Gary Tippet goes behind the scenes at some of the organisations that the Newsboys Foundation supports.
SINCE 1974 the Newsboys Foundation has allocated more than $13 million to fulfil its simple but vital historic vision: “That all Victorian young people have the opportunity to reach their full potential”.
Specifically, what we are about is supporting young people – both boys and girls – aged 11 to 21, from disadvantaged backgrounds, whether they be from low socio-economic status families; indigenous, rural or regional youth; asylum seekers and refugees; the unemployed or young people struggling with their education.
“It’s about trying to re-engage young people in a positive way into their community, into learning and particularly education,” says Chief Executive Sandy Shaw. “Whether it’s a schools based program or community based, whether it be art or sport, outdoor education, it’s about reconnecting young people and we’re very open about what it might take to get there.”
The most recent round of funding went to a range of amazing programs across the gamut of need: indigenous education scholarships; a camping program for intellectually disabled students; a deep maths program; a nutritious food program; a wealth of incredible performing arts initiatives; and sports projects, to name just a few.
As chairman Zich Zichy-Woinarski QC says, Newsboys is prepared to “look outside the box” of programs it might fund. “It’s sometimes a bit of a risk … But if someone can come up with a new and better way of achieving what we want to do, why wouldn’t we have a go at it?”
Here are a few – just a few from about 40 – of the innovative programs we are supporting. Stories from our front lines.
THIS one is a win-win-win story. It’s about the deep connection between humans and dogs and how the benefits flow, lastingly and profoundly, into the lives of young people, some struggling with autism and others with their schooling. Read more
THE PRIDE OF SOCCER LIONS
FOR much of its history the Newsboys’ Club saw sport as a way of engaging young people and helping them fulfil their potential. While the Newsboys Foundation has widened its focus, the capacity of sport to capture the imagination, unify and inspire and unlock the abilities of young people still holds true. Read more
SISTERS IN HARMONY
HERE’S how to knock down barriers. In 2011 Newsboys helped fund a ground breaking three-way artistic collaboration between hip hop artists, young, classically trained musicians and an ensemble of singers and dancers from Melbourne’s artistically-starved outer north. It was equal parts inspiration, revelation and jubilation. Read more
HEAVEN, HEARTACHE AND THE POWER OF LOVE*
IN 1998 drug counsellor Jane Rowe went to another funeral of another drug victim. As her coffin was lowered, her six-year-old ran forward, crying “Where are you taking my Mummy?” and was led away by social workers. Jane spent a sleepless night thinking about all the other children left orphaned or abandoned through their parents’ drug use. Next morning she set about doing something about it. The Newsboys Foundation has been proud to support the result: the Mirabel Foundation. Read more
THE CHANCE TO DANCE
NEWSBOYS does not often lend its support to individuals. But sometimes someone comes along where the need, the talent that can be unlocked, and the results that ensue cannot be denied. Read more
THE HANDS ON EXPERIENCE
“Instead of running kids down, it’s all about encouraging them. Once people have the ability to believe in themselves it’s amazing how they can pick themselves up and how far they can go,” says Zich Zichy-Woinarski Q.C. Here’s a case in point. Read more