Media Releases

Media releases from the Office of Susan Templeman MP.

Enquiries from the media should be directed to the Media Adviser via the Electorate Office on (02) 4573 8222 or via email to [email protected]


December 10, 2020

A local organisation helping Hawkesbury’s at-risk young people will receive a Christmas present from Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman.


“RuffTRACK is a wonderful program that works with vulnerable young people between the ages of 13 and 17 from the Hawkesbury, giving them the tools, skills and confidence to set their own direction,” Ms Templeman said.


“They are a self-funded organisation, and their income normally comes from visiting schools and agricultural shows with their animal program and performing dog show, which due to COVID have, of course, all been cancelled.


“My policy since taking office has been that, instead of sending Christmas cards, I donate to four organisations across Macquarie – two in the Hawkesbury and two in the Blue Mountains.


“RuffTRACK is one of my chosen organisations this year, to help them continue their vital work.”


Ms Templeman recently visited the RuffTRACK Farm, to meet the participants in the program.


“RuffTRACK takes up to five people from each of the Hawkesbury high schools. On my visit, the boys invited me to hear their morning discussion about how their weekend had gone,” Ms Templeman said.


“I was really privileged to be asked to sit in the circle as these articulate teenagers were able to discuss their feelings and identify the things that were making them feel good or not so good.


“Jesse, Jon and Bryson showed me around the farm, talking about how being one of the RuffTRACK boys had changed their lives.


“Dave Graham and the environment he has created will help give these teenagers the best shot at a better life, and I hope this small donation will go some way towards helping that.


“The farm itself has a variety of animals, including 24 dogs, which the teenagers are required to look after and train. I’ve seen the deep bond that develops as the teenagers do everything from cleaning out the runs every morning, to learning how to care for the dogs and train them in dog sports and sheep herding.



“It was a delight to have the boys introduce me to their goats and the new kids, one of which is now named Susan in my honour.


“The adults who work with them, like Dave and Georgia Cherrie, are volunteers. They're connected with the Hawkesbury PCYC, the Hawkesbury Jets basketball club and Hawkesbury's Helping Hands—all playing a part in shaping a different future for these kids, who have had, without exception, a really tough start.”


Ms Templeman said she’ll reveal the second Hawkesbury organisation next month.


“My second gift is going to an organisation that is planning to a big fundraising drive next month, so we are helping to keep the secret until then.”