We had an overwhelming response to our 2017 grants process, and are excited to announce that Leichhardt Women’s Community Health Centre was awarded our inaugural $100,000 grant. They were selected from an exceptionally high quality field of 52 applicants, and voted as the winner by Impact100 Sydney members.  Our focus for 2017 was young people at risk, and our grant applicants all demonstrated both a high calibre of work and a passion for the people they support.

Read more about Our Impact or continue below to meet last year's finalists and semi-finalists.

2017 Finalists

batyr Australia Ltd

batyr's vision is an Australia where young people engage in positive conversations about mental health and are empowered to seek out help when needed. Its mission is to deliver innovative peer-to-peer programs that engage, educate and empower young people. batyr programs focus on addressing issues that impact the mental health of young people, and promote resilience and help seeking behavior.

batyr provides programs that train young people to speak about their personal experience with mental ill health and start a conversation in their community, helping to break down the stigma surrounding mental health. batyr then takes these young people into schools & universities across the country to share their story in structured & dynamic programs that empower other young people to reach out for support from a wide range of mental health services around them (School counselor, GP, headspace or Lifeline).

batyr founder Sebastian Robertson attended the first ever TFN event, raising $10,000 to help train 7 young people to share their journey with mental ill health. batyr has scaled significantly since then and now have the capabilities, with the support of ‘Impact 100’, to sustainably deliver 40 programs in the greater Sydney region, a great outcome for both organisations.

With funding from Impact100 Sydney, we will deliver 40 structured and engaging batyr@school programs in the greater Sydney area in 2017.

The aim of the program is twofold; firstly to engage with the audience on a peer-to-peer basis and educate them on the support services available. Second, to increase the help-seeking rate by reducing the stigma surrounding mental health through empowering students to have open and honest conversation within their school and wider community. batyr programs were developed with the help of Dr Tim Sharp from the Happiness Institute, Sebastian Robertson and professionals from the fields of education, program delivery and mental health.

For more information, please visit our website www.batyr.com.au

Raise Foundation

Raise delivers best practice volunteer led mentoring programs to young Australians at risk of disengaging from education and employment. We have provided over 80,000 hours of face to face mentoring since 2008.

Right now our Youth are in crisis. They are drowning in self-doubt and we are witnessing scarily high levels of depression, anxiety and suicide tendencies in our young people. 1 young person a day chooses to take their own life. 

This is not OK.

Raise are working hard to reverse these trends and empower young people to be able to ask for help when they need it. We have chosen best practice mentoring as the vehicle to get us there as we know it works.

Impact 100 Sydney is the perfect match for us, as our mentoring programs are based on the proverb that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’.

Each of our mentors are volunteers from the local community, to whom Raise provide 15 hours of TAFE accredited training to. These mentors join our ISMO high school mentoring program for vulnerable young people age 14-17. They meet for 20 weekly (1-hour) mentoring sessions in the high school. With the support of a qualified Program Counsellor and a strong curriculum we see our mentees learn about developing healthy relationships; raising aspirations; discovering personal strengths; goal setting; finance and budget advice; nutrition, exercise and sleep advice and positive mental health.

Our evaluations show the power of mentoring as we witness our young people become more confident, know how to ask an adult for help, improve relationships with family, school and peers and re-engage with school.

Whilst we are proud to have mentored over 700 young people in 2016 we are nowhere near done. Right now we have a waitlist of schools seeking our programs. With Impact 100 we can give the gift of a trusted mentor to over 90 young people in the Greater Sydney area, across 6 high schools. 

For more information, please visit our website http://www.raise.org.au

Weave Youth & Community Services Inc.

Weave exists to help young people and families navigate through difficult circumstances and personal problems. We provide access to opportunities that help break the cycle of disadvantage and improve their lives.

Weave has been in operation for 40 years and provides a range of direct support services to socially excluded children, young people, women, families, and Aboriginal communities, who live primarily in the old South Sydney Local Government Area and the inner city, Maroubra/La Perouse and Inner West areas of Sydney. Community development projects run by Weave provide opportunities for young people and others to be involved in projects that develop their leadership skills and allow them to give back to their community.

Weave employs over 40 staff across 15 programs, which are funded from various sources. 70% of service users are Aboriginal and 20-25% of staff at any given time is Aboriginal. All staff are highly qualified and experienced in delivering quality services to individuals and communities with complex needs and multiple barriers to participation. In June this year, Weave was awarded the Network of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies NSW award for innovative community drug treatment.

In October 2015, Weave launched its Driving Change Program, which assists Aboriginal and disadvantaged young people to gain a drivers licence. Driving Change supports young people through the processes required to achieve their licence. This includes: preparing for their Learner Licence test, gaining their 120 hours of supervised on-road experience, or accessing professional lessons to prepare for the Provisional Licence test. This program is extremely popular in the local community and is in high demand. Driving Change needs further funding to ensure that Weave can continue to assist young people who would otherwise have no chance of gaining a drivers licence.  Funding from Impact100 Sydney would allow this program to continue and grow.

For more information, please visit our website www.weave.org.au

2016 Semi-Finalists


Blacktown Youth Services Association

Blacktown Youth Services Association (BYSA) is a community development organisation that provides a range of programs and services to young people aged 12-24 across Western Sydney. BYSA aims to develop young people to become inspired, skilled and civically engaged members of the community.

After 29 years of delivering highly effective youth programs, BYSA is considered the lead youth agency in the Blacktown area. BYSA prides itself on using progressive methods to deliver relevant and meaningful programs. Each year over 4,000 young people access BYSA services. Many of these young people are the most at-risk and disadvantaged members of the community and face a myriad of complex issues such as homelessness, drug and alcohol issues, mental health issues, limited educational experience and unemployment.

