THANKS: A reader has paid tribute to police after watching NSW Premier Mike Baird and Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione speak about the shooting outside police headquarters in Sydney.
THANKS: A reader has paid tribute to police after watching NSW Premier Mike Baird and Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione speak about the shooting outside police headquarters in Sydney. DAVID MOIR

LETTERS: Thanks to police

Thanks to police

IT IS with sadness Ive just finished watching the live report from the NSW Police Commisioner and NSW Premier, reporting the investigation into last Friday's shooting of a police employee in NSW.

Firstly, like many, I feel great sadness for the victim's family and his workmates.

Secondly, I really hope we can work together to stop these sort of actions in the future.

We really can't afford to let this divide us as a nation.

This only plays into the hands of these dangerous idiots who are promoting these sort of actions to these gullible people.

Finally, thank you to the police who daily work hard to keep us safe in a growing world of violence.

Gone are the days of giving a delinquent youth a clip round the earhole. Today life is far more serious for every police officer.

We appreciate you and thank you for your commitment on a daily basis to our community safety.




Value our minds

OCTOBER is Mental Health Month and October 10 is World Mental Health Day.

The theme this year is "value your mind".

When I look at young people in our services, this has never been more important.

There is a scourge on our society at the moment. Its name is ice (or crystal meth) and it is having a devastating impact on our homes, community and young people.

It is the worst drug to ever hit our streets and young people are more susceptible to its lure than others.

Young people who value their minds, stay clear of this dangerous drug.

The drug is responsible for increasing homelessness, mental illness, family breakdowns, thoughts of suicide or self-harm amongst young people.

All of our services, but our Dunlea Drug and Alcohol Youth Service especially, deal with ice on a daily basis.

It is now the second most used drug among the young people we treat. Ice changes the way they look and their mental state in a profoundly negative way.

Young people are often flat and depressed when they try to break free from the drug's grip.

What they're experiencing is a severe drop in dopamine levels, something that isn't easily treated.

Alongside these feelings is a hunger and anxiousness for the drug. This can lead to erratic behaviour and potential violence.

One year, this resulted in 13 broken windows and a broken glass door at Dunlea from young people using ice.

The solution to this problem is to get young people to value their minds.

The amount of damage it does to the mental state of a young person is horrific.

No one who values their mind would ever choose to do this drug.

To do this, Dunlea provides a number of strategies to educate young people about the drug and what's involved.

A lot of harm minimisation strategies and education on drugs is taught on a daily basis.

Dunlea is an alcohol and other drug program and provides sharp boxes in case young people need to dispose of any injecting equipment or ice pipes safely.

We help with physical issues, such as teeth problems or skin infections. Psychologists are part of this program and are on call to ensure their mental health is being monitored.

However, not all communities have access to an alcohol and other drug program.

Communities across Australia are calling out for more information on how to combat ice.

At Youth Off The Streets we focus on at least providing education around the impact of alcohol and other drugs on young people across all our programs and services.

For example, one of our psychologists is working with services in Randwick to put together community forums around how ice affects mental health and the community.

People want to know what is on their streets, how to identify it and where to seek help.

Ice is one of the most addictive drugs and one that does not discriminate against age, race or family background.

Youth Off The Streets is committed to providing programs that help to not only address the addiction, but to prevent it by teaching young people to value their mind.


CEO and founder

Youth Off The Streets


Whales move fast

THE southern humpback whales off our coastline are becoming more numerous and are always spectacular. I am looking at one now as I type. How lucky are we?

The front page story (NM, 1/10) regarding a kayaker chasing away whales is probably incorrect.

I see many from my office window on a daily basis and they are always on the move.

The last few weeks they are always moving south at a deceptively quick pace.

I would be surprised if anyone without an engine to propel themselves would able to catch up to one. Even when they do, their pectoral and tail slaps, they always seem to be on the move.

The only exception to this from the hundreds of personal sightings was many years ago near Ashmore Reef in WA when we had a southern humpback cow with its tail in the air and a calf apparently feeding from underneath. It was stationary and we approached it because it looked a bit like a ditched light aircraft.

Apart from legal approach distance requirements, the best real and valid reason why I would never approach a potentially breaching whale is that I wouldn't want to get flattened by 35 tonnes of blubber.



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