Extraordinary young father
Louis Jakamarra Egger is the Young Fathers Coordinator at the Larapinta Child and Family Centre.
For 18 months the 27-year-old Warlpiri man has overseen a program assisting fathers, or prospective fathers, 25 years old or younger.
The customised initiative offers training and well-being activities, aims to enhance personal growth, explores options with parents aspiring to further education, and reveals diverse career pathways.
The father of two children, who became a parent in his early 20s, said he has insights into "the difficulties of becoming a young parent".
"By empathising and talking from my own experiences I hope to make a positive impact on families, supporting parents to become strong, confident and capable," he said.
"I encourage parents to be involved in their child's early development, especially the first 1,000 days.
"The majority of the work has been forming partnerships with services assisting young families.
"Many families don't know about these services, or how to access them. I explain what services they can access, and help with documentation and referrals."
The one-time youth justice worker said interest in the program, which has taken time to develop in Alice Springs, has matured from a case management approach.
"I urge young men to pursue their dreams by acquiring more skills, either by completing academic courses or vocational training, such as getting their White Card for the construction industry.
"They can get a learner driver licence, complete first aid training, and learn about subjects such as superannuation, online banking and budgeting.
"Unlike last year, we now have a comprehensive training package that includes automotive, work and life skills, first aid, financial literacy, water safety and the Tangentyere Mums Can Dads Can initiative."
The department staffer said the program is receiving unprecedented attention from the Alice Springs community and young families.
The Larapinta Child and Family Centre is located at Larapinta Primary School.