WHY WAS FOCUS ON YOUTH FORMED?
It all happened shortly after Geoff Aaroe moved to Seventeen Mile Rocks. Geoff met with other community-minded individuals in 1979 and founded Focus on Youth to assist and support young people with disabilities. The organisation was incorporated in September 1989. Geoff and the other committee members wanted:
- a program to promote understanding between able and disabled young people,
- to allowed the disabled youth to be active members of their community, and
- them toenjoy activities which other young people take for granted.
At the beginning the youth met every Friday evening for games and other activities. Another focus was an annual event which allowed the young people with their supervising adults to visit various destinations in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria for up to twelve days during school holidays.
Geoff began to produce a hand-written newsletter with photos and other illustrations to keep the youth and their parents informed of activities. When the organisation purchased a secondhand electric typewriter he used the typewriter and his collage skills to produce monthly newsletters and advertise upcoming events. The newsletters were photocopied at a local Resource Centre and sometime later at the office of a state member of Parliament. The organisation has come a long way since then.
At the suggestion of an officer from the Family Services Department, Focus on Youth Inc started to provide support and assistance for the youth on Saturdays. Sometime later the assistance for disabled youth was extended to whole of weekend activities.
We continue to strive for innovative ways to assist and support the youth and their families.