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Tuesday, 24 February  2009  Beat the Street

Meet some police officers who patrol the streets in Brisbane and spend a lot of time with young people whose lives have gone wrong.


KATHY McLEISH: This is how Greg Newman and Darren Fry wind down. During their working hours they're well respected police officers, they thought if pounding the drums could help them it might also help others.

CONST GREG NEWMAN, QLD POLICE: Darren and myself ride the parks as our day-to-day jobs on trail bikes. We come into contact with all the street kids and disadvantaged youths around Brisbane Central District. And we decided we'd try and do something to get them to do something that they could do anywhere, anytime basically to amuse themselves without harming themselves or anybody else and maybe give them the skills to take that learning process into their other areas of their lives.

KATHY McLEISH: They decided to start Beat the Street, a drum program.

CAPT CHRIS COHEN: There was a lot of enthusiasm there was a lot of passion and just the opportunity to bash the drums, make an enormous noise and get hooked on the excitement, the adrenaline, the racket that it made was fantastic.

KATHY McLEISH: The drummers are hooked now but some were wary at first.

ELIZA: It's funny, I remember the first time that they had the class, the drum class, and we rocked up and they told us that we were going to be there with coppers and stuff and I was like no way, that's just stupid, that's never going to work.

CONST. DARREN FRY, QUEENSLAND FRY: I'm so overawed by it all because I didn't expect it to take off the way it has. I thought if we get three of four kids that come along and since they come along clean their act up it would be great but the amount of kids and quality of kids that come along, it just blows me away.

CONST. GREG NEWMAN: I haven't seen many of these kids smile ever.
As much as we try to get on with them in the parks and that, there's always been the us and them mentality whereas now we actually see kids smile that we haven't seen smile before and that's pretty rewarding to us.

Just remember if you drop a stick someone behind will pass one up. Leave the one that you drop on the road that doesn't matter and just smile and enjoy yourselves.

KATHY McLEISH: The drum line has already had its first gig the Australia Day Parade in Brisbane
The parade was a hit all round, but for the Beat the Street musicians there was more to come. The program will be expanded.

SUPT TONYA CAREW: We've got some good news, that we've got an extra $5,000 to buy some more drums.


CAPT CHRIS COHEN, SALVATION ARMY: Some of them have gone back to school after having been out of school a very long time. A number of our kids a number of the young people have got jobs; they're participating in traineeships.

ELIZA: When you're on the streets, like it's pretty easy just to have low self esteem and not think that you're very good or very important or anything in the world and to have to be able to march like in the Australia day parade I think that's just awesome. Like it just gives you such a great feeling to feel appreciated and to know that people out there are like barracking for you to get your life on track and stuff I think it's good.



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English Bites - Beat the Street
story notes

 wind down
 
gradually relax; relax
 
Example: I like winding down after work by watching TV.
 
For more meanings of the phrasal verb wind down, follow the link below to our language library.
 
more information: wind down

 they're
 
Notice that the contracted form of they are is spelled they're. For information on how to spell two other words that are pronounced in the same way and often confused, follow the link below.
 
more information: they're their there

 thought
 
Here thought is the past tense of the irregular verb think. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
 
more information: think

 enthusiasm
 
Enthusiasm is a feeling of excitement and interest.
 
The verb is to enthuse and the adjective is enthusiasm.

 passion
 
Passion is a very strong feeling - usually a feeling of love or desire. The adjective is passionate.
 
Example: The young people in the program are passionate and enthusiastic about playing the drums.

 bash
 
hit

 hooked
 
To get hooked means to get addicted. If you’re hooked you can’t stop.

 adrenaline
 
Adrenaline is a hormone produced by the body when you are frightened or excited. Adrenaline makes the heart beat faster.

 racket
 
Racket refers to a loud, continuous noise. It’s usually an unpleasant noise - but in this case they like making a racket.

 rocked up
 
(informal) arrive; turn up
 
Example: What time are you going to rock up tonight?
 
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

 told
 
Here told is the past tense of the irregular verb tell. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
 
more information: tell

 overawed
 
Awe is a feeling of great respect mixed with fear. To be overawed means to be overwhelmed by feelings of awe.
 
If something makes you feel awe, it is awe-inspiring. Of course, you can also say it is awesome.

 take off
 
to succeed; begin to succeed
 
Example: It took a while for the film to take off.
 
For more meanings of the phrasal verb take off, follow the link below to our language library.
 
more information: take off

 clean their act up
 
The phrase clean up your act means to change and start behaving in a way that other people find acceptable.
 
Example: You need to clean up your act and get a job.
 
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

 blows me away
 
If something blows you away it surprises you. To be blown away is to be amazed or impressed.
 
Example: This new computer game will blow them away.
 
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

 seen
 
Seen is the past participle of the irregular verb see. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
 
more information: see

 us and them mentality
 
Mentality refers to an attitude or way of thinking. An us and them mentality is a way of thinking that we’re not all the same and that people who are not in your group are your enemies. The young people think the police officers are very different - from their point of view they’re not one of us, but one of them.

 got
 
Heregot is the past participle of the irregular verb get. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
 
more information: get

 gone
 
Gone is the past participle of the irregular verb go. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
 
more information: go
 
spotlight

What do 'drum up' and 'give someone the drum' mean?

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