping the conversation positive and encouraging the students to go to school.

"Education for us is about the village raising the child," he said.

"All of us have the responsibility to ensure our kids are connected and become life-worthy citizens who are able in their own right to give back to the village."

Murgon Chamber of Commerce Chair Leo Geraghty said this program was a chance for the community to make a stand for change and address the town's youth crime and school attendance situation.

"We want to be known as the town that did something about this," he said.