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In this Impact Autumn 2023 edition:

Walawaani, Batemans Bay is open

Walawaani is a Dhurga word meaning “safe journey”. It’s also the name of Mission Australia’s new youth residential rehabilitation facility in Batemans Bay on the South Coast of NSW.

On Friday February 24, 2023, Foundation staff, donors, and the Martin family attended Mission Australia’s official opening of Walawaani. Based on the Triple Care Farm model, the program aims to help young people, aged 16 to 24, manage their recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. 

The new facility is based on 17 acres of bushland and is a space where youth in crisis can be nurtured through rehabilitation and given the best chance to break the cycle of addiction. Over the course of 12 weeks, young people receive medical care and psychosocial skills, counselling and case management as well as living skills and vocation and educational training. 

The opening ceremony featured a powerful Welcome to Country from Roderick Slockee of Walbunja and Minjungbal heritage, a local man who shared the story of his people, and of the surrounding Country and Land that we were gathered on to celebrate. He also shared how important it is having services like this available to young people in the Batemans Bay region, so that they can receive help closer to home.  

Walaawani was then officially opened by the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia and Her Excellency Mrs Hurley. The event was hosted by Mission Australia CEO Sharon Callister, Chairman Ian Hammond and Executive of Community Services Ben Carblis. As part of the proceedings an official plaque was unveiled to commemorate the opening of the new facility. 

During the ceremony, Mission Australia CEO Sharon Callister said,

“When a young person experiencing illicit drug or alcohol abuse is motivated to seek change, appropriate rehabilitation facilities like Walawaani must be available. There is a growing demand for such services, and we hope these service models can be expanded to other locations, including in rural, remote, and regional areas. This wonderful new facility will provide the young people with the support they need, when and where they need it.” 

Walawaani welcomed its first residents in early February and there were three young people onsite, starting their rehabilitation journey at the time of the opening. With a 10-bed capacity, more young people will be making their way to the new facility in the coming days.

Sir David Martin Foundation supports the Triple Care Farm Walawaani campus by funding a full-time qualified Aftercare worker, as part of our national Youth Network. This means that each person who completes the program has a dedicated youth worker supporting their reconnection with family or community networks, healthcare, education, and importantly, employment opportunities, as they transition back into the community. 

This crucial period of support underpins a brighter future for each young person, free from the pitfalls of addiction and offering safety, hope and opportunity. 

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David Martin Place Recognition Board

We are so excited to see the new Donor Recognition Boards up at Triple Care Farm. They are proudly displayed on the exterior wall of David Martin Place Withdrawal unit.  

It’s fantastic to be able to publicly recognise and acknowledge our generous supporters and the wonderful donors who have left Sir David Martin Foundation a gift in their Will. Their commitment, and yours, enables the Foundation to continue funding the life-saving work carried out at the farm.

Withdrawal, residential Rehabilitation and the Aftercare program are the three pillars of strength that support our young people on their journey to recovery. We extend our sincerest thanks to all our donors who make this possible. We couldn’t do it without you. 

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Meet C-J, our new Youth Advisory Group member

We’ve recently welcomed some new members to our Youth Advisory Group and are delighted to highlight Christopher-John (C-J) Daudu from Perth, Western Australia.  

C-J is a youth advocate who is passionate about using his platform to champion the voice of young people who do not have the privilege to be able to speak for themselves. He sits on the WA Ministerial Youth Advisory Council, advising the youth minister and advocating for young people.  

Additionally, C-J believes in the potent power of sport to connect communities and is the inaugural Research and Policy Officer for the Football Futures Foundation, the charity arm of Football West which uses football as a tool to empower marginalised communities. In his spare time C-J runs the student radio station he co-founded at the University of Western Australia, UDUB RADIO, while also pursuing postgraduate studies. 

We’re thrilled to have C-J on board as a part of our passionate Youth Advisory Group which provides our youth voice and gives insight into what really matters to young people.  

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From our General Manager, Helen Connealy

Our aim is to be a catalyst for change, to collaborate with others and fill the gaps, in order to help vulnerable young people.

In 2017 David Martin Place became the first youth-specific Withdrawal centre in NSW. In 2022 Youth Network was launched, an expansion of Aftercare. In 2023 we are so proud to see this network in action, with extra Aftercare workers reaching more young people in the community. By offering support to keep people well after rehabilitation we expect to see less re-entry, improved wellbeing in the graduates and more free places for others in need. 

We are lucky to have good advisors through our Board and Youth Advisory Group. As a dedicated youth charity, we listen to young voices and know that the suicide rate in First Nations young people is unacceptable. Our founder, Sir David Martin, believed that our young people “are our most important assets for Australia’s future”. Therefore, we are proud to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart (see story). 

