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“Boys to Men: Learning to Live Their Dream”

Tirkandi Inaburra Cultural and Development Centre is an Aboriginal community run centre offering Aboriginal boys aged 12-15 a culturally-based residential program aimed at reducing future contact with the criminal justice system by strengthening the boys’ cultural identity, self-esteem and resilience.

The centre houses 14 boys at a time and the boys stay at the Centre on a voluntary basis for a single school term. Whilst at the Centre the boys engage in educational, sport, recreational, life, living skills and cultural activities which have all been designed to incrementally develop each participant’s skills and abilities. Schooling is provided on site by the NSW Department of Education. The Centre is located on a 780 hectares rural property between the townships of Coleambally and Darlington Point in the Riverina district of south-west NSW.

The name “Tirkandi Inaburra” means “to learn to dream” in the Wiradjuri language. Tirkandi Inaburra delivers a culturally based residential program aimed at strengthening cultural identity and resilience and empowering its young participants to reach their full potential in life.

Boys who live in communities located between the Lachlan and the Murray and between Balranald and the western side of the Blue Mountains are eligible to apply to come to the Centre.

The NSW government provides funding for the centre.









The application process for acceptance to Tirkandi Inaburra is simple. Please read the below eligibility criteria, if a child matches the criteria and appears eligible please contact Tirkandi Inaburra Cultural & Development Centre on 02 69544800 or free call 1800 759 040. A meeting will be arranged with the child, guardian and sponsor. It is at this stage the application forms will be completed and the process will be fully explained to all parties.

There is an application process for entry into the program. Once accepted, Tirkandi Inaburra offers a participant a unique opportunity to positively change his attitude and behaviors and develop skills and abilities which will significantly enhance education levels and reduce the risk of becoming involved with the criminal justice system.

The ongoing support of the participant’s parents or carers is essential throughout the program and post Tirkandi Inaburra if the participant is to ‘sustain the change’ which he will experience as a direct result of his ‘journey’ through our program.

Aboriginal boys who want to be considered for inclusion in the program need to follow the below steps, or make contact with Tirkandi Inaburra at anytime. Potential applicants may also be referred and sponsored by family or a community member or by a government or non-government agency.

If you are not the applicant’s parent or carer you must make sure that you discuss this application with the young person and be convinced that he wants to come to Tirkandi Inaburra as this is a ‘voluntary’ program.

The application process is as follows;



Initial discussions with potential applicant by family or sponsor
Make contact with Tirkandi Inaburra Cultural & Development Centre office
An assessment interview will be arranged and conducted
(All application forms will be completed at this stage)
The applicants school needs to begin an Access Request Form which enables the applicant
to be temporarily enrolled with Coleambally Central School
By this stage the Principal of Coleambally Central School will be notified of intention to enroll
The final stage is to be accepted and assigned a school term.

Sponsors need to be committed to supporting the participant during and upon exit from the program. This gives the participant the best chance of ‘sustaining the change’ that he will experience as a direct result of his ‘journey’ through our program.

Participants will be temporarily enrolled with the Coleambally Central School whilst in the program.

Tirkandi Inaburra will require information relating to any potential participant’s medical history so that Tirkandi Inaburra is able to properly assess the applicant’s eligibility and manage his medical issues if accepted into the program.

Definite ‘Yes’

1. . 12–15 year old Aboriginal boys
2. . Boys who want to commit to the program for one school term
3. . First offenders/ non-serious offenders
4. . Boys who are ready to make the ‘shift’
5. . Boys who are dropping out / have dropped out of school / have a history of suspension from school
6. . Boys coming to the notice of police / involved in conferencing / making their first court appearance
7. . Boys who have support from either their family, community, or sponsoring agency

Must be enrolled in school, TAFE etc.
Must reside within the catchment area.

Definite ‘No’
1. . Non-Aboriginal boys
2. . Boys over 16yrs or under 12 yrs
3. . Girls
4. . Boys who live outside the catchment area
5. . Repeat offenders who have become institutionalised
6. . Sex offenders
7. . Serious violent offenders
8. . Boys with an existing drug and/or alcohol dependence
9. . Boys with serious diagnosed or undiagnosed mental illness
10. Boys with complex medical needs which are not manageable at the centre
.. . (please discuss these needs with Centre staff)
11. Boys who are assessed as posing a safety risk to themselves and others