Our 8 Finalists Have Been Announced

In no particular order our 8 finalists for 2017-2018 are:

1. United Way SA

2. Sammy D Foundation

3. Operation Flinders

4. Roger Rasheed Sports Foundation

5. Second Chances

6. Australian Schools Plus

7. OzHarvest

8. Puddle Jumpers

Please read below for more information on each finalist.

Puddle Jumpers

Puddle Jumpers commenced in May 2012 and their main philosophy is that all children deserve the right to happy and fun experiences in their lives.

Their organisation does this by way of offering society’s most vulnerable children and young people the opportunity to take part in organised weekend long camps down at Clayton Bay as well as Activity Days in and around Adelaide all run by volunteers.

First priority is given to children who can not live with their birth parents for various reasons and now live with Grandparents, other relatives as well as children in Foster Care and those under Guardianship of the Minister. Often these children may never have had a holiday, have social and/or behavioural difficulties, undergone family separation and have sometimes been subject to domestic violence drug and alcohol abuse and mental illness.

These camps are designed to offer these children the opportunity for social interaction, developing relationships, fostering self-esteem and self-worth development and enhancement of skills and knowledge.

The camp volunteers do this through activities such as swimming, water and team sports, art and crafts and build positive relationships with the young people through equality, respect and friendship while displaying appropriate role modelling at all times.

Oz Harvest SA

OzHarvest’s main aim is to collect quality, surplus food and to distribute it to people in need and divert food waste from landfill. They differ from other food rescue organisations because they were the first to rescue perishable foods not just canned and other foods with a long shelf life.

They have 4 pillars that they operate by:-

  • Rescue – to eliminate hunger and food waste through distribution of quality surplus food.
  • Educate – to spread the message on food sustainability and food waste as well as educating people on healthy eating.
  • Engage – community involvement by allowing people the experience of volunteering.
  • Innovate – to look for new solutions to combat food waste.

They currently work with over 3,000 food donor businesses to collect quality surplus food and deliver directly and free of charge to over 1,000 charities Australia wide.

OzHarvest is supported by many well-known Australian Chefs and Ambassadors such as Maggie Beer, Matt Moran and Neil Perry who are all passionate about not wasting good quality food.

Second Chances SA

Second Chances is a Christian organisation dedicated to giving people who have been in prison a ‘second chance’ in South Australia through acceptance with respect and compassion and an end goal of rehabilitation back into the community.

Volunteers working with Second Chances start their work from inside the prisons prior to a person’s release to give them help and hope and to let them know there is someone there to support them through the process of starting a new life outside of prison.

The families and children of prisoners are often greatly affected by the imprisonment of a loved one and at Second Chances they are there to offer them support and advocacy with one of the aims being to divert prisoners’ children from entering Juvenile Detention through early intervention.

Second Chances runs mentoring camps for the children of prisoners allowing them to spend time with leaders and other children in the same position whilst having fun. The aim is to teach them a range of values such as trust, friendship, honesty and courage away from the home environment to help steer them away from anti-social behaviour.

Australian Schools Plus

Australian Schools Plus was formed in 2013 with an aim to break down the barriers between schools classified as disadvantaged and community donors wanting to give but unsure how to go about the process.

By doing so and allowing philanthropy to be part of these schools it allows their students the opportunities to make a real difference in their education and in their lives.

The organisation works with the schools to see what projects that are most important to them specifically and then arrange for the fundraising to start. One such project that they are currently fundraising for in South Australian is ‘Music Access for All’ at Alberton Primary School to enable the school to purchase a range of instruments.

Another that has actually surpassed it’s fundraising goal of $30,000 is ‘Discovery Learning for Engagement’ at Elizabeth East Primary School to help shift the culture from one of ‘punish’ to one of ‘engage’ through positive learning.

United Way SA

United Way S.A. was started to enable our communities most disadvantaged, access to programmes, aimed at helping children aged 0 – 5 years be socially and academically ready to start school. The programmes United Way runs, engage socially isolated mothers in developmentally vulnerable areas of South Australia in the areas of language (through reading) and cognitive skills.

Many of life’s opportunities, including an education, a fulfilling job, a role in our community, all depend on our ability to read and as such United Way S.A. aim to help these disadvantaged families through these strategies: –

  • ‘United We Read’ programme is currently being used in Elizabeth Downs and Elizabeth Park communities where they deliver pre-school aged children free, age appropriate books in conjunction with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. They also provide resources and support for parents to be effective educators for their children.
  • ‘Read Aloud’ is an initiative to encourage children and their parents to read aloud every day. This programme is supported by their ambassador, renowned children’s author, Mem Fox.
  • ‘Children’s Zoo Day’ it’s about to celebrate it’s 11th anniversary on Sunday May 7th at Adelaide Zoo. Mem Fox along with other children’s authors will join in the fun, reading aloud some of their favourite stories to the children and their families who in normal life are faced with significant challenges.

Sammy D Foundation

To be updated

Operations Flinders SA

The Operation Flinders Project was set up by Pamela Murray-White, a teacher and former army officer in 1991. Teaching students with behavioural problems, Pamela realised then, that there were some outdoor elements of army life that could have some positive effect on these students and as such she founded Operation Flinders.

Since it’s inception, Operation Flinders has had over 7,000 young people between the ages of 14 and 18 involved in it’s program. Of which, to date, 61% are male and 39% are female.

The programme is based in the far north Flinders Ranges and involves the participants walking a 100km circuit carrying backpacks with camping equipment over a period of 8 days where they are taught bushcraft, map reading and navigation under the guidance of their team leader.

Once they start the walk there is no ‘opt out’ and all participants are excepted to finish the 8 days, giving them the chance to rebuild their confidence and people skills through intense physical, emotional and psychological challenges.

Long term outcomes for the participants of Operation Flinders include:

  • Improved attitude to authority figures
  • Reduction in aggression
  • Fewer unexplained absences from school
  • Increased motivation to change

Roger Rasheed Sports Foundation

The Roger Rasheed Sports Foundation request funding matching both of this year’s themes, early intervention and youth, and mental health.  Both these elements are key to the core mission of the RRSF – to bring the medicine of sport to children in disadvantaged communicated.

RRSF believe these children deserve the chance at a better life through access to sport and exercise.  Through our experiences, delivering projects in Elizabeth Grove and Oaklands Park, we have witnessed first-hand the positive impacts of sport in reducing crime, promoting health and wellbeing and bringing the community closer together.

From fostering healthy growth and body development, to laying the foundation for a healthy
adult life, the physical benefits of regular exercise for children are well documented and wide-reaching.

In recent years, there has been much evidence to show that these positive impacts extend to the
mental health of children.

With childhood obesity reaching levels never seen before and reported mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, on the rise among adolescents there has never been a more important time to bring the medicine of sport to young Australians – especially those in disadvantaged communities, where these health issues are more prevalent.