Bunbury PCYC continues to empower young women through it's 2021 Empow(h)er Program

Empow(h)er Program participants Lewis Phillips-Mitchell and Bella Delane.
Empow(h)er Program participants Lewis Phillips-Mitchell and Bella Delane.

A Bunbury Police and Community Youth Centre course has provided more than just empowerment to youth in the community.

Empow(h)er program facilitator Clare Jorgensen said the course provided a safe space for mainly girls to come to.

"We give our girls the opportunity to first of all learn a bit about the hurdles that girls and women face and to also break down the common idea that girls have to be in competition with one another. That's a big part of it," she said.

As a youth worker at the Police and Community Youth Centre, Ms Jorgensen said there was a need to re-frame the way young girls were looking at both each other and themselves.

She noted how after just one term, she was seeing a lot more engagement from the course participants and a 'slow build of resilience'.

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"After term three we got the girls to fill out feedback forms and the results showed they were really retaining the information given to them," Ms Jorgensen said.

"Empowerment enables you to express yourself and set boundaries and then hold onto those boundaries. It means that you're never forced to compromise your values or beliefs. We're teaching them that."

Bunbury Regional Community College year 11 student Bella Delane said she loved learning the self-defense aspects of the course, but also the health and life skills.

"This course has had a huge impact on my confidence and it's been a huge learning curve for me," Ms Delane said.

Empow(h)er program facilitator Clare Jorgensen, course participants Lillianah, Sophie and Melissa and youth worker Akira at the Bunbury PCYC.

Empow(h)er program facilitator Clare Jorgensen, course participants Lillianah, Sophie and Melissa and youth worker Akira at the Bunbury PCYC.

"The course is so diverse also in that the PCYC is open to having people from all backgrounds, including those from the LGBTQI+ community."

Despite being labeled as a course to empower just girls, Ms Jorgensen said there were a few transgendered course participants.

Bunbury Regional Community College year 11 student Lewis Phillips-Mitchell first joined the course in term three and told the Mail he had found it an inspiring program held in an open environment.

"I was very nervous to come especially being trans-male as I thought it was only for girls, but I was quickly reassured," Mr Phillips-Mitchell said.

"I'm really glad I put my name down for it because I already feel a lot more confident in myself with some of the lessons.

I'm really glad I put my name down for it because I already feel a lot more confident in myself

Course participant, Lewis Phillips-Mitchell

"I've learnt quite a bit on perspectives of other people, how you should behave around people and how saying certain things may actually harm people."

Enrolments are still open for term four of the Empow(h)er Program at the Bunbury Police and Community Youth Centre.

The course for term four is run on Monday's and Thursday's from 3.30pm to 6pm, with a light supper and home drop-offs provided.

To find out more, call 9795 8690 or send an email to bunburypcyc@wapcyc.com.au.