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Serco staff go walkabout for Red Dust

Date: 18 Sep 2012

Disadvantaged Indigenous youth will benefit from a national Walkabout initiative from Serco Australia that will raise money for health education programs provided by Red Dust, a not-for-profit charity that improves the health and well-being of Indigenous Australians in remote communities.

Serco's Walkabout Week for Red Dust begins today and highlights our commitment to making a positive difference in the communities we serve. More than 300 employees have registered to raise funds and dozens of Serco sites are hosting activities throughout the week, including daily walking and running groups, and healthy living breakfasts. Serco will match, dollar-for-dollar, all funds raised.

David Campbell, Serco Asia Pacific's Chief Executive Officer, said that Serco's collaboration with Red Dust had already been a very rewarding experience and most importantly, one which would have lasting positive effects in the Kintore community in the Northern Territory. Kintore, also known as Walungurru, is located in the Western Desert, 530km west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory and has a population of around 450 people.

'Partnering with Red Dust has been a valuable experience for me personally, as well as for many Serco staff. It has increased awareness of the challenges Indigenous youth face, it will I hope also have an invaluable impact on the Kintore community, and it has provided an opportunity for our employees, and their family and friends, to engage with this remote community.

'Serco is a values-based organisation and our partnership with Red Dust is evidence of this. Our diverse business includes work in both the health and justice sectors, which aligns well with Red Dust's work. 'The primary goal of our fundraising efforts is to help ensure the Aboriginal youth of Kintore live longer, healthier lives. We also hope that Red Dust's healthy living program will inspire the youth involved to live positive, meaningful lives.

'Approximately 40 per cent of the offenders in the prisons we operate in Australia are Indigenous. We work tirelessly to rehabilitate offenders and break the cycle of reoffending, and we hope that our support for Red Dust is a positive intervention before the cycle even begins.'

Darren Smith, Red Dust Chief Executive Officer, expressed his gratitude to Serco for their support: 'I am very thankful for the support that Serco and their staff have provided to Red Dust. Together, through this partnership, we can have a positive impact on the lives of a generation of young people in one of Australia's most remote communities. Thank you so much for your participation in Walkabout Week and the effort you have made to improve the lives of Aboriginal youth in Kintore.' The money raised by Serco will help Red Dust deliver early intervention health promotion programs to Kintore's primary school students over the next 12 months. The main focus of the programs being delivered is nutrition, as the community has a high rate of diabetes and heart disease as well as other health concerns that need to be urgently addressed. The aim is to educate youth on the positive steps they can take to improve their wellbeing.

Ends

For further information, please contact: Head of Media, Paul Shaw, +61 (0)2 9409 8700

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Last Updated: 18 Sep 2012