Dubbo PCYC holds open day to celebrate the service's 80th birthday

Party: Tenaya Unger, Skye Crawford, Oscar Unger, Maygen Wood, Maddy Austin, Mark Nuttall, Jonty Goodwin, Peta Powyer and Durakai Smith.
Party: Tenaya Unger, Skye Crawford, Oscar Unger, Maygen Wood, Maddy Austin, Mark Nuttall, Jonty Goodwin, Peta Powyer and Durakai Smith.

Dubbo PCYC opened its doors to the public on Saturday as part of celebrations for 80 years of service in NSW.

The open day featured free food and entertainment, as well as access to some of the services and activities it provides for children.

The open day was designed to showcase everything the PCYC has to offer and just as it did 80 years ago, the organisation aims to give young people somewhere to go and stay busy.

“Today we have been giving people a taste of the activities here so they hopefully might consider becoming members,” Dubbo PCYC assistant manager Peta Powyer said.

“We offer everything from boxing, volleyball, archery, combat archery, gymnastics, cheerleading and dance. We have meeting rooms you can hire out and police youth programs.”

Dubbo PCYC is approaching its 50th year in operation but Dubbo manager Mark Nuttall said it was important to recognise the history of the whole organisation and that was why they had chosen to celebrate the landmark.

“We’re celebrating the 80th year of PCYC’s existence. In 1987 the then-commissioner of police [William] Mackay felt there was a need to do something with some of the youths that were causing problems in the inner city, particularly around Woolloomooloo,” Mr Nuttall said.

“They got together with Rotary who put some money in, and they put together the first Rotary Police Boys Club. The idea was to get some of those kids in, do a bit of boxing with them and say come on boys, this is what you should be doing.

“They had just come out of World War I and the depression so it was a tough time. Now 80 years later, here we are 64-strong throughout the state.

There has also been a massive push to update the PCYC and bring it into the 21st century to appeal to teenagers.

“We have the cafe, the free Wifi, we are basically trying to modernise the facilities. After almost 50 years, we were stuck in the dark ages but we have brought in the technology and added some colour. We hope it will appeal to teenagers as well as the younger age groups,” Ms Powyer said.

However the initial concept of the PCYC still remains intact eight decades after Commissioner Mackay got it started.

“The kids have a safe place to come, sit down and talk and recharge their mobile phones and iPads, as well as play a few games. It’s a safe haven for kids,” Mr Nuttall said.

“The police are still heavily involved, they work really hard with the children and they have a tremendous record of