Many X-gen and Baby Boomers remember Blue Light Discos, whether as a parent dropping off excited children or being a disco-dancer to ‘rage’ the night away! This week, PCYC spoke to Mix 94.5’s Lisa and Fitzy on Blue Light Thursday, who were amazed and delighted that Blue Light was alive and well in WA.
Over the past year WA has seen a steady increase in the number of Blue Light units established across the State, particularly in remote areas of WA. While metro Blue Lights aren’t as focused on dance these days, the regional area music events are beacons for local youths who can socialise without booze or drugs under the watchful eye of police and community volunteers and leaders.
Activities continue to roll out across the State at well-established units in Boddington, Boyup Brook, Derby, Dowerin, Dwellingup, Halls Creek, Gingin, Karratha, Kambalda, Kellerberrin, Kojonup/Katanning, Laverton, Meekatharra, Newman, Nullagine, Onslow, Pingelly, South Hedland and Wyndham.
New units have been established in Carnamah, Mt Magnet, Northampton, and Narrogin taking the total number of units to 24 with more remote areas than ever, showing an interest in setting up a Blue Light unit.
As an extension of WA PCYC, mobile Blue Discos have also seen services taken out to remote Indigenous communities such as Jigalong and Pannawonica, in an effort to reach more into the rural communities.
Some of these locations might be just a shelter shed out on our rugged plains, but that doesn’t mean they are any less appealing.
Paul Ferguson, interim PCYC CEO, explains the importance of Blue Light. “It provides a safe place for our young community and helps reduce crime by using effective intervention – offering something more appealing than crime.”
Julie Gorman, PCYC State Coordinator for the program and Centre Manager at Fremantle PCYC, said that the international focus was also great for the program. “Blue Light is across Australia to Fiji and even the Solomon Islands,” she said. “Coordinators meet up from time to time and share ideas and expand on the great work each area is doing.”
These days, it’s not just about music, while many units still continue with the traditional Disco, some have taken on a new twist such as PJ parties, Halloween Disco’s, Superhero/villain parties and World Cup themes. Other units have introduced more contemporary activities ranging from Laser Tag, Movie nights, Games nights, Bingo nights and Pool parties.
And while the face of Blue Light may have changed, its purpose remains the same, helping youth build strong, independent lives and be valuable community members, Blue Light is paving the way to bring communities together.
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