Building and strengthening communities is everyone's business…


St/ages 6-8

Strongly incorporates school-based supports from teachers, parents, families and community others with improved student attendance, engagement and participation in the school education experience. 

School curriculums can be modified to incorporate features of the YES model.

Now part of the Adaua Secondary School on Malaita Island in the Solomon Islands promoting mentoring to their younger community members. 

YES is not something ‘extra’ to cram into an already full school schedule. It is simply a mechanism to provide a more conducive way in which the school-based programs are delivered. 

Parents and families are encouraged to share this journey interactively by attending the child’s class/school as their capacity permits on a regular basis to act as support and resource practitioners. 

Schools would be supported with adequate staffing levels and ancillary supports as determined by them, their employer and their relevant trade unions. How and what those measures include would be determined by each school as their environments permit. 

As appropriate to capacity, students will be encouraged to participate in sporting or social groups inside and outside the built classroom environment to further enhance socialisation, mobility and dexterity skills. 

The physical and psychological benefits of participating in physical and mental exercise will be delivered by teachers and others involved in the child’s life. 

Begin learning practices such as Mindfulness, relaxation, tai-chi and yoga comprehensively. Growing stronger, socially engaging, mobile and dexterous children will lead to better outcomes for the whole community in which they live.

Of the 168 hours in a week, only around 30 are spent in the school environment. Formal and informal education is a ‘24/7’ experience and should be embraced accordingly.

School attendance and engagement is celebrated by parents or carer family members with their children. This reflects the ‘Families as First Teachers’ (FAST) model which also demonstrates, encourages and endorses positive behaviour. 

School based general health checks (hearing, vision, dental and immunisation) from suitably qualified professionals. Conducted during each of the three-year periods of the 6 to 8-year-old group. Referrals to off-site clinicians for follow-up assessment and therapy would be made as required. 

Additional support needs students may develop within special education settings initially, with partial and subsequent full integration into mainstream environments where it is practicable to do so over time. 

Practice and promotion of respectful relationships will be taught and encouraged during this period. We need to be asking ourselves ‘What does social harmony look like in my community???’ Once we determine the answers as they apply to our respective ‘village’ environments, they can be incorporated into the related school curriculum.

St/ages 9-12

YES continues to provide additional opportunities for children to enjoy social and cultural expression along with celebration of their particular cultural obligations or rites of passage as applicable. 

Each ‘pod’ has different ways of celebrating their cultures. Multi-cultural celebrations encourage tolerance, acceptance and understanding. Sharing different foods, stories, songs, and dance within a group setting invites us to learn from each other. 

Together, we continue to build individual and collective strengths addressing them in a holistic and integrated fashion when combining the positive aspects of community resilience. We have an opportunity to grow that social resilience through modelling, practicing and emphasising pro-social behaviour. What kind of community and society do we want to see and be a part of?  

From around the age of 9, where possible and appropriate, children will learn about the importance of mentoring younger siblings and others to share positive experiences. 

Camping adventures and other outdoor ‘classroom’ experiences will help to create and develop personal independence. Under the YES initiative, we have opportunities to promote and develop individual and group initiatives like those cited above with all contributing to enable the growth of our communities in a positive manner. 

For behaviours requiring positive adjustments, we can learn and adopt restorative justice principles and family group conferencing methods. A clear majority of children will successfully complete their primary school experience around the age of 12.

St/ages 13-17 

Children enter secondary school around this time. New environments are explored with new peer groups and friendships being formed. 

Young people continue to build respectful relationships based on truth, trust, honesty, integrity and compassion. 

Secondary developmental health checks can occur to ensure that any potential development issues are addressed in a timely manner. 

Young people continue to practice Mindfulness, yoga, tai-chi and relaxation as ways of managing their lives productively. Support can be offered for their adolescent transition into and through puberty. 

Sex education programs focused on developing and maintaining respectful relationships would be introduced. Many babies in the NT just ‘happen’ rather than being planned, so teaching young people (both girls and boys) about the benefits of good nutrition (including folate supplements) and life-style choices prior to conceiving a baby will give little ‘bub/s in the belly’ their best chance of developing well in utero. Focus on respecting our bodies to evolve overall physical, mental and social well-being, nutrition and healthy life choices. 

We can proactively instil a growing confidence in decision-making. This age/stage is where Vocational and Educational Training (VET) program opportunities can be introduced as and if desired. These can include driver and /or rider education programs so students earn a driver or rider’s license when they are old enough. 

Skills trade certificates and accreditation can be awarded upon successful completion of courses undertaken. We can encourage students to pursue academic security and prepare for tertiary education, general employment or trade options as they so desire. 

Positive Parenting programs can be included and reinforced so students learn just what is required with undertaking that very important role in their child’s development. 

Collectively, we extend support to young parents and their families where required to help them transition successfully into their parental roles and responsibility. Cultural practices and ceremonies of significance to the students where applicable are honoured as they successfully complete secondary school.

St/ages 18-21

YES continues helping to guide these now young adults to enter and maintain themselves within the workforce as a skilled employee, trainee, recruit, or apprentice. These guiding principles will be informed, strengthened and reinforced by the strategies already in place for the previous age groups. 

Young people may choose to enter and complete a tertiary diploma or undergraduate degree. Others may choose an apprenticeship or other training program that provides them with appropriate skills required to undertake employment. Still others may choose to enter the workforce in other capacities. 

Young adults continue their positive engagement by building a strong community where everyone is encouraged to contribute to the best of their ability. These young people continue to be a teacher, guide and mentor for younger members with the context of their community.

St/ages 22-26

YES continues to impact on our ‘whole-of-community’ development through emphasising and solidifying positive behaviour and life-style choices such as those previously cited. 

Each community evolves its own ‘benchmarks’ against criteria that is relevant to their own situation within the framework of the overall strategy focus. Some young people may choose to secure home ownership should they have capacity and wish to do so.

Opportunities are available to build and grow positive lifestyles in employment, social security and life choices. Contributing to strengthen the community that people are a part of extends throughout this st/age group. Due recognition of the valuable contributions by those more matured people beyond the age group including community elders, people of influence, enablers and seniors will be invited. 

As we each travel our life’s journey breath by breath, we continue to learn as we do so. We each have the opportunity and responsibility to grow ‘up’ as well as grow ‘older’. People who have enjoyed a significant number of breaths are more experienced and knowledgeable about the ‘ways of the word’ so have the opportunity to share their experiences with their younger community members. 

Modelling what ‘success’ looks like to younger members of the community continues throughout this age group. Remember that ‘with age, comes wisdom’.

It is acknowledged that this YES initiative will require a strong resolve and commitment from each ‘village’ community to be effective and of value to our generations now and those yet to be. 

It is clearly vital that we each embrace the opportunities this initiative offers so that our children, their children and their children inter-generationally into the decades that lie before us if we are collectively going to ‘turn around’ the current chronic status of disassociation, dysfunction and disadvantage far too prevalent within this exciting and vibrant Northern Territory.