The focus of service delivery is utilising creative engagement as a way to address the issues young people face as well as to develop their skills and capacity. Using creative mediums such as music, art and dance provides a platform for young people to engage in the service. Through these programs, staff use a collaborative and holistic approach with the young people to improve their overall wellbeing.

BYSA are seeking a grant from Impact100 Sydney to fund a project called 'No Reservations'.  No Reservations is a project that provides at-risk young people an opportunity to discuss the issues they face directly with prominent decision makers in the community. Ten issues faced by young people in Western Sydney will be selected. A dinner will be hosted by a local restaurant for each of these issues. Twenty young people who have experienced or are currently experiencing that issue will be invited as a guest to the dinner. Alongside these young people will be a number of key stakeholders such as Local, State and/or Federal Members of Parliament, Peak Bodies and Service Providers.

For more information, please visit the website, www.bysa.org.au

First Hand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation

First Hand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation's mission is to improve the lives of Indigenous people and at risk indigenous youth through the areas of education, training & employment, cultural development and enrichment, and physical and psychological well-being. They have 2 core programs -  Community Programs and Social Enterprise.

Our Community Programs aim to address issues related to dispossession of culture such as depression, incarceration and youth suicide, mental health, lack of leadership, social exclusion and anti-social behavior. This is achieved by teaching young people traditional knowledge, skills and leadership passed down by community elders and positive role models.

Our Social Enterprise the Blak Markets is a business model that achieves 5 core outcomes. It allows Aboriginal young people to reconnect to traditional culture, provides employment & training for Aboriginal young people, builds community, provides opportunities for small Aboriginal business and most importantly brings people of all nationalities and backgrounds together in a common place to share stories and experiences and cultural immersion activities.

With a grant from Impact100 Sydney, First Hand Solutions would like to build their capacity to grow their programs by employing 3 young Aboriginal people who are at high risk or have been incarcerated, to work with them so they can learn and understand their programs then deliver them. Our programs are aimed at Aboriginal youth who across Australia are experiencing many problems, so the more capacity we can build into our organisation to run these tried and tested programs the more young Aboriginal people we can work with and provide positive and engaging learning experiences both at school, in juvenile detention centres and in the community.

For more information, please visit our website, www.firsthandsolutions.org

Information and Cultural Exchange

Information and Cultural Exchange (I.C.E.) is a Western Sydney-based digital arts organisation working in cultural development, community engagement, screen culture, digital technology and training. I.C.E. began in 1984 providing mobile resources to Western Sydney’s migrants and refugees, and subsequently evolved to specialize in cross-disciplinary community cultural development.

Working specifically with Western Sydney at-risk youth, Aboriginal and CALD communities, asylum seekers, refugee/migrant families and people with Disability, I.C.E. creates art, builds capacity, facilitates social inclusion, encourages community cohesion, amplifies community cultural development, and enhances our region’s vibrancy. For 34 years I.C.E. has been at the vanguard of community focused and driven art that is bold, imaginative and adventurous.

Our vision is that Western Sydney communities are empowered with the confidence, resources and opportunity to create art that drives social change. Our MISSION is to provide cultural and creative access, equity and opportunity.

From 2013-2015 I.C.E. delivered 124 projects involving 1,975 participants. Nearly 20,000 people enjoyed our live events and 22,058 community members used our studios and facilities. In this period I.C.E. grew self-generated revenue by 89% and achieved a 106% increase in print, online, TV and radio media coverage. Importantly, we employed 288 local Western Sydney artists/facilitators and educators.

With funding from Impact100 Sydney,  we will deliver an exciting new program called 'Thrill Ride'

Thrill Ride will be a six-month music/screen project that supports disadvantaged and at risk Aboriginal, Arabic-speaking, African, CALD and Pacific Islander youth from Western Sydney to create/produce a visual music album with mainstream appeal to Australian and international audiences. Facilitated/mentored by leading producers/musicians, lyricists and video-makers, the 40-50 young people will work within the popular form of the visual music album to explore/express concepts of identity, place and aspiration. THRILL RIDE will engage, amplify and empower marginalised urban youth voices through a contemporary, resonant and ‘extraordinary’ music/video experience that takes them (and audiences) on the creative ride of their lives.

For more information, please visit our website ice.org.au

Sydney Story Factory

Strong writing skills are one of the foundations of a successful life, yet marginalised young people, particularly those from Indigenous and non-English speaking backgrounds, have consistently lower literacy levels. Meanwhile, a crucial part of any young person’s education in our rapidly changing world should be learning to think flexibly and adapt to new situations. Creativity becomes vital.

At the Sydney Story Factory we're on a mission to change the lives of young people through creative writing and storytelling. Our focus is marginalised young people - those most at risk of losing confidence in their writing abilities and switching off at school. We make writing fun and rewarding, improving their communication skills and boosting their confidence to open up their futures and allow young people to live their lives to their full potential.

To reach the greatest numbers of marginalised young people we collaborate with schools and community organisations across Sydney. Since opening in Redfern in July 2012 we have taken over 8,500 student enrolments - 23% Indigenous and 40% from language backgrounds other than English. Student outcomes and impacts are being tracked as part of a long-term evaluation being conducted by the University of Sydney. Preliminary results are extremely positive.

With a grant from Impact100 Sydney, Sydney Story Factory will inspire 300 Western Sydney teenagers to create imaginative stories that reflect their lived experience and their feelings about the place they call home. They will be given the freedom and encouragement to write fictional tales that are vividly real and meaningful to them. Stories will be developed through creative writing workshops, with the support of trained volunteer writing tutors drawn from the local community. The project will conclude with the professional publication of selected stories in six books (published as e-books and a boxed set) - one for each of six distinct areas of Western Sydney.

For more information, please visit our website http://www.sydneystoryfactory.org.au