In this Impact Summer 2023 edition:
The power of music
Studying at university, in a happy and healthy relationship, and living with good friends – for Michael seemed like a far-off dream when he first graduated from Triple Care Farm six years ago.
We recently sat down with Michael, a past graduate who was the face of our 2021 Christmas campaign, to catch up and check in on his recovery journey. After an extremely tough year of losing loved ones, Michael’s healing journey hasn’t been linear but his time at Triple Care Farm helped him become more disciplined and equipped to deal with difficult times like these. If there’s anything he learnt at the Farm, it was understanding how to cope without relying on drugs and alcohol and to find happiness.
But most importantly, when he was enabled to prioritise his education and supported in finding his purpose, he rediscovered his true passion – music.
From a young age, Michael was constantly singing, composing or listening to songs he loved. It was no different at the Farm, where he could always be found in the onsite recording studio. With encouragement from staff at the Farm, Michael enrolled into the ‘Composition of Music’ course at the Conservatorium of Music. This decision was the start of something big. He shared,
“Music for me is like one of those fundamental things that everything else revolves around or is dependent on, like a necessity. For me, music is just as important as eating or exercise or sleeping.”
Michael looks back on his recovery journey, coming from a history of violence and living on the streets and then remembers the love and sense of community he felt at the Farm. He rediscovered his ability to socialise without relying on drugs and alcohol and he was able to enjoy the freedom of being a young person through offsite visits, engaging in group activities and building friendships with peers at the Farm.
Michael recalls the staff’s ability to remind him that there were no restrictions or limits to his dreams, despite previously dealing with homelessness and addiction. He flourished with the services of Triple Care Farm, from the social rehabilitation to the traditional methods of drug and alcohol treatment like detoxing and counselling.
Today, Michael has rebuilt his life and relationships and continues to compose music and work on his skills every day. He looks to the future and is excited for what’s to come. Michael credits much of his current happiness to the lessons he learned and the care he received at the Farm.
Back to top
Our Christmas Appeal – the difference you’ve made
Our inaugural Youth Addiction Christmas Appeal launched in early November with an ambitious target to raise $115,000 for young people who deserve the chance for change.
During the six-week campaign, we explored stories of strength and resilience. We met Koda, a young woman who started to drink to numb the pain of the sexual abuse she suffered as a child and teenager. Koda chose to share her story, exploring her brave journey to recovery and eventual transition back into the community.
We caught up with Koda at the 2022 Graduation at Triple Care Farm, where she shared her story and the impact that the program has had on her life. She now has plans to travel, write a screenplay and return to university to finish her degree and we couldn’t be prouder to see how far she’s come.
We also shared Linda’s story of how she has helped thousands of young people in the Aftercare program across her 18-year career as a Youth Worker at Triple Care Farm. Linda’s passion is to change community perception of young people who have suffered addiction and their ongoing contribution to society once they’ve recovered.
We are so pleased to announce that with the ongoing support and the collective effort of our community we have reached our fundraising target for young people in crisis!
A special thanks to our matching partner Pixevety who doubled all donations to the appeal in the few days before Christmas.
Back to top
Christmas at Government House
In early December Lady Martin was included in a Christmas Reception at Government House, the beautiful heritage listed building set in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden.
Our patron, Her Excellency The Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, Governor of NSW and Mr Dennis Wilson, generously hosted the reception and opened the house and garden to say thanks to people and organisations who are giving back.
The guests were entertained by the Honeybees, a non-profit community choir, whose enthusiasm and joy of life lifted everyone’s spirits. Then the Air Force band played as guests wandered around the manicured gardens and took photos to show friends and family.
It’s sometimes a little bittersweet for Lady Martin to visit the house where she and Sir David were so happy, but she is always greeted with warmth and respect by the staff and aides. Lady Martin and her family feel honoured to be invited and remembered.
Back to top
Triple Care Farm Graduation 2022
The 2022 Triple Care Farm graduation was more than just a memorable day. After several years of students and staff managing ongoing COVID lockdowns, the young people were rightfully honoured this year in person, with family and friends present.
