HOCUS Youth Group - Benalla
07 September 2017
Ms RYAN (Euroa) — In 2014 it was identified that approximately 200 of Benalla's young people were not engaged in education or employment. Last week I met with Mary-Lou Terry, who runs the Waminda community house's HOCUS youth group. The group meets on a weekly basis, and young people participate in a number of activities, including a range of sports and hobbies such as attending the local gym, dance classes, bowling, swimming and cooking. They volunteer by collecting donations for the Leukaemia Foundation at Winton Motor Raceway events and by helping with tree-planting projects.
HOCUS also offers useful guidance in résumé and cover letter preparation and mock interviews. One participant said, 'I stopped going to school because I felt lost and lonely. I came to HOCUS and made some friends and now I am back at school'. The program's current funding through the adult, community and further education program is drawing to a close, but the board of Waminda are eager to see it continue. I urge the government to provide the funding required so this great program can keep going.