The Mareeba Youth Farm was operated by the Far North Queensland Youth Assistance Fund. The Farm functioned as a rehabilitation centre for youths. It was operational from December 1979 and was funded from December 1980. Funding ceased March 1982.
The Youth Farm received referrals from the Department of Children's Services, Police, Courts, Probation and Parole and other Welfare Agencies.
It operated as a rehabilitation farm for youths, many of whom were struggling with drug and alcohol problems, for which they had been treated prior to taking up residence at the farm. They were able to stay at the farm for a recovery period of up to six months.
The Mareeba Youth Farm was associated with the Cairns Drug and Referral Centre and the joint Government National Anti-Drug Campaign for a three year period.
The Mareeba Youth Farm aimed to get young people back into the workforce in the rural Industry through the Northern Cattle Traineeship Incorporated, Commonwealth Employment Service and Mareeba College of T.A.F.E.
Most of the young people who took part in the program were later employed on farms or stations.
In the 2001 publication, Missing Pieces, it stated that "The Far North Queensland Youth Assistance Fund has advised that no State wards were placed at the Farm. They advise that there were no surviving records of boys who were at the farm."
Sources used to compile this entry: Department of Families, Missing pieces: information to assist former residents of children's institutions to access records, State of Queensland, 2001. p.62.; Email from Debra Wood, Office Manager, FNQ Youth Assistance Fund Inc. 9 April 2014.
Prepared by: Rosemary Francis
Created: 15 June 2011, Last modified: 10 June 2014