From this month, I will be working remotely from Ireland for several months, to spend time with my elderly mum. Although I’ll be available by email, Anna Beaumont will be stepping up to have an Acting GM presence in Australia.  My thanks to Anna, the staff and the Board for allowing me this special time. 

I will be joining Connect for Youth online, so if you’re not attending in person, do register for the online version as it should be a fun night. 

Thanks so much for your continued support of our young people and do stay in touch at or with Anna Beaumont at  

Warm regards, 
Connect with Helen on LinkedIn

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Position Statement

Sir David Martin Foundation acknowledges the traditional owners of Country throughout Australia and we pay our respects to elders, past, present and emerging. 

We accept the invitation issued in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, to walk with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for a better future and we support a First Nations Voice to Parliament with constitutional recognition. 

Young people are the future of Australia and our First Nations youth will carry on the culture and connection to land that has existed for sixty millennia.  

The Uluru Statement from the Heart clearly explains why this is so important for young people.

  • Proportionally, we are the most incarcerated people on the planet. We are not an innately criminal people. Our children are aliened from their families at unprecedented rates. This cannot be because we have no love for them. And our youth languish in detention in obscene numbers. They should be our hope for the future.
  • We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.
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From the Chair

The Foundation acknowledges the wonderful contributions of retiring Board members, Shah Rusiti and Yvonne Korn. 

We thank Shah Rusiti who joined the Board in 2015 and gave in so many ways. His legal and governance experience has been highly valued and his passion for our cause included introducing new donors and he even took part in Abseil for Youth.  

Yvonne Korn has also served on our Board since 2015. Her experience across government relations (federal and state) and wise counsel ensured robust and valuable Board discussions. 

We thank Shah and Yvonne for their years of support, and we wish them well in their next adventures. 

Please join us in welcoming Anthony Cheshire SC as a new member of the Board. Anthony is a Senior Counsel and longstanding Foundation supporter. His understanding of the impact that drugs have on young people and the justice system will be a great asset to the Board. 

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Birthday cheers for Lady Martin

Sir David Martin Foundation Board and team are sending best wishes to Lady Martin (Susie) for her birthday on April 5th. 

Susie often reminisces on her childhood and growing up with her three brothers. She tells of how her mother Sylvia used to curl her hair at night and twist it with strips of cotton in the vain hope that she would wake up looking like Shirley Temple.  

Growing up on a property in the Western District of Victoria gave Susie freedom from the restrictions that city children faced, but all too soon it was time for boarding school, near the picturesque but freezing Mt Macedon. These were formative years, full of hockey, tennis and brisk walks just to keep warm. The girls were often taken for picnics to the nearby Hanging Rock area. 

She then studied nursing in Melbourne, but before she had completed the training she met a dashing young Naval Officer, David Martin. He was 21 and Susie was 18. They embarked on a long and happy marriage, during which they moved house an unbelievable 27 times, due to David’s career. David and Susie also have three wonderful children – Will Martin, Anna Beaumont, and Sandy Di Pietro.

From everyone at the Foundation, Susie, we wish you a very happy birthday! You inspire us every day with your grace, compassion and sense of duty.  

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Reflections through the Journey of Change

“I didn’t think I was ready the day I walked into Triple Care Farm – doubt, fear, nervousness flooded my body. Coming to the Farm I would have called myself reckless, carefree, didn’t care about anything or anyone.

To be honest I did not know who I was before Triple Care Farm 

Triple Care Farm began to open my eyes, I began to like people again, I began to like myself again, find out who I am. I soon found the flow at the Farm and what was on offer. 

Enrolling in TAFE and getting a part time job is my new outlook. This is the life I believe I deserve and know I need to do it on my own and for myself.  The feeling could only be explained as – nice!! 

I know the people and my environment will always be my downfall, seeing old friends, experiences will be my challenge. But this is the challenge I know I can beat and will always remember my time at Triple Care Farm and how strong I became because I was ready.” 

– MT, Triple Care Farm Graduate 2023 

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David Martin Place: 5 years on

It’s hard to believe that five years have passed since David Martin Place Withdrawal centre opened its doors to young people seeking safe and age-appropriate detox from drugs and alcohol. It’s even more surprising that prior to that, there was no such place and our young people endured withdrawal in adult detox units with varying degrees of success. 

We are so grateful to our loyal and generous donors who answered the call when we had the first conversations about raising funds to build David Martin Place onsite at Triple Care Farm. Our donors had the faith and belief in us to get the plans off the drawing board and to make it a safe place for change for our young people. 

Since David Martin Place opened in 2017, hundreds of young people have been given the opportunity to withdraw safely, with care and love, among people their own age. The young people are further supported by the Aftercare program, which enables them to return and reconnect to the community. 

This unique, youth specific program would never have been possible without the commitment and generosity of Sir David Martin Foundation’s donors, and we can’t thank you enough. 

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