May 2, 2024

AFL legend to inspire at-risk kids

AFL great turned media personality Brenden Fevola will share the highs and lows of his personal and professional life in a bid to inspire a group of at-risk youth as they graduate from AGAs Flip My Ride program this week.

Flip My Ride, an initiative of AGA (part of the IntoWork Group) 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. Twenty-one students are set to graduate from the program which uses the premise of teaching participants how to restore a car to re-engage them with the community and learn practical vocational and life skills along the way.

With an impressive career, guest speaker Brenden Fevola is a Carlton fan favourite and widely regarded as one of the greatest Goal Kickers in AFL history. After being selected as the 38th pick in the 1998 draft, he went on to score an impressive 575 goals in just 187 games. His exceptional performance earned him the prestigious Coleman Medal twice, as he topped the AFL in goalkicking in both 2006 and 2009, and won the award for his club for seven consecutive years.

Fevola’s recent induction into Carltons Hall of Fame is a testament to his contributions to the club and his impact on the game.

Now working as a breakfast radio host, Fevola is using his life experiences to inspire others. Drawing from his personal challenges, Fevola understands the power of second chances, “AGA’s Flip My Ride Program isn’t just about teaching life skills; it’s about transforming lives. As someone who’s faced my share of challenges – I know the power of getting a second chance,” Fevola said.

Flip My Ride is a joint effort between AGA Victoria Police, Youth Empowerment Agency and Jacky’s Gym. Designed so students gain a wide range of skills including automotive trade skills, first-aid, money management, taxes, anger management and nutrition. As they successfully reach various milestones, participants are rewarded with small gifts such as gym memberships, cinema vouchers, JB Hi-Fi vouchers, and exciting excursions. These excursions include activities like entry level boxing with a focus on mental health, Go-Karting, and a visit to Ballarat’s Mechanics Institute.

Since the program’s inception, Flip My Ride has helped 33 participants into employment or further education.

Participants Bryson Cutajar and Sebastian Oliva both had history with Victoria Police when they were referred to the program. Reflecting on their experiences, 14-year-old Sebastian said he liked working on the cars and going on excursions. Meanwhile, 17-year-old Bryson said he learnt new skills which would help him in the future, “I really enjoyed having a meal and getting to know the other participants in the program as well,” he said.

Fevola is excited about Flip My Ride, recognising its power to change the lives of young people, “I’m proud to support Flip My Ride, as it offers young people the chance to write a new chapter, much like I did with the support of my family and friends. Together, we can steer these kids toward a brighter, more stable future,” he said.

AGA CEO Nicolas West said it is an honour to have Brendan Fevola speak at the event, “His remarkable achievements both on and off the 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,” he said.

The final Flip My Ride graduation will take place on Thursday May 2 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 Ford Ranger, will be auctioned off with the proceeds donated to Vinnies, a charity of the students’ choosing.

Each student graduated the program with a tool kit worth $900.

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.

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