Our commitment

Since 1974, we’ve been partnering with Indigenous communities and organisations to support them to lead their own development and realise their own goals. Recognised as the custodians of the world’s oldest living culture, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians also face many challenges in their aspirations for a better future. Despite widespread inequality, discrimination and cultural disconnection, we believe that the answers to these challenges come from the communities themselves.

From employing local Indigenous women who facilitate early childhood care and development programs to strengthening Indigenous young people’s connection to culture, we work in partnership with Indigenous communities and organisations to help empower them to take on these challenges.

As a part of our commitment to helping the world’s most vulnerable children, we adapt our successful community-led development approaches from around the world to the needs of each community and context. We invite you to also partner with us to be a part of this journey and our shared story – connecting with, and listening to, the voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Together, we can work towards a stronger future for all.

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Issues affecting young Indigenous Australians


of four to five year olds

are not attending preschool*


of job seekers

do not complete Year 12**


of Year 4 students

fall beneath the low benchmark for reading**


of the Australian youth detention

population is Indigenous**

*Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (2018), “Report Card 2018: The Wellbeing of Young Australians”
**Australian Institute for Health and Welfare (2017), “Australia’s Welfare: Community factors and Indigenous wellbeing”

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Focus of our Australia Program

Early Childhood Care Development

Early Childhood Care and Development

We partner with remote Aboriginal communities to employ local women who facilitate culturally appropriate playgroups. Without access to locally-run playgroups and support for parents, Indigenous children can fall behind in developmental milestones.

In fact, 42 percent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are considered developmentally vulnerable, often starting school behind non-Indigenous Australians. When we invest in a child’s early years, we invest in their future and can change their whole life.

Our impact in 2017:
  • 430 playgroup sessions delivered in 10 communities in 2017
  • 26 local Indigenous Australian women employed, with 17 engaged in formal or informal training in early childhood care and development
  • Bilingual resources produced for brain development workshops

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Young Mob Program

Young Mob Program

Connection to culture is an important factor in the health, social and emotional wellbeing of Indigenous youth. The Young Mob Program helps connect Indigenous youth to their culture and empowers them to develop and grow their leadership and life skills.

More than one third of Indigenous students currently do not complete Year 12. The Young Mob Program helps students to engage in their education and development, creating a brighter future for themselves.

Our impact in 2017:
  • 16 schools and one juvenile justice centre engaged in the growing program
  • 374 young students participated in the Young Mob Program in schools in NSW and Victoria
  • Some Young Mob participants are confidently stepping up to leadership positions at school

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Martu Leadership Program

Martu Leadership Program

The Martu Leadership Program is a leadership and learning program for Martu men and women aimed at strengthening their capacity to shape their own futures and lead their own development.

Currently, 59% of Indigenous youth make up Australia’s youth detention population; by strengthening their leadership skills and understanding of mainstream society, Martu can tackle issues around over-representation of the justice system, education, economic development, and housing to create a brighter future for their communities.

Our impact in 2017:
  • 80 Martu community members and Elders took the magistrate, police officers and lawyers out “on country” for a three-day summit on improving the justice system for Martu
  • 23 study trips and events held for Martu to learn about company and employment law and governance process
  • 26 women actively campaigning to reduce domestic violence

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Channels of Hope

Channels of Hope

Channels of Hope is a culture and faith-based program that aims to combat gender-based violence by implementing sessions about family harmony, respectful relationships and violence prevention.

In Australia, Indigenous women are 35 times more likely to be hospitalised due to family violence than non-Indigenous women, and for Indigenous men, they’re 21 times more likely. Sessions enable men and women to openly discuss violence, focus on prevention and, in collaboration with local services, explore ways to combat it in their communities.

Our impact in 2017:
  • 2 pilot faith-based programs established in Northern Territory and Queensland
  • 116 community members attended sessions about family harmony, respectful relationships and preventing violence
  • 2 culturally informed and faith-based workbooks prepared with faith community leaders and Elders to lead change

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