Grant drives life-changing trips for young men

22 November 2021

A community group supporting disengaged young men across regional NSW will benefit from a NSW Government grant to help them access transport and unlock new opportunities.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said Boys to the Bush would receive $77,600 from the NSW Government’s Transport Access Regional Partnership (TARP) program.

“In the last two years alone, the NSW Government has provided about $1.6 million in grants to fund about 80 programs to support isolated, disadvantaged and vulnerable communities with their transport needs where regular transport services are not available,” Mr Toole said.

“Boys to the Bush do great work – they help disadvantaged young men from regional areas by providing camps and mentoring to learn valuable life skills and improve their education and employability.

“This grant will help volunteers to obtain a Medium Rigid vehicle licence so they can hire and drive large buses to transport groups using the program to meet increasing demand.”

Minister for Regional Youth Bronnie Taylor said the TARP program has helped to support rural and regional youth for more than a decade.

“Young people living in the bush don’t have the same access to transport services as their city counterparts, so this important program ensures they don’t miss out on any opportunities that come their way,” Mrs Taylor said.

“We have already seen some really great outcomes from this program, including transporting 150 students through Wish Upon a Star to a Schools Spectacular event, and Wiradjuri Wheels, a bus operated by the Aboriginal Land Council to help get the local Dubbo and Wellington kids to school and social activities.

“This latest funding will allow Boys to the Bush to reach new locations, expand capacity in their existing locations and meet an increasing demand for services.”

Boys to the Bush CEO and co-founder Adam DeMamiel said the funding provided by Transport for NSW was invaluable.

“We rely on these funds to get more kids into our programs, particularly those who are geographically isolated, without having to pass on any costs,” Mr DeMamiel said.

“As we onboard a new staff member, we’re able to provide the MR licence as part of their training, which means they can hire a big bus and support school groups or larger groups of kids. It also means we only require one, large vehicle, as opposed to multiple vehicles and petrol bills.

“Alleviating stress surrounding transport allows us to focus on supporting and guiding the kids – we’ve got one young fellow we’ve been supporting for a number of years who is about to finish Year 12 and he will be the first one in his family to complete high school.

“A big motivating factor for him has been that we have told him we will employ him next year - without his mentor’s support, he wouldn’t be in the great position he is now.

“And that’s just one example of the many positive outcomes we’ve seen and why we are grateful for this funding support.”

For more information on the Boys to the Bush is available here: https://boystothebush.org.au

And more information about the TARP program, including grant eligibility, is available here: https://nswroads.work/tarp

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