Queensland Blue Light Celebrates 40 Years of Youth Engagement

Queensland Blue Light, a not-for-profit organisation working in partnership with the Queensland Police Service (QPS), is marking its 40th anniversary this year. The organisation, known for its youth-focused programs and activities, has been a staple in Queensland communities since 1984.

To commemorate this milestone, Queensland Blue Light is hosting a “Back to the 80s” event on Saturday, July 20, at The Tivoli in Fortitude Valley. Early bird tickets are currently available through Try Booking.

Photo Credit: TryBooking Australia

The Queensland Blue Light Story

The organisation’s journey began on July 26, 1984, at the Albert Waterways Community Hall on the Gold Coast. The inaugural Blue Light disco, attended by 219 young people, was conceived as a way for police to positively engage with youth in a safe environment. The concept quickly gained popularity, reaching its peak in the 1990s with an impressive 2.3 million young participants.

As social media began to change youth socialisation patterns in the new millennium, Queensland Blue Light adapted its approach. While discos declined in popularity, the organisation introduced new activities such as movie nights, laser tag, skating, sports, and family events to maintain its connection with young people.

The Blue Light Programs

Today, Queensland Blue Light operates 40 branches throughout the state, each run by a Police Coordinator and community volunteers. The organisation has expanded its offerings to include several targeted programs:

  1. Blue EDGE (Educate, Develop, Grow & Empower): Launched in 2016, this early intervention program for 12 to 17-year-olds aims to build positive relationships between at-risk youth and police through physical activity and motivational sessions.
  2. Blue Light Shearing: Initiated by Officer Laurie Bateman, a world record holder in sheep shearing, this program teaches shearing skills to young people as a means of preventing offending behaviour and providing future employment opportunities.
  3. ELEVATE (Everyone Lift to End Violence and Target Education): A primary prevention program that educates students from Year 5 through Year 12 about domestic and family violence, promoting respectful relationships.

These programs, delivered in collaboration with QPS volunteers, reflect Queensland Blue Light’s ongoing commitment to positively impacting young lives across the state.

As Queensland Blue Light celebrates four decades of service, it continues to exemplify the diverse and community-oriented nature of careers within the Queensland Police Service. The organisation’s enduring success highlights the potential for law enforcement to play a constructive role in youth development and community building.

Published 20-June-2024