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Book aims to stop indigenous truancy

A picture book that tackles truancy among indigenous children will be distributed in remote communities to help youngsters take control of their personal safety. 

At School – You Decide was written and produced by Neighbourhood Watch Australasia as part of a trial. Neighbourhood Watch chief executive Ingrid Stonhill presented the book to Indigenous Affairs Minister and supporter of the initiative Nigel Scullion on Tuesday. “(We worked) with the (Papunya) community to see what they wanted to see changed,” she said. “It’s based on (the children’s) decision-making and it’s taken from real examples in the community. “It’s very much a partnership between the community and the police.”

Police Commander Kate Vanderlaan said the book would help children make choices to hopefully steer them away from what sometimes leads to a life of crime. “We see the benefits of school attendance in terms of giving them a chance at life,” she said.

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