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Impact newsletter autumn 2024

In this Impact Autumn 2024 edition:

Get Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

This April, we are getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. 

The ‘Get Comfortable with the Uncomfortable’ campaign launched in April to raise awareness of the stigma that exists around talking about addiction.

We aim to equip young people with the tools they need to start conversations with people they care about. Starting conversations about addiction or drug and alcohol use can be daunting, and many young people don’t know where to start – especially when they are telling someone they are concerned about them.

There can be so many barriers to talking about addiction, but the truth is, the more we normalise talking about it, the more we can open the way for young people to get the support they need.

The campaign aligns with Youth Week, which runs from 11-21 April, and is focused on empowering young people to check in with their friends when their drug and alcohol use is concerning. Young people will be able to access a free toolkit to help them reach out to friends about addiction and drug and alcohol use, with tips for how to have the conversation in a safe and healthy way.

The toolkit has been developed with support from clinical professionals and the Foundation’s Youth Advisory Group, a committee of young people dedicated to providing a youth voice.

Jessica Pereira, Chair of the Youth Advisory Group, says, “It’s crucial for young people to engage in uncomfortable conversations about youth addiction because only by confronting discomfort can we shatter stigma, foster empathy, and cultivate understanding.

This toolkit aims to give young people the tools they need, so they can tackle the issue of youth addiction in an informed and supportive way.”

Although it can be an uncomfortable, difficult or awkward conversation, it’s so important that young people feel empowered to talk to their friends when they notice something that concerns them. Reaching out is the first step. Even though addiction isn’t an easy thing to talk about, one conversation could change, or even save, a life.

Head to to find out more about the campaign and how you can get involved. 

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Happy birthday!

Sir David and Lady Martin sitting together

April is an exciting month for the Foundation, as we celebrate Lady Martin’s birthday, and remember Sir David’s birthday, which was also in April.

Sir David’s birthday each year is an opportunity for us to remember his incredible life and the lasting legacy he has left behind. Sir David was born in 1933 into a long line of naval officers, and he continued this tradition by joining the navy himself. He had a stellar career in the navy, going on to be promoted to Chief of Naval Personnel and Commander of Naval Support Command. In 1988 he retired from the navy before being knighted and taking up a position as Governor of New South Wales.

Sir David served as Governor until 1990, when he resigned just three days before he passed away from mesothelioma in August that year. He left behind an incredible legacy, and a distinguished career, but to him, one of his greatest achievements was his family; his wife, Lady Martin, and three children, Anna, Sandy and Will.

Lady Martin established Sir David Martin Foundation after Sir David’s passing in accordance with his wishes that a Foundation be established to support young Australians in crisis. She spearheaded the Foundation and has worked tirelessly for over 30 years to build it into what it is today. Every April we are so pleased to have an opportunity to celebrate her and her work.

Speaking to young students at Marist Brothers Sacred Heart Primary School, Sir David said, “Please remember that history is not just for us to read and learn – it is also to make… Have faith in your own ability to influence that history.” Sir David and Lady Martin are two people who have truly made their own history and built something lasting for the future.

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Weaving a brighter future with art therapy

Image of Suana with her artwork. It is a large woven nest-like sculpture.

An ancient tradition was continued in a new way at Walawaani in Batemans Bay. Suana is a young Aboriginal woman who was in the Residential Rehabilitation program at Walawaani and is now in the 6-month Aftercare program supported by her Aftercare Worker Natasha Schuyt. 

Suana created a beautiful sculpture from recycled materials using traditional Indigenous techniques as part of her therapy.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have used grasses and reeds for thousands of years to weave into useful objects and artefacts. With the guidance of Robbi, an art therapist, Suana and another young woman in the program transformed discarded items into a captivating artwork.

Art therapy is one way that the young people at Walawaani can express themselves in a healthy and healing way. For Suana, this project was an opportunity to share her experiences through art.

