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Empowering Youth: Success Stories from the Cairns JTYGT Group 1 Program

Published on 6 Jun 2024

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Success Stories from the Cairns JTYGT Group 1 Program

Overview of 3 of the JTYouGotThis program activities

The Cairns JTYGT Group 1 program has been an inspiring journey of growth and transformation for young participants. Please see the overview of some key activities and their objectives, learning intentions, and success criteria:

1. Building the Team & Being a Part of the JT Academy Family

This activity focuses on introducing young participants to the JT Academy’s values, expectations, and community. It aims to foster a supportive group environment where participants feel welcomed and safe, setting the foundation for teamwork and personal development.

Objective: Introduce the JTA program, objectives, and clear expectations to young people, while developing positive partnerships. Ensure they feel welcomed, safe, and have a high understanding of expectations and deliverables. Engage participants in a ‘Working Agreement’ for the program duration.

Learning Intention

Understand what it means to be part of the Academy, representing a brand/organisation, and upholding its values.

Success Criteria

  •  Learn to be part of a supportive group environment.
  •  Understand JT Academy values.
  •  Commit to self improvement.
  •  Work effectively in a team.

2. Building My Story with Courage

This activity encourages participants to share their personal stories, promoting understanding and support within the group. It aims to build the courage needed for self-expression and community engagement, emphasising the value of diverse experiences.

Objective: Enable young people to understand each other’s differences and experiences through storytelling, fostering support and identifying attributes of courage needed for the program and community engagement.

Learning Intention

Learn to understand various experiences and build the courage to share individual stories with others.

Success Criteria

  •  Understand differences in life experiences.
  •  Build courage to share one’s story.
  •  Learn how to positively develop and share one’s story.

3. Working Towards a Common Goal

This activity focuses on developing teamwork, confidence, and leadership skills. Participants learn to contribute ideas, lead teams, and work together towards achieving common goals, fostering a sense of accomplishment and collaboration.

Objective: Develop confidence, courage, and self belief by giving vocal direction to a team working towards a common goal. Demonstrate the ability to contribute solutions and lead towards a common goal.

Learning Intention

Learn to work within a team to achieve a positive outcome.

Success Criteria

  • Use one’s voice to vocalise ideas and strategies.
  • Understand team dynamics and differences.
  • Build the ability to make a positive impact towards a common goal.

Observations in this program

The program saw significant progress in participants’ confidence, trust, and engagement over time. Initial shyness gave way to open sharing and collaboration, leading to positive changes in behaviour and interpersonal relationships both within and outside the program.

Day 1: Participants were too shy to answer questions during an activity about confidence and using their voice.

Week 3: Trust began forming; participants started sharing personal experiences individually with JTA team members. A female participant felt safe enough to share her traditional language name, which the group respected.

Week 4: Participants felt safe to share their experiences with the Queensland Police Service (QPS).

Week 5: Participants became comfortable sharing experiences and selecting more in-depth “high level” cards about behaviours and life. Positive changes in homelives were noted; participants stayed home at night and exhibited small behavioural changes impacting their social lives.

Week 7: Participants trusted each other during high stress group activities. Families noticed changes in personalities and behaviours at home. Conversations became more in depth about culture, family, and lived experiences. A female participant initiated contraception after rapport with a female worker.

Week 8: Positive changes solidified, with participants showing increased confidence and engagement.

Participant Behaviours and Outcomes

Participants exhibited significant personal growth and behavioural changes, showing increased confidence, leadership, and engagement. Positive role models and supportive environments played crucial roles in their development, with families noticing marked improvements at home.

Younger Male Participants

Initially shy but felt safer showing their personalities. Confidence grew significantly, especially in participants at risk of high offending behaviours. They chose to stay home at night to be ready for the program, showing excitement and commitment.

Male Participant (14 years old):

Initially shy but gradually opened up, showing personality and taking responsibility as an older brother. I Want to be remembered for helping people.

Male Participant (15 years old):

Wanted to gain confidence. Displayed leadership and supported younger participants, reflecting positive language learned from the program.

Male Participant (12 years old):

Initially shy but started joking and sharing life experiences by week 4.

Female Participant (14 years old):

Gained self confidence, reading out the acknowledgment of the country and sharing personal experiences. Noted personal growth and improved punctuality.

Female Participant (15 years old):

Displayed confidence from day 1, supporting peers, and no longer felt the need to self harm due to connections with the JTA team. Inspired her partner to join the Academy.

The Cairns JTYGT Group 1 program has made significant strides in fostering growth, confidence, and positive behavioural changes among young participants, despite facing some challenges. The journey continues with a strong foundation of trust, support, and community.


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