October 20, 2023

Aussie cricket legend to attend graduation for kids at risk

Legendary Australian cricket player Glenn McGrath will offer some words of wisdom to a group of disadvantaged and at-risk young people as they graduate from AGA’s Flip My Ride program this month.

A joint effort between AGA (Part of the IntoWork Group), Victoria Police, Youth Empowerment Agency and Jacky’s Gym,Flip My Ride aims to reduce the risk of 12-24-year-old marginalised youth in the Brimbank, Melton, Wyndham and Maribyrnong areas from engaging with the justice system.

Seventeen students will graduate from the program which teaches participants how to restore a car and learn vocationaland life skills along the way. Students learnt automotive trade skills, along with first-aid, money management, taxes, anger management, and nutrition.

With each milestone successfully achieved, participants received small gifts such as cinema vouchers, JB Hi-Fivouchers, and went on excursions which included a visit to Melbourne city Expo, Ballarat, Geelong and Bendigo.

Since the program’s inception, Flip My Ride has helped 27 participants into employment or further education.

Participants Laki Siloni and Sam Galiona were both referred to the program from Victoria Police’s Offender Management program. Laki said the program helped him with a sense of belonging after he moved from New Zealand to Australia,

“I have learnt new experiences on how to be a better person in society, moving forward I’m looking to get into full time em- ployment,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sam said the program helped him get on the right track and with his mental health,

“The mentoring in this program helped me a lot with my depression and staying out of trouble with Police. I enjoy working on the cars, and the white card I have gained will help me secure employment in the future,” he said.

Glenn McGrath, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers in cricket history, will share insights to participants about why it’s important to make the right choices in life. Known for his exceptional skills, determination, philanthropic efforts and strong advocacy for community-based projects, McGrath is a role model for young people across Australia,

“Early intervention programs are powerful catalysts for preparing participants at a critical time in their life by giving them structure, opportunity, direction and a sense of purpose. This can positively influence their ability to make the right decisions in the future,” Mr McGrath said.

“AGA’s ‘Flip My Ride Program’ helps at-risk kids by giving them a great opportunity to learn a trade, important life-skills around emotional, financial and practical skills to really set these kids up with the hard and soft skills they may not have encountered otherwise. It also brings together a community of likeminded kids with a common goal and purpose.”

Prior to his professional cricket career, McGrath also embarked on a pre-trade qualification, “Getting a trade requires commitment but you typically get a lot of structured learning around any stream and it can open up plenty of future opportunities like travelling or even running your own business. My son is currently in the 3rd year of his apprenticeship.”

AGA CEO Leeann Rayner said it is an honour to have Glenn McGrath speak at the event,

“His remarkable achievements both on and off the cricket field are impressive. We hope that by having him share his stories and insights he’ll inspire our program participants to follow their dreams, face their challenges head on and never give up.” she said.

The Flip My Ride event will take place on October 26 at AGA Deer Park. Attendees will have the opportunity to witness the incredible transformation of the restored vehicle and participate in the charity auction. The restored car, a Nissan Navara, will be auctioned off with the proceeds donated to McGrath Foundation, a charity of the students’ choosing. Each student graduated the program with a tool kit worth $900 and since finishing the program, three students have already found full-time employment in the hospitality sector.

The next intake will take place on November 9, 2023.

Flip My Ride is funded through the Australian Government’s Safer Communities Fund. Go to https://www.aga.com.au/flip-my-ride/ for more information.

Media are welcome to attend the event to photograph and interview AGA CEO Leeann Rayner, Glenn McGrath as well as local participants.

Where: 301 Foleys Rd, Deer Park VIC 3023
When: Thursday October 26 2023 from 10 AM

To confirm your attendance or to arrange pre-recorded interviews or grabs please contact Eilish Massie, Media Communications Specialist on 0448 771 045 or [email protected]

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