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Nine times out of ten, visionary volunteers juggling work and study run emerging youth-led organisations. With ambitious goals and innovative ideas for how to seize moments to progress their aims, these leaders often need an injection of funds and support to turn their ideas into action.
The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) understands the profound change young people can make if backed with enough mentorship, resources and trust.
Young people leading change
In September 2021, 60 people, including federal government ministers, academics, and Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority members, attended a round table to discuss including sexual consent education in the national curriculum.
Chanel Contos, the young founder of Teach Us Consent, brought the forum together with the support of The Foundation for Young Australians.
With FYA’s help, Teach Us Consent was able to secure a commitment from the state and federal governments to include consent in the national curriculum, along with $4m in funding to develop resources and training for teachers to deliver the content.
“The unconditional support from FYA was amazing and something I haven’t had from other organisations,” said Chanel Contos.
“FYA was the background structure… their expertise and skill were fundamental to the success of the Teach Us Consent campaign.”
Third Link’s impact
Third Link supports FYA to work with youth-led organisations, like Teach Us Consent, with crucial multi-year unrestricted funding. In addition to the base commitment of $300,000 over three years, Third Link offered a further $450,000 of ‘challenge funding’, contingent on FYA securing two other unrestricted grants to an equal amount.
The benefit of this challenge funding was two-fold: firstly, it provided leverage for FYA, which could build on the demonstration of Third Link’s trust to engage funders with higher risk thresholds; secondly, it increased the effectiveness of Third Link’s investment.
The trust Third Link showed in the early stages of FYA’s three-year strategy has enabled FYA to work with several youth-led organisations – groups of young people who have come together to enact their vision for a better world but who require scaffolding and capacity support to get there.
In this way, FYA is ensuring young people have the resources to mobilise in response to key opportunities for systemic change and convert momentum into real-world impact.
Youth Action Fund
FYA is now supercharging this work – putting more resources into the hands of young people through the creation of a Youth Action Fund.
Piloting the fund in 2023 with a $50,000 grant pool, distributing small grants of $5k-$10, the aim is to grow the fund across 2024-26 through a $1.5m investment from FYA’s corpus, matched by contributions from like-minded partner organisations who want to invest in youth-led change for a fairer Australia for future generations.
As well as grants, FYA will provide wrap-around support, including training, mentorship, connection to networks, and capacity support, helping young people to be the agents of change in their communities and their future world.
To find out more about the Youth Action Fund, or discuss any aspect of how FYA and Third Link are working together to back young people, you can reach out to FYA Development Director Lachlann Carter on 0432 491 800, or firstname.lastname@example.org
(Photo: FYA SA SRC Summit 2022. Credit: Jack Fenby)