Ty Narkle makes an impact for Indigenous youth

2 July 2017

Research from Amnesty International shows that Aboriginal youth are 53 times more likely to be jailed than their non-indigenous peers. Only around six per cent of young people aged between 10 and 17 in WA are Indigenous, but they make up almost 80 per cent of offenders in the state's prison system. These statistics have been described as appalling by WA’s Chief Justice Wayne Martin AC.

Royal Life Saving Society WA trainee Ty Narkle is determined to change this. Ty, a young man who’s proud of his Aboriginal heritage, grew up in Midland attending school at Swan View and Governor Stirling Senior High School. At the age of 15 he found boxing “I started doing competitions in boxing and found that I really enjoyed it. Because I liked doing sport I decided to complete more courses about sport and recreation. This led me to Royal Life Saving.”

Ty Narkle and Damian Wood practising CPR on a manikinRoyal Life Saving Society WA conducts traineeships, mainly with indigenous youth, to help them get into the Sport and Recreation industry. Royal Life Saving Training Development Officer Damian Wood says “We offer a Certificate II and III in Sport and Recreation, working with youth directly if they’re out of school, or with the assistance of an organisation called SMYL which assists students who are school-based. The aim is to see more indigenous youth complete training, by supporting them through each of their modules, so they can become qualified to find work in Sport and Recreation. We also provide them with important first aid skills that are vital to many of the positions this industry offers.”

Ty Narkle is a non-school based student, who came to Royal Life Saving through his work with the David Wirrapanda Foundation. “I’ve been working with the David Wirrapanda Foundation for about a year now, with the kids at the Banksia Detention Centre. I go in there and just build up a relationship with them by playing basketball and other sports, getting to know them a bit, and then when they get out we keep in contact and try to encourage them to go to school or whatever they have to do to find work.”

Ty decided to complete a Certificate II and III in Sport and Recreation to build on this work, and gain some recognised training to enable him to be more effective. Ty also goes into around 5 different schools with David Wirrapanda Foundation, conducting a health and leadership program alongside football player Troy Cook. “We talk about all sorts of topics like drugs and alcohol, health and fitness. We do a fitness test at the start of the program and another one at the end of the year, and I’ve seen some big improvements – the kids fitness really picks up, so I think a lot of the things we talk about around health, fitness, eating and having a good diet has really made an impact.”

Ty has been a shining star in completing his training with Royal Life Saving Society WA, receiving an iPad as an award for being a top trainee. Damian Wood says Ty’s been a real pleasure to work with. “My background is in Aboriginal education and Ty is probably one of the best students that I’ve had, he listens and he’s learning now how to adapt some of the knowledge he already has into things that he may not have realized he previously had skills in. A lot of the work we do is on health and safety in the workplace and duty of care, and when Ty first came he didn’t know anything about that, but he’s realized he actually does it every day and has a lot more skills than he thought he did in the first place.”

Ty’s dream for the future is to be successful in his boxing, but also make an impact in his community. “With my boxing I want to go to the Commonwealth Games next year, so I’m really focused on doing well with that. But I also just try to be a good role model to all the kids in my community, that’s why I work with the kids in Banksia and try to show them a good way to live so I can have an impact on their future. I want to see those kids do well in life so I encourage many of them to get into boxing or some sort of sport because it would give them something positive to focus on. Some of them are really talented and I think they could do well in football or basketball, so when they get out of Banksia I’d love to see them follow the right path and achieve their dreams.”

If you know a young person who could benefit from the traineeships we offer please contact us to find out more.

Explore more button