On the 15th of December, the event was held in the basketball shed – transformed into a warm and welcoming venue by staff and students. Area Manager Helen Fuller shared the incredible achievements made by the students during the year, highlighting the participation in education and learning. Students shared their difficult yet courageous stories and many had earned a Lady Martin Scholarship to help with independent living upon leaving the Farm. We were entertained by a band comprised of the young people, singing and playing instruments – their smiles were contagious.
The dedication and consideration staff and students have shown one another is a testament to the culture Triple Care Farm has created, allowing our young people to leave the Farm well equipped to go back into the community. With Koda and other students emphasising the impact the Farm had on their self-worth and self-belief, we are confident the graduates are set up for success.
Guests and family members of the graduates were able to share the students’ journeys through photographs of artworks and group activities, as well as students having the chance to showcase projects they had been working on during their stay. Photos of offsite activities such as fishing, shopping, going to the cinema and kayaking showed more of the wonderful opportunities Triple Care Farm provides and the importance of students learning how to have fun without drugs and alcohol.
Other highlights included learning about Triple Care Farm’s involvement in hosting the ‘Connecting to Country’ with re-establishing the annual get together on the spiritual land of Dhurga, Dharawal, Gundungurra and Yuin Nation peoples. This event was held in the hope of reshaping the Farm’s culture and to renew relationships in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and fellow Australians can enhance Triple Care Farm’s understanding of the Indigenous community.
In supporting the connection and growth in learning, the Farm renamed the three cottages to:
Barbon Dhugan (very good camp) – Dhurga/Dharawal language
Bulwal marga (strong shield) – Dhurga/Dharawal language
Nguuruu (nest) – Gundungurra language
Finally, our highly anticipated new Donor Recognition boards outside David Martin Place were showcased and reflect the number of generous philanthropists who share our passion for young people and giving them a second chance. We look forward to working with you further, in growing the impact we collectively make.
From all of us to you – our generous supporters and donors, thank you for ensuring this vital work has continued over 2022. None of this would have been possible without your generous support.
Well done to the graduates of 2022, we look forward to seeing the amazing things they achieve as they embark on a safer future filled with hope and opportunity.
Back to top
From our General Manager, Helen Connealy
I hope 2023 has started well for you and your loved ones. Our small but mighty team is refreshed after the summer break and planning some exciting events over the next few months.
In February, our partner, Mission Australia, launches a brand-new Youth Residential Rehabilitation location at Batemans Bay (Yuin country) for young people with drug and alcohol addiction. Named Walawaani (the local name for Safe Journey) and based on the Triple Care Farm model of treatment, this centre will provide ten beds for young people seeking help. Withdrawal will be offered at David Martin Place in the Southern Highlands and Sir David Martin Foundation has committed to three years of funding for the Aftercare Program for Walawaani as part of our Youth Network expansion. We are delighted to be able to offer help to more young people in need.
Youth Week in April is an opportunity to highlight all young people and their contributions to society. If you have any stories that you’d like to share with us, please get in touch.
We’re also planning another ‘Connect for Youth’ event on 20 June 2023 at the ASX. Following the excitement and success of the last couple of years, we will host this as a hybrid event so please register for free to save your spot at this incredible and fun crowdfunding event.
Thanks to all our wonderful supporters, donors and advocates of our work. We couldn’t do it without you. I love to stay in touch with our community so feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I look forward to sharing more with you over the next couple of months.
Connect with Helen on LinkedIn
Back to top
Connect for Youth
Thank you to everyone who supported our 2022 crowdfunding event Connect for Youth, where over $200,000 was raised for Triple Care Farm.
This exciting ‘pitch & pledge’ charity evening harnessed the power of collective giving, enabled by The Funding Network Australia. Together through philanthropy we created lifesaving change for young people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.
We’re so excited to be working with The Funding Network again on an upcoming crowdfunding experience this year. It will be a high energy, high impact event not to be missed!
The event is for anyone who is committed to helping vulnerable young Australians break the devastating cycle of addiction. This special crowdfunding evening offers a new and exciting way of giving for individuals, families, schools and businesses. Hear from the people at the front line of the programs and learn about the impact they are having each day for young people in crisis, before committing your donation.
There will be opportunities to ask questions and interact with speakers and guests – you can even challenge your friends and colleagues to match your donation! Together, we can once again connect and make real and lasting change for young people seeking help to turn their lives around.
Stay tuned – more details to come. Please contact Jenny at email@example.com to register.
