Story sponsored by Harrow Legal.
Few people get to really live their passion or make their dreams a reality. But for Bernie Shakeshaft, his desire to give rural kids on their last chance, a second chance has been a reality he 's experienced since 2006.
As the founder and CEO of Back Track Youth Works in Armidale, Bernie has been helping young people who are having a hard time, get back on track.
Bernie's vision and leadership has seen Back Track help forge a new beginning for over a 1000 young people between the ages of 12 and 19 over this time, as well as inspiring other communities to start their own programs using the same successful tools that have given these remarkable results in Armidale.
The program has elicited interest from many including a few from the team at Sydney's Harrow Legal who recently made the drive to Armidale to meet Bernie, the enigmatic recipient of the Australian Local Hero in this year's Australian of the Year Awards.
They had heard so much about the brilliant work that was being done with marginalised youth at BackTrack under the compassionate direction of Bernie and his volunteers, they had to come and see for themselves.
Leeann Gardner and Mona Awit whose collective nickname at Harrow Legal is 'The Social Justice Warriors,' felt privileged to actually secure time to meet the super busy Bernie.
"We were even more privileged to be taken on a personal tour of the famous 'Shed' where it all began," Mona said.
"Being a single mum with teens, I personally relate to their struggles - the kids and Bernies," Leeann added.
"We were literally blown away with what Bernie and his volunteers provide for homeless teens of the area. Most have been subjected to abuse in some form during their life - emotional, physical and financial," she continued.
"We were so moved by it all we immediately called our Director at Harrow Legal to request a donation of $1000 to the BackTrack Program - which he did, and we hope to provide continuing support AND that others reading this will too."
Harrow Legal also work with victims of institutional abuse to get them justice in the form of financial compensation.
"Nothing will ever change what happened to abuse victims, but any form of compensation is justly deserved," Mona said.
"We are keen to connect with victims we may be able to assist - anywhere - we will come to you and the more that come forward the stronger the class action will be for all victims."
Harrow Legal are unique in that they provide a support team headed by Mona Awit who specialises in legal advocacy to give victims a voice and the confidence they need to seek justice.
"Our support team works tirelessly as a go between the client and the lawyer, so clients have someone to call any time they need reassurance. It's a totally complimentary service," Mona said.
Harrow Legal specialise in all class action cases including asbestos, medical negligence and offer a No Win, No Fee option for compensation cases.
Harrow Legal Lawyers literally go the extra mile, or more, to go to victims so they feel comfortable in their own space.
You can be confident they will listen and they will inform you of your rights.
Don't miss Harrow Legal's current offer Harrow Legal are offering a free will service to give you peace of mind during this difficult COVID-19 time.
Just call 0410 770 984 to be assessed for a No Win, No Fee arrangement and the free will service.
Story sponsored by Harrow Legal.