It’s hard to believe we’re already halfway through the year – and I am at the end of my first month as Youth Opportunities new Chief Executive. It’s such an honour and a privilege to lead this fantastic organisation, and I am excited about what we can all achieve together, championing our young people and empowering them to be their best selves.
So, let me tell you a little about me – for a start, I was introduced to Youth Opportunities by one of our trainers (and graduates!) Courtney Grigg, and went on to chair the Youth Opportunities Advisory Committee and serve on the Board for more than two years. I hold a degree in Management Information Systems, and a Masters of Business Administration, and have years of experience as a business leader under my belt. From a personal perspective, I am incredibly passionate about improving the wellbeing of young Australians. With lived experience of family members who have suffered from mental health issues and, as a country kid from humble beginnings myself, I am keen to help remove barriers for all young people, particularly remote and rural young Australians. I am proud to be leading such a talented and hardworking team and, with a relentless focus on our young people, I know with your support we can continue to help more young people not only cope, but thrive.
Another new face around our HQ these days is Larry Waller, our fantastic new Head of Training, who joined us in Term 2, direct from the UK. Just a few days after he touched down in Adelaide, Larry went along to our first Scholarships Ceremony of the year. Read about his first experience of Youth Opportunities here – where 38 inspiring graduates were awarded a scholarship – and the impact it made on him.
Speaking of Term 2, what a term it was in the training rooms! Because of our supporters in the community like you, we saw 233 brave young people graduate from 14 Personal Leadership Programs across the state, and if you were lucky enough to get along to a graduation, I’m sure you’ll agree how incredible these YO students are – challenging themselves, choosing to grow and overcoming obstacles. Moving, life-affirming and inspirational, our graduations really demonstrate the true impact of what we can make possible, with you as a partner.
In Term 2, we were also able to bring our TransformARTive Exhibition to Mount Gambier, which was our inaugural regional fundraiser – and hopefully the first of many! I was able to travel down to the launch with some of the team and the event was a great success, bringing so much of the community together to support and raise funds for our cause. Youth Opportunities has been training in the South-East of SA for over two years now, and with an amazing team of trainers, supporters and our Community Development Board championing us in the area, we remain committed to the region and working hard to bring about the best outcomes for the whole community. A number of these unique collectors artworks are still available for purchase on the website, my husband and I have already snapped one up each!
And from one event to another – our next event is this very Friday, where we celebrate my predecessor, the great Peter ‘Super’ Carey, over a ‘Roast’ at Adelaide Oval! It’s shaping up to be a fantastic afternoon and one of our biggest events to date, with over 500 guests confirmed already, and an array of star speakers, including one of our graduates. Don’t forget we’ll be drawing our latest Lottery at the event, which is a fantastic Audi Driving Experience, just imagine whizzing around on ice in the Austrian Alps. Grab your ticket now
It’s been an absolute pleasure to have worked with Peter Carey over the last year on the CE transition – it was also a privilege to be introduced to so many of you by him throughout that time! All of us at Youth Opportunities wish Peter the very best in his new adventures and we are grateful for his commitment to continue supporting us well into the future. Here are a few words from the man himself.
nce I joined the YO family, the continued and loyal support from the community continues to humble me. I was fortunate enough to attend the Somerton Park Rotary quiz night in May, which was great fun – and we were extremely grateful to be the lucky charity to benefit from the night’s proceeds. We are fortunate to be supported by so many wonderful service clubs, and you can read more about this support here. If your service club would like to know more about how you can support Youth Opportunities, please reach out.
Please also get in touch if you are interested in joining Team YO! to run or walk the City-Bay on Sunday September 15th. I will be there on the day, completing the 12km, and would love you to join in the fun! So why not sign up, round up the troops and get your family and friends to come along and help us raise funds to make a big difference to young lives.
A big thank you to everyone who also recently supported our EOFY appeal, we really are grateful for your continued commitment to supporting young people in South Australia. And I want to give huge thanks to Living Choice, one of our most steadfast and generous supporters, who presented me with an incredible $100,000 cheque for Youth Opportunities during last month’s ‘breaking the ground’ ceremony at their new Flagstaff Hill site. As Ian Tregoning from Living Choice says: “We have spent the better part of our lives making investments and this is perhaps one of the most rewarding. To have such a long-term and positive impact on the lives of young South Australian’s is an incredible honour. We know that Youth Opportunities capacity to help is only limited by the funds they receive– we keep giving because we know Youth Opportunities continues to need support.”
And we do need support. We know we can change the lives of young people and through them the culture of their schools, families and communities, but we cannot do it alone. It is only because people like you, and your generous investment in their future, that we can truly change lives. I thank you for what you have already helped us make possible so far, and I look forward to what we will achieve for the future of our state and our young people together in the years to come.
Erin Faehrmann, Chief Executive