Back to top
Youth Network - An Aftercare expansion
Many thanks to our partners who believed in our vision to help more young people and address the high demand and unmet need for young people with addiction.
Sir David Martin Foundation has commenced Youth Network a national expansion of Aftercare workers to help break the cycle of addiction and connect more young people with community, education and employment pathways.
The evidence-based model helping young people, post residential care, is expanding across Mission Australia youth sites in Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Batemans Bay and Perth.
This expansion is possible thanks to a collaborative funding approach between the Foundation and many philanthropic organisations and individuals.
Team members at Sir David Foundation recently visited Mission Australia’s Drug and Alcohol Youth Service (DAYS) in East Perth to meet newly appointed Aftercare Worker, Lisa Wright.
Lisa has experience working with youth with a focus on youth homelessness, residential services, alcohol and other drug services and outreach case management. She has a Bachelor of Youth Work from Edith Cowan University.
The young people Lisa is currently working with are aged between 15-21 (DAYS takes children as young as 12) and have diverse backgrounds regarding their family circumstances, mental health and stages of life. They have been referred to her from their case managers in the residential detox unit and rehabilitation house when leaving the program. The eight-bed facility has already provided two to three weeks of withdrawal and 12 weeks rehabilitation to get these young people well and ready to re-engage with the community.
Each week Lisa engages either in-person or over the phone, to guide young people in finding stable accommodation and financial support. In line with the goals they set during rehabilitation, she helps them re-enrol for education or prepare for job applications and interviews.
Building healthy relationships is a key goal for most of these vulnerable young people. Lisa’s relationship with each young person is very different according to their needs – but in all cases trust is the foundation.
Youth Network will reach more young people in crisis and break the cycle of re-entry into residential programs, therefore creating more places available for others in need. The Foundation will also foster sharing of best-practice knowledge, informing and inspiring others to help this often misunderstood and harshly judged group of vulnerable young people. An independent evaluation will report on the expansion and a full report will be published in 2025.
Recruitment is progressing for three other Aftercare workers and several Youth Network group meetings are already scheduled for 2023.
Back to top
Connecting with our Community
Towards the end of last year, we had three opportunities to connect with our wonderful donors. It’s such an honour for the Foundation team to meet and chat with our supporters. It’s something we’ve all missed, during the weeks and months of lockdowns.
Board Alumni Lunch
Our Board plays an important role in overseeing the work of the Foundation, generously donating their time (and financial support). We thank and recognise the contributions of so many over the years and in September we held a celebratory Alumni lunch, kindly hosted by Perpetual. Current Board members met with a range of Alumni including some founding members. Lady Martin was joined by Chair, Will Martin, who gave a short welcome speech highlighting some key progressions made over the years and the impact this has had on young Australians.
It was a wonderful occasion for old and new to reconnect and share stories. Thanks to everyone for your dedication and continued support.
Tea at The Terraces
Lady Martin hosted a Morning Tea at The Terraces retirement community and invited a group of residents to hear more about our work with young people. There was plenty of freshly brewed coffee and home-made treats to keep everyone well fed and ready to listen to a presentation given by Anna Beaumont. Lots of questions and discussion followed. The guests learned much about youth in crisis and the Foundation gained some new friends. The Martin family continue to keep Sir David’s legacy and vision alive, making a huge impact for vulnerable young Australians.
Donor Thank You Event
Over 40 generous supporters attended our annual Donor Thank you event at Pendal Group’s beautiful Sydney city office on a cool November evening. Lady Martin and members of our Youth Advisory Group mingled with guests sharing updates and news on the year that had passed.
GM, Helen Connealy welcomed guests and Anna Beaumont presented the results of the 2022 Annual Report, showing the impact that David Martin Place and the Triple Care Farm programs have made to young Australians in a difficult year. Most importantly, the service never shut down during the COVID period, ensuring there was always a safe place on offer.
Helen Connealy announced the launch of Youth Network, the nationwide expansion of the Aftercare program. The Foundation has committed funding four new Aftercare workers located in Perth, Dubbo, Coffs Harbour and Batemans Bay. This expansion will help young people keep well after their recovery in residential rehabilitation.
The evening was a wonderful opportunity to catch up and the Foundation is grateful to Pendal for lending us their lovely venue and views for the evening.