From left: Kala Rideout, Mikeal Albury, Barb Bryant-Dunshea, Tony Dunshea and Brayden Dunshea at the JBOYS launch. Photo Andrew Thorpe / Central Telegraph
From left: Kala Rideout, Mikeal Albury, Barb Bryant-Dunshea, Tony Dunshea and Brayden Dunshea at the JBOYS launch. Photo Andrew Thorpe / Central Telegraph Andrew Thorpe

JBOYS splashes out with launch

GLOOMY weather couldn't deter a small group of people determined to achieve some good for their community earlier this month.

JBOYS, or Jimmy Bryant's Outback Youth Support, was launched on Saturday July 16 with a splash of colour at the Callide Valley Touch Football Association fields.

The not-for-profit organisation was founded by friends and family of Jimmy Bryant, the Biloela State High School student who died in a car crash at Thangool earlier this year, just ten days after receiving his P plates.

Since the accident, Jimmy's mother Barb Bryant-Dunshea has been undertaking one of the most difficult tasks anyone could ever face - turning the grief caused by the loss of a child into something positive.

"I promised to continue to do good like he always did, like he would always help people out," Mrs Bryant-Dunshea said.

"He was kind of the person that was always looking out for everybody else.

"If I can just use his name and the way that he was as a person to make a really great legacy for him, (then) he's still... working his stuff."

Jimmy Bryant in his firefighters uniform.
Jimmy Bryant in his firefighters uniform. Contributed

JBOYS will begin building that legacy by raising funds to send this year's Biloela State High School Grade 12 students to a two-day student driver course at Roadcraft Driver Education in Gympie.

The world-class course teaches student drivers practical skills including how to drive defensively in wet and dry road conditions, how to manage a skid and how to avoid hazardous situations.

Young drivers under 25 account for almost a quarter of driver fatalities on Australian roads, despite making up only 10-15% of the licensed driver population, and the highest risk period for young drivers is during their first twelve months on the road.

"Due to the circumstances in which Jimmy was taken from us I think that it's appropriate that our first goal is to send the Grade 12s to (driver training)," JBOYS co-founder Tony Dunshea said.

"They're all our kids, whether that's by blood or not, because they're the community's kids, and one day they're going to be the leaders of our community."

In addition to driver training, the charity will aim to address a lack of proactive mental health support available to youth in Banana Shire once they finish school.

"The more people we talk to, there seems to be a massive gap for kids… needing help in all different types of ways," Mrs Bryant-Dunshea said.

"Right now they've got the Chaplain but once they're out of school that's it," she said.

Mrs Bryant-Dunshea said there had already been a strong response from the community to JBOYS' message, with local businesses such as Thinkwater Callide Valley and Ashley Klease offering sponsorship of events and financial support.

The Biloela Cockatoos have also chosen JBOYS as one of two charities that will benefit from the club's annual community fund-raiser day at the Biloela Rugby Union fields from 2pm tomorrow (Saturday July 30).

For more information on the charity, check out the JBOYS Facebook page.

Donations to JBOYS can be made at gofundme.com/jboysinc.


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