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  • Writer's pictureSam Wilks

Where one man can make a difference, imagine what a community can do....

I spent some time door knocking today in the suburb of Muirhead. Muirhead is very different from the suburb of Wanguri, Wagaman, Alawa and Nakara I’ve spent some time in so far, apart from the average home being 40years younger, there are almost no front fences.

On my travels, I spoke to a great guy named Dean, who on explaining his safety and security concerns as an ex-resident of Lyons, he proudly told me about how after his vehicle was ransacked and some minor valuables stolen he and his wife then went on to be a foster Career for troubled youths for 15 months.

I’ve heard the stories of anger and fear from many as they describe the youths walking the streets at night in gangs and a common thread for the last few days has been “curfew”. Considering the discussions in Alice Springs tonight, I can guess why. But a few I have met have responded in the extreme opposite way.

“I just asked myself what could I do to help fix the problem? I thought about the kids and thought they must be homeless or not have the caring and discipline at home that a loving family can provide?” was the response from a mother in Nakara.

I honestly don’t have a quick fix answer for the safety and security issues, I know that incarceration hasn’t and doesn’t work all the time. I know that suspending and expelling children from schools just amplifies the ignorance and the feeling of neglect and disenfranchisement from society.

I personally believe that you educate, not incarcerate. But I do believe that all situations aren’t equal and that it is important for the judiciary to have access to many means for punishment and rehabilitation.

I have been gifted and advised of many different initiatives that are part of my platform

  • Youth community service programs

  • Recreation centers

  • Youth hostels

  • Youth volunteer programs

  • Extra activities

Some have a direct correlation to Council, some would require Council/NTG partnerships and some Council/NGO partnership, all of them have some great success rates but none of them is a magic bullet for all situations.

The most important lesson I am learning from the community is that One person and One can make a difference but that we get more done as a community together. I know it’s easier to react with anger, fear and resentment, it’s also natural and visceral as its part of the fight or flight instinct that we learnt as primates.

Man/Woman is more than just fear, we can dream, create, and act with greater purpose than revenge. Dean and many of the wonderful residents of Darwin remind me of that.

A message I have tried to teach my children is that “When we are developing, our heart forms first, it allows blood, resources and messages to be pumped and travel around our tiny developing bodies. The Brain develops later and keeps on developing until we are in our early 20’s. It is never too old to learn, but if our heart develops first is because when we follow our hearts it comes from a place of connectivity and love, just like the baby is soothed by the heartbeats of their parent.

Sometimes we just need to get out of our heads, stop thinking of getting revenge, getting back at the person that broke the car window , stop thinking like a victim.

To start thinking like leaders, Dean and people like him are the leaders in society. They think with their hearts.

Note : Written and Authorized by Sam Wilks. The views included may not be those of others mentioned in the article but are those of Sam Wilks. If you have other idea’s feel free to comment below. Idea’s and differing opinion is recognition of a free and just democratic society. A Society I am happy to live in. Please however try not to be abusive or discriminate, you may be. But if I feel that your opinion may be harmful or is reported as being harmful, I will delete it. Sam Wilks 0402 152 929 PO Box 40441 Casuarina NT 0810

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