Wednesday, June 19, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

PCYC Respect Program At Proserpine State High School

The PCYC Respect Program is well under way at Proserpine State High School, being in its sixth week out of a total of 10.

The program was created to support at-school youths who are struggling with discipline, respect and behavioural problems.

PCYC Branch Manager and Respect Program organiser, Sergeant Billy Li went through the Respect Program training 2 years ago, and shortly after, he approached Proserpine State High School and said he would like to work with the young people at the school and help.

Proserpine State High School were enthusiastic about the program and selected the kids to take part.

The Respect Program has now been running at Proserpine State High School for 18 months and is about learning respect and resilience, and about the kids making better decisions in their lives.

A majority of the program is spent in the classroom, but they sometimes do activities like cooking and the kids in the program can already see improvements.

Taj Bacon said he’s learned how to control himself when he’s getting angry.

“When mum's mad at me I just do my breathing, and I relax so I don't get mad at her as well and make the situation worse,” said Taj.

Jaspyr Fox said the breathing has helped him too.

“The breathing helps, you put your hands out and you close your eyes and breathe across your fingers,” said Jaspyr.

“It resets you.”

Billy conducts the program alongside Proserpine State High School’s Behaviour Support Teacher, Chris Laine whose job it is to act as support and organiser, which is essential for the program to work.

“There's quite a bit of organising involved in that and it's not possible for an outside party to be able to do a lot of that,” said Chris.

“I support Billy, have made materials ready for him, support him in the conversations that he's having with the kids.

“I'm the bad cop, he's the good cop, it's my role to do the best to keep the boys in line and listening and not being stupid, which is busy.

“They're seeing the police in this (and Billy’s role) as someone who is supporting and that’s what the police do, they support the community.

“It's really valuable that they can see the police and view the police as someone who is here to support the community.

“I think it's going to be subconscious, but I think it's a really good connection that these guys are going to have.”

Graduates of the PCYC Respect Program are rewarded to a trip to Whitehaven Island on a police boat.

Lukas Trevaskis and Steven Dickinson cooking eggs for their brunch

Casey Klaassen with his smoothie

Behaviour Support Teacher at Proserpine State High School Chris Laine, PCYC Student Wellbeing Officer at Proserpine State High School Renee Quilty, PCYC Branch Manager and Respect Program organiser Sergeant Billy Li and Respect Program students

Photo credit: Daniel Heggie

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