BackTrack is a community based not-for-profit organisation helping young people who are having a hard time, get back on track.
The program works with young people that find themselves hanging around in parks, stealing for food, sleeping on the streets, and running into trouble with the police. These young people are on a path to getting caught up in the quicksand of the youth justice system. Through our research, Amnesty International knows that programs like BackTrack are needed to keep kids out of prison.
Most kids who go to prison, end up reoffending. BackTrack works to make sure this doesn’t happen. In the last ten years over 1000 kids have walked through the BackTrack Youth Work’s doors and in that same time the local crime rate has dropped by more than 38%.
BackTrack forms the basis of Backtrack Boys, an observational documentary, filmed over two years, follows boys in the program that Bernie Shakeshaft runs from a shed on the outskirts of Armidale. On the road, the boys find their voice and make great friendships but as the boy’s sleep under the stars at night the trauma is never too far away.
With their survival and futures at stake they must constantly step up, push themselves, support each other and some days can be hard. This inspiring coming of age story reveals the challenges and triumphs these boys face as they try to find their place in the world, and the dogs that help tame their wild ways.
There are several educational resources available to help engage young people with the film. BackTrack is also a supporter of the national #RaiseTheAge campaign.