Bernie Shakeshaft is the founder & CEO of BackTrack Youth Works in Armidale, New South Wales. Living & working for many years in the Northern Territory, Bernie had a range of jobs before deciding to make his vision of working with disadvantaged young people a reality. As a kid, Bernie Shakeshaft’s mischievous & reckless behaviour led him to become known as the wild one of his devout Catholic family. It isn’t surprising that his path led him to the Northern Territory, a place where people often go to either lose themselves or find themselves. Bernie, a searcher for his purpose in life, found himself. He developed deep connections with the Indigenous people, & it was these connections that helped lay the foundations for what was to come. He worked for youth welfare organisations, & all the while he built up his knowledge about helping wayward youths, particularly those from Indigenous communities. He started a youth program called BackTrack, with three aims: To keep them alive, out of jail and chasing their hopes & dreams. This one man is making a huge difference. Bernie & the team at BackTrack have helped over 1000 young people, & are now expanding to share their tools with other communities across New South Wales. Bernie was the recipient of the prestigious 2014 Churchill scholarship.
‘This fella Bernie, he’s a good fella, a bit of a genius really. What a great story.’ – Russell Crowe
Bernie joins us in celebration of his new book release ‘Back on Track’ where bestselling author James Knight tells Bernie’s story & the stories of those whose lives he has saved. It is a powerful reminder that we should never give up on our kids.
7pm Friday 23rd August 2019
Dinner with matching wine from Elgee Park & Baillieu
$105pp all inclusive
*Books available for sale & signing on the night