The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) is a national organisation dedicated to all young people in Australia. They believe young people are ambitious, creative and capable of solving the world’s greatest challenges. Through a range of initiatives co-designed with young people and backed by research and evaluation, FYA aims to develop the skills, networks and ideas of young Australians so they can create a better future.

For 10 years, Young Social Pioneers (YSP) has been FYA’s cornerstone initiative supporting young people leading responses to the most pressing social and environmental challenges of our time. Due to factors such as race, physical ability, education, sexuality, gender, financial standing, and mental wellbeing, many still do not have the freedoms and dignities a lot of us take for granted. Since 2009, YSP has supported over 300 young people aged 18-29, in developing the mindset, resources, skills and methods needed to address these complex issues through enterprise.

The program comprises workshops and activities, mentoring, in-kind business support, co-working spaces, funding and access to networks. Combined, this provides young social entrepreneurs with the backing they need to respond to the issues they care about in ways that reflect their experiences and communities.

FYA’s Young Social Pioneers program catalysed my initiative to move from just an idea to reality. The program gave me the courage to kickstart the workshops that we run and insight into how I can make the most social impact. Most of all, it gave me access to a supportive community that I can continue to turn to as U-Learn grows and evolves.
Mehak, YSP 2018/9

How Third Link is helping
Third Link, focused on long-term partnerships that support young people across Australia to thrive, has provided YSP with funding of $110,000 per year from 2019 to 2022. This funding directly supports education-focused YSP participants, projects and initiatives. These exceptional young leaders aim to impact the education system to ensure it meets the needs of a rapidly changing world. YSP participants work to ensure those that are most vulnerable in our society are not left behind and seek to improve learning outcomes for young people across the country.

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