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Matt Noffs & John Mendoza

CEO of the Ted Noffs Foundation & Co-Director of Connetica Pty Ltd
The Fight of the Future

Wednesday, 29 May 2024

The National Press Club of Australia

Matt Noffs, CEO of the Ted Noffs Foundation & John Mendoza, Co-Director of Connetica Pty Ltd, will Address the National Press Club of Australia on "The Fight of the Future".

The youth crime debate rages from Tasmania, where they have announced plans to shut down their only youth detention centre, all the way up to Qld where it will be a hot button topic in the upcoming election, and over to the NT where Alice Springs burns at night and young souls wander the streets with desperation in their eyes.

Governments are at a loss as to what to do. Some adopt the clutching at straws approach of the implementation of draconian bail laws that flout basic human rights. The front pages of our newspapers depict disadvantaged young people as an evil that must be opposed.

The Ted Noffs Foundation has been on the frontlines of this war for half a century. Matt’s grandfather, Ted Noffs, famously invited bikie gangs into his Kings Cross centre to engage and provide alternatives.

Today, the Ted Noffs Foundation is the country’s largest provider of treatment for young people struggling with crime and drug issues.

John Mendoza has worked with both state and commonwealth governments to review the evidence and set the bar higher for youth programs.

Noffs and Mendoza outline a national strategy that recognises that disadvantaged young people are not a homogenous group and are as unique as their suffering communities.

They will present internationally, peer-reviewed evidence highlighting why a national agenda on youth crime that provides greater resources to the community is both desperately needed and already within our grasp.

Leaving behind the nation’s populist penal rhetoric doesn’t mean that young people don’t need to face consequences when they have broken the law. But, the question remains, if we close the doors on detention, what will we do with our worst criminals in the making?

A viable, evidence-based alternative that has proven results is crucial to make a safer Australia.

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