The objects they used looked unassuming at first glance; a papasan wicker chair, recycled fabric strips and pine needles from the large pine trees on the foreshore of Ulladulla beach. However, it became a large, beautiful woven structure that resembles a nest, representing growth, warmth, stability and safety. The sculpture now lives in the gardens of Walawaani.

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Youth Network update

Twice as many young people have received Aftercare across Australia in the first twelve months of Youth Network. 

Launched in 2022 in response to urgent demand to reach more vulnerable young people with drug and alcohol addiction, this is a national expansion of Aftercare services in partnership with Mission Australia to sites across Australia. Thanks to our many generous donors for our collaborative funding.

Aftercare is now offered at Triple Care Farm in Robertson, Dubbo, Batemans Bay and Perth, and was also available at Coffs Harbour until June 2023.

161 young people received Aftercare and 68% reported a reduction in chronic substance misuse. There was a 62% reduction in mental health concerns, as well as 89% reporting they had access to safe and stable housing.

By expanding to remote locations, more young Indigenous people were also able to access treatment services, with the cohort of Indigenous people increasing to 28%.

All young people deserve access to support when they are experiencing addiction, no matter where they are. It is incredibly heartening to see such positive results for these young people.

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Brad Gifford

A new Aftercare Worker has joined the team in Perth, providing essential support to young people who go through rehabilitation there.

Brad Gifford joined the Mission Australia Drug and Alcohol Youth Service (DAYS) in Perth at the beginning of the year, after seeing how the cycle of addiction was affecting young people.

“For years I watched our young people leave our rehab service, go back out and not receive the support they needed in the community. It became a repeated cycle which always frustrated me,” he says.

As an Aftercare Worker, Brad helps young people find accommodation, work and educational opportunities, and connections to the community, as well as providing emotional support for the transition period.

“Aftercare can help by guiding young people in the right direction, seeing them out in the community, keeping them on track and letting them know they’re not alone.

“The most common challenge for young people in early recovery is to not act on that desire to use drugs or alcohol and showing them they have a choice – that they don’t have to act on it, that there is help there.”

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Introducing Team180

We’re very excited to announce the launch of our new regular giving program: Team180

The purpose of Team180 is to create a powerful collective of like-minded people whose generosity will help fund more Aftercare Workers and grow our national Youth Network to provide the vital support young people need in the critical 180 days (6 months) after leaving rehab.

Regular gifts provide a predictable income that allows us to plan ahead and know that we can fund more Aftercare Workers, so that one day no young person will have to face the first 180 days after rehab alone.

As Team180 grows, so will its impact. With the incredible support of Team180 members, we’ll be able to reach more young people, like Bailey, to help them stay well and continue their journey of recovery.

Bailey struggled with anxiety and used drugs to cope with the challenges in his life, which led to a heroin addiction and homelessness. However, at 20, he made the brave choice to enter rehab.

“My addiction took everything from me, it changed who I was,” says Bailey.

But the thought of leaving rehab and going back out into the world scared him. “I was worried that I’d get sucked back into my old life,” he recalls.

That’s where Team180’s powerful support is vital.

Aftercare Workers are trained specialists who act as cheerleaders, mentors, guides and mates as they provide care and support that’s tailored to each young person’s unique needs. This respectful, caring, flexible approach helps young people stay well and lay the foundation for a better future.

“Meeting my Aftercare Worker before I left rehab and having him there for the first 180 days has been really pivotal,” says Bailey. “He helps to lift the burden. Times are still hard, but you know you’re not alone.”

Joining Team180 is more than choosing to make a regular donation. It shows young people who are ready to break the cycle of addiction that you believe in them – that you can see a better future for them, where they have the chance to fulfil their unique potential.

We’d love to have you on the team to help ensure more young people like Bailey have the support they need in the critical 180 days after rehab. 

