SHAPE UP: Dick Schubert is helping youths who have had brushes with the law.
SHAPE UP: Dick Schubert is helping youths who have had brushes with the law. Joshua Macree

Fighting against crime

COUNTRY towns like Roma, are helping young men get back up on their feet, thanks to youth justice programs run by people like Dick Schubert.

The boxing coach at PCYC Maranoa has been working with youths who have travelled through the court systems in the Maranoa for more than six years in an effort to help turn around their prospects.

"When I look at a person, I search their background, personality and see what they're interested in if they actually want what I can offer,” he said.

"Between the person and myself, we then set out a program and try to hit some goals.”

According to Mr Schubert, the program has produced countless numbers of reformed young men who have transformed their lives.

"We've had plenty of boys who have gone on to do greater things,” he said.

"In one case, I had three boys from the one family who had done everything we asked them to do and, when I saw them a few years later, they were completely different boys - young gentlemen in fact.

"The turnaround in those young fellows has been unreal and the respect they showed was really heartening.”

A report published last week in the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing said anger in young men in regional Australia was fuelled by the belief they must behave aggressively.

Mr Schubert said it was often other factors in the background dictated a young man's criminal activity.

"Often when you hear one of these kids speak, you look at their background and family influences and you can see that's where it comes from, not the children themselves,” he said.

"We try and break that mould behind the scenes and turn them into people who will make a positive difference.”

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