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Chook to Have Island Kids Running Wild with Holiday Entertainment and Fun!

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• Chook Larson (front) with Youth Workers Jocelyn Race, Keeley Page, Craig Maloney and Henry Mount with island artist Darren Goleby and Cr Mark Edwards.

Julie 'Chook' Larson is passionate about young people and their direction and future.

She has seen the results of too much time and too few outlets on teens.

"It leads to trouble," she told The Friendly Bay Islander.

For years Chook has been involved with the concerns of youth.

She is a Youth Worker representing Running Wild Youth Conservation Culture Inc.

Providing outlets and solutions for island youth is her passion.

So much so that she recently received a $10,000 grant from Redland City Council to implement an exciting Holiday Schools program for teens from 13 to 18 years.

It is currently running on the Bay Islands, with the program kicking off with a movie night on 2 January 2015 and finishing up with The Amazing Island Race on 23 January 2015.

Whilst the program is about entertainment and activity for island youth, it is also about gleaning valuable information that could lead to improved youth services on our islands.

Chook freely admits that there are no youth services here.

"If island teens are in need of help or assistance, they have to get to these services on the mainland.

"The situation is compounded when it is known many do not have the money to get to these services. That's when island youth becomes disengaged and is at risk.

"We need island youth services, and we are hoping to use the holiday program to glean as much information as possible," she said.

It is anticipated that this information will provide Running Wild with further opportunities to generate support for the development of future youth initiatives on the islands.

Diploma of Youth Work students from TAFE Brisbane have put their hands up to assist in the development and delivery of this program as part of their vocational placement.

Keeley Page, Henry Mount, Craig Maloney and Jocelyn Race come from all over Brisbane and are new to the islands.

They are enjoying what the islands have to offer, and are keen to see these activities a success.

They will also play a major role in obtaining the important data that is required.

"With the right information, we can seek youth services for the islands," Chook Larson said.

The program is being assisted by those with particular expertise including island artist Darren Goleby, Mary and Eleeza from the Lemon Farm, circus performers and others.

Cr Mark Edwards was on hand to see the launch of the holiday activity plan and he fully supports more Youth Services on our islands.

“Redland City Council is proud to provide funding for the SMBI School Holiday Program as part of the Community Grants Program to assist the Redlands Community,” he said.

At the time of distribution, about half of the Holiday Activity Schedule has been completed.

Further activities are-

• Theatre Sports: Macleay Island, Progress Hall, 2-6pm Thursday, January 15; Russell Island Hall, 10am-1pm Monday, January 19.

• Mini Olympics: Macleay Island Skate Park, 3-6pm, Saturday, January 17.

• Street Art Workshop: Macleay Island Skate Park, 10am-1pm, Tuesday, January 20.

Sea Kayaking: Tingira Boat Club, 10am-12noon, Wednesday, January 21.

• The Amazing Island Race: All Islands, 10am-12noon, Friday, January 23. Start Line Russell Island - Karragarra Island Finish Line - 12 noon to 2pm for lunch and presentations.

You can find out more by going to: Phone Chook: 0407 555 878




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