2016 – 2017 Four Finalists

Established in 1991, Operation Flinders Foundation is a South Australian based charitable organisation that runs a world leading wilderness adventure program for young offenders and young people at risk. The program takes participants between the age of 14 and 18 years on an eight day exercise in the far northern Flinders Ranges, providing an opportunity for its participants to break away from their past and grow as valued members of the community.

Operation Flinders describes its cause as “to transform young people’s lives through world leading, evidence-based remote, outback intervention programs.”

Its mission is to “provide young men and women who have been identified as being at risk, with demanding outdoor challenges and support, to help them develop their personal attitudes and values of self-esteem, motivation, team work and responsibility so they may grow as valued members of the community.”

The requested $100,000 Impact 100 grant will be used partly to fund the employment of a further Follow-Up Support Officer to work with participants post-exercise to ensure that outcomes achieved by the participants are consolidated, and to provide further support to their ongoing development.

In addition, the grant will enable Operation Flinders to partner with the Maxima Group to provide training to Peer Group Mentors to create improved long-term employment outcomes, and well developed leadership capabilities.

Peer Group Mentors are graduates of the Operation Flinders program who have returned after initial training to assist ‘first timers’ in the program. There are already 50 Peer Group Mentors for whom additional training could be transformational in helping to break the cycle of unemployment.

Established in 1997, Youth Opportunities, as the name suggests, work with young people who are disengaged or at risk of being disengaged from school, family or work. They do this through a program delivered in schools to Year 10 students called Positive Empowerment Programs.  The goal if successful in receiving the Impact 100 grant is to expand their reach to a further 100 young people over 12 months, in the South East region of South Australia (Youth Empowerment South-East Project – YES).
The programs are currently targeted to lower socio-economic areas where youth are more at risk, generally the North as well as some country areas. To date over 11000 students have completed their 10-week program which covers building confidence, goal setting and enhancing mental health. Students are also offered a mentor for one on one follow up for 2 years after the program.  The program to date has received fantastic feedback and endorsement from third parties including their education partners and students.
With the $100,000 Youth Opportunities will train Mt Gambier teachers and community members to deliver the program in schools and aim to specifically address unemployment, living in poverty, mental health and rates of suicide. The project will be measured by participants social and emotional wellbeing.  Youth Opportunities work in partnerships with schools who part fund the program.
MOSH = Minimisation of Suicide Harm.  Their main aim is to cater for the needs of those at risk of self-harm and suicide and those bereaved through suicide and to minimise the impact of suicide through awareness, information and support. MOSH has a vision to create and Australia where suicide prevention is embraced by everyone.

There are many risk factors associated with self-harm and suicide and these are often exaggerated if the person at risk is bereaved by suicide themselves. When coupled by a lack of protective factors the risk factors can be fatal for those vulnerable members of our community.

MOSH aims to develop and promote both existing and new programs that will minimise the risk factors and maximise protective factors for those at risk of self-harm and suicide and those bereaved by suicide.

MOSH currently has 3 operating sites (Thebarton MOSH House, Mosh Op Shop in Allenby Gardens and most recently Posh MOSH Op shop in the City.  These centres provide a centre for craft and chats and work as a potential ‘disruption’ to the suicide process (suicide is rarely an on the spot decision).  MOSH wants to go Mobile!
If MOSH are the recipient of one of the $100,000 grants the money will be used to get Mobile MOSH off the ground. Helping to fund van that will be a mobile information centre and op-shop, a part time team member to head it up, recruit and manage the Mobile MOSH volunteers and manage the program to ensure its success and to help make the mobile MOSH work with BBQ, Tables, Messaging Materials and so on.
Suicide rates are at a 10 year high, with a reported 25% increase since 2011.  Mobile MOSH will provide a gateway to the people who are not reaching the other centres and provide support and bereavement services.  Face to face service is the point of difference with MOSH and they believe that door to door is the next step to reducing suicide impact.
Backpacks was established in 2013 when they produced 564 backpacks for children in need.  Backpacks provides children and young adults that are placed in emergency accommodation with a backpack of essential items including: clothing, toiletries, comfort items, educational toys, etc that are age and gender specific. The packs are aimed at alleviating the stress of an already stressful situation for youths.  They are contacted by many services such as Families SA, Domestic violence shelters, foster parents, refugee organizations, etc.
The backpacks have always been packed with the same items with only changes to make them age appropriate. We have noticed a gap in the bags we supply to older youths. As such we are creating a backpack that is specifically targeted at homeless and displaced young adults aged 11-25. Our packs will have a strong sexual and mental health focus. This includes condoms, job seeking information, mental health support information as well as essential items.
This project is important due to the emotional stresses that a displaced youth faces. Youths in this position often don’t have any belongings and links have been drawn between emotionally
traumatic living conditions and ongoing mental health issues.
If Backpacks wins the $100,000 grant all of the money will go towards filling the backpacks which is estimated at around $100/bag.  Therefore, 1000 young adults will receive specialised bags over an 18 month period.  They will use existing infrastructure like workers, volunteers and warehousing to assist in this project which enables the full $100,000 go towards the bags and youth who need them.