To find out more about Team180 or if you’d like to join go to

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A message from the Chair

Will Martin

We are grateful to Mission Australia as our Service Delivery Partner for the excellent care they provide. Mission Australia has also acted as our Trustee for over 30 years. 

To ensure we are well placed going forward, we recently conducted an evaluation of our Operations and Governance. To improve operations and future proof the Foundation, we are changing the Trustee structure going forward and moving to an independent company limited by guarantee from 1 July 2024. I will remain as the Board Chair and five of our current governors will join the new Board of Directors. Mission Australia will be a member of the Company. Our ABN and bank details remain the same and although we will be moving to a new office at L5, 3 Spring Street, Sydney 2000, the work we do will continue seamlessly during this transition.

Sir David Martin Foundation is proud to continue to be the major philanthropic partner of Mission Australia and is committed to the great work done at Triple Care Farm.

Thanks to all our wonderful supporters for your ongoing loyalty and I look forward to sharing more with you later in 2024.

Kind regards,

Will Martin

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Join us and Walk for Youth in Crisis

Group of happy people walking outside

We’re inviting you to take the challenge and walk 150km (or more!) throughout the month of May to raise much-needed funds for young people with addiction.

All the money raised will go towards funding the youth-specific programs at Triple Care Farm. We need your help to reach our fundraising target of $200k!

A special thanks to the AMP Foundation for generously matching all donations dollar for dollar so you can amplify your impact! This means we can reach more vulnerable young Australians and give them the compassion and support they desperately need.

It only takes a few minutes to sign up, create your profile page and set your walking and fundraising goals. You can sign up as an individual, or as a team. So why not get a few friends or work colleagues together and make a difference while on the move. Once you’ve created your profile, invite your family and friends to sponsor you – it’s that easy!

You can even track your walking progress on your profile using the Strava app and keep your sponsors updated.

Are you ready to take the challenge? Together we can make a lasting impact on young lives.

To sign up go to

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Celebrating a philanthropic life - Robert Albert memorial

Robert Albert

Some of the unsung heroes of Sir David Martin Foundation are the philanthropists whose generosity makes our work possible. In this edition of Impact, we honour philanthropist Robert O. Albert, who passed away in Sydney on February 7 aged 89. 

Robert O. Albert AO RFD RD, along with his wife Libby, was a generous and longstanding supporter of Sir David Martin Foundation. Robert was a sailor, fine pianist, dedicated follower of the performing arts, and a selfless donor who gave to a wide range of causes. He was a fourth-generation member of the renowned Alberts music publishing company, established by his great-grandfather Jacques Albert in 1885.

Robert’s interest in philanthropy was piqued when he joined the Naval Reserve in 1955. As part of the Reserve he would do two weeks of paid training each year, and every year he would donate the money to a charitable cause.

Robert believed in the power of committed annual giving to do good. He is remembered as a generous philanthropist and supporter of many organisations, of which we are honoured to be included.

Robert lived a long and colourful life and loved the water. His memorial was fittingly held at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, of which he was a devoted member.

Anna Beaumont, Board Member of Sir David Martin Foundation, says, “I was invited to the memorial and felt so privileged to witness the outpouring of love and respect from so many people. Robert’s family was joined by hundreds of friends from sailing, the arts (particularly the Australian Ballet), music, law, the naval reserve, university and of course, philanthropy.

There were reflections and anecdotes and we concluded with a rousing Swedish toast to Robert (his mother was Swedish) and raising a glass of schnapps. It was a wonderful celebration of a life well lived.” Vale Robert Otto Albert. 

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Volunteer needed!

group of people in a circle, putting their hands together in the middle

Are you passionate about making a difference in your community, especially helping youth in crisis?

We’re seeking a dedicated volunteer to support our Fundraising Team with essential administrative tasks.

If you have excellent communication skills, attention to detail, and a commitment to supporting vulnerable youth, we’d love to have you on board!

Interested? Visit

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Donate and help young, vulnerable Australians break the cycle of addiction and have hope for a brighter future.

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