1. Learning Links [supporting children with learning challenges]
Learning Links was established in 1972 by parents concerned about the lack of appropriate education and support services to meet their children’s needs. Learning Links works in collaboration with schools, early childhood settings and parents to help children with learning disabilities and difficulties so as to prevent those challenges from causing disadvantage. These include conditions such as ADHD, high functioning Autism, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, fine and gross motor delays and speech and language delays. The children are often anxious, have trouble communicating and interacting with others, and many have behavioural issues. In the later years they are often challenged in literacy, numeracy and impacting on their ability to complete education and participate in the community. Early intervention for young children who experience developmental delays is critical to mitigate the risk of poor educational outcomes later in life. Learning Links is recognised as a pioneer in the area of inclusive early childhood education.
2. Franciscan Roche Foundation [for the homeless]
This foundation was established by the Catholic Order of the Franciscan Friars of Australia following the generous bequest of funds by a Mr Edmund Roche who was himself homeless. The fund was established with the primary objective of supporting action which removes the causes of poverty and injustices which deprive the poor of their rights and offend their God-given dignity. The fund also supports initiatives that actively promote awareness and understanding of the perspective from which the poor see the world and their own situation, and initiatives that contribute to the restoration of their social order.
3. Productivity Bootcamp [tackling youth unemployment]
Productivity Bootcamp is an 8-week course that gets young people work ready. Many of these young people are seeking their own growth from personal challenges or disadvantage. The bootcamp experience presently focusses on arming them with foundation skills to enter the Infrastructure industry, and will likely extend to other industries over time. These include skills in formwork, steel, concrete and general ground works. The style of training is currently based around infrastructure and seeking to also extend to bush regeneration/horticulture and other ‘hands-on’ opportunities as the Bootcamp continues to evolve. The style of training offers far more than just task-ready skills. There is a heavy focus on safety, injury prevention, attitude, work ethic, communication skills, dealing with different personalities, punctuality and nutrition, as all of these elements are critical to labour productivity in every industry.