New uniforms boost boot camp spirits

STAFF working at Operation Hard Yakka in Susan River have been given an extra boost in morale after receiving new uniforms.

NEW UNIFORMS: Fraser Coast Division 9 Councillor David Lee with some of the staff from Operation Hard Yakka in Susan River. PHOTO: Shaun Ryan.

Funding for the uniforms was donated by Fraser Coast Division 9 Councillor David Lee through his discretionary fund.

“I come from a military background myself having served as a medic in the army, so I can see the value of the program out here,” said Cr Lee.

Operation Hard Yakka is a military styled youth diversion training program.

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Cr Lee said he supported the program “because it helped instill important life lessons, character and resilience among participants.”

 Cr Lee met with management at Operation Hard Yakka on Thursday to catch up on their latest program.

He said it was good to see the staff wearing their new uniforms.

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Chief Training Officer Bob Davis said the uniforms had helped his team feel more upbeat.

“They feel good in their new, modern uniforms,” Mr Davis said.

He said it was important for the staff to be differentiated from participants in terms of their day-to-day uniforms.

Mr Davis said Operation Hard Yakka was all about helping participants – generally youth who have found themselves in some sort of trouble – learn about respect and adopting the right attitude towards those around them.

“It’s about helping these guys get a fresh start. Having fun is important but while they are here, they learn about their role in the family.”

For Mr Davis, the program is more than just a ‘boot camp’.

He said the participants who are signed up on for the 10 or 12-day courses are expected to work together as a unit and respect those on the course with them, the trainers and other people who come in to speak to them or facilitate different activities.

Some of the challenges the participants take on include: abseiling; low rope courses; gel ball; horse riding, teambuilding exercises and regular patrols, among other things.

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Upon completion of the program the participants put on a demonstration for their families and attend a graduation ceremony.

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