Featured, Stories - September 26, 2023
Tiana’s journey from uncertainty to triumph with Safer Communities
In the heart of Albury, Wodonga, Greater Hume, Federation, and Indigo Councils, a program called Safer Communities delivered by Intereach has been transforming the lives of young people aged 12 to 17.
This holistic initiative, aimed at building skills in regulation, resilience, communication, and teamwork, has become an important support to many young people in these communities.
Tiana’s story is one that personifies the impact that our Safer Communities team can have when working together with young people.
Tiana’s journey with Safer Communities commenced in November 2022 when she was at a crossroads in her life. At the age of 15 she was living independently, not engaged in school and often felt uncertain and daunted about her future.
Since joining the Safer Communities program, Tiana’s life has taken a remarkable turn. She is now a student at Indie School, diligently working towards her year 10 certificate. Her newfound determination and focus are inspiring.
One pivotal moment for Tiana was her successful attempt at obtaining her Learner driver’s permit.
The path to this achievement was not without its challenges. Initially plagued by self-doubt, Tiana was unsure if she could overcome the hurdles ahead. But with unwavering encouragement and support from Rebecca, our dedicated Senior Child, Family and Community Worker in the Safer Communities team, Tiana decided to take the leap.
When the day of the Learner’s test arrived, Tiana was filled with nervous anticipation. But she persevered, drew on her inner strength, and sat the test. The moment the results came in, a wave of emotion washed over her. Tiana had not only passed the test; she had conquered her doubts and insecurities.
Tiana’s emotional reaction is a testament to the power of belief and support. Rebecca had seen Tiana’s potential. Her belief and reassurance contributed to ensuring Tiana’s success.
“I was pretty shocked and emotional when I passed,” Tiana said.
“It was great that Bec believed in me. She gave me encouragement to just go for it. She knew I’d done everything I could to be ready, I just had to believe in myself, Bec really helped with that.”
Tiana - Safer Communities program participant
Intereach provided the necessary support to make Tiana’s goals a reality, covering the costs associated with obtaining her Learner’s permit, such as driving lessons and test fees. Our Safer Communities team acted as advocates for Tiana, provided guidance and mentorship, and allocated the resources and support needed to realise her goals. Community Worker Rebecca Maher said “Every one of these life goals achieved is a big step toward an engaged, stable, happy young person. They can build on this with the confidence that experiencing success brings, to set their sights on even bigger targets and dreams for the future.”
Today, Tiana has a fresh outlook. She is not only back in school but also proudly holds her Learner’s permit. With newfound purpose and confidence, she is paving her path toward an even brighter future.
The Australian Government’s Safer Communities program is playing a crucial role in preserving the safety of young Australians. Our Intereach team is dedicated to preventing high-risk youth from disengaging with the community and to helping marginalised young people to develop life skills, in turn building a stronger community. Tiana is a shining example of what young people can achieve when communities come together to support them.
“For Tiana, believing she can do it, then going out there and doing it, was just as important as having that positive outcome of passing the test. I can’t wait to see what she achieves next.”