(03) 9093 7500

Lighthearted December 2016

Dear friends,

As part of our commitment to continuous quality improvement, Lighthouse Foundation has recently passed an independent quality assurance check operated by QIP and it has affirmed the excellence of our programs and systems. The report stated,” Lighthouse Foundation isemerging as one of the leading service providers of therapeutic care for young persons in Victoria. The organisation is highly respected for its work with young people and the compassion of the committed management and staff.  The report went on to state that, “The strengths of the organisation include its inclusive approach, focus on young persons, professionalism, creativity, integrity, strong internal systems and processes, responsiveness, and advocacy role. ”

This outstanding commendation coincides with the imminent publication of our ‘Delivery and Outcomes Report’, which many of you contributed to funding through our recent Pozible crowd funding campaign. We look forward to sharing it with you soon and we have high hopes it will be a persuasive tool in changing the way that children and youth are supported in out-of-home care.

Just this month ABC’s Four Corners aired a special report into the residential care system. It exposed some of the tragic stories of young people who live in residential care facilities as well as highlighting the lack of support provided to those responsible for caring for them. We issued a statement which you can read on our website here. Our response provides an insight into the difference between Lighthouse and other systems of care. 

I am pleased to share that the State Minister for Families and Children and Minister for Youth Affairs, Jenny Mikakos, has set up a working group, selecting twelve people from across the sector, to re-design the new residential and foster care system. As Lighthouse CEO I was selected to be part of this group to provide insights into Lighthouse’s 25 years of practice experience with the sector and impressive results in breaking the cycle of homelessness. I look forward to sharing our progress with you over the coming months. 

I also would like to congratulate our own Susan Barton AM for her recognition as a Finalist in the Human Rights Commission Awards this year. She continues to give her all to the cause of homeless youth on a daily basis. She is relentless, and we must follow her example in continuing to do all we can to better support our society’s young people in need of our support.

Yours faithfully

Simon Benjamin


Founder's Message

Dear friends,
Lighthouse has never been busier with the increased numbers of babies and toddlers amongst us. When we tripled the size of our program for Young Homeless Mothers and Babies this year, we knew it would make some noticeable changes within our community. Many counselling sessions and group support sessions happen here at the Youth Resource Centre. This means there are more babies being fed and toddlers being entertained. There are more pushers parked in our entry way and more baby toys scattered about. There is more noise. There is more LIFE.

What we hadn’t anticipated was the beneficial effect on the rest of our Lighthouse young people. They seem to be coaxed out of their shells by these delightful little ones. On our recent camp at Scotch College’s facility at Philip Island, we saw some great interactions between our young people, and the mums and babies. They were an integral part of the camp this year, and everyone declared it was “The Best Camp Ever.”

It was planned by a committee of young people and they decided to make every activity a team competition. From the talent show, art activities and outdoor adventures, everything was a hilarious team contest. Because our young people rarely have a chance to get out of the city, it was a great escape to experience the beach and the bush. We appreciate the support for all those who helped fund the camp, including Allens Foundation and Scotch College.

Another community highlight has been the Lighthouse Young People’s Art Exhibition which was the culmination of six months of an art therapy program which saw even the most reluctant of our young people get involved to create masterpieces. I was incredibly proud of the quality of the work on display, and somewhat stunned. Who knew we were such a talented bunch? Almost half of the artwork was sold and all the proceeds went back to the artists. Young people also performed at the Opening event, making it a very special evening.

We also wish to congratulate long-time supporter Richard Lloyd on his appointment as a Life Member of Lighthouse Foundation.

With heart
Susan x

Arty Party

The Lighthouse Community Art Show at the Schoolhouse Studios in Collingwood between 15th-17th November was the result of many months of work from our young people.

There were live performances as well as stunning artistic creations in many forms – painting, photography, paper craft, sculptures, pottery and more.

Creating art was harder for some of our young people than others. Expressing yourself artistically doesn’t feel intuitive and natural to everybody. There are many complex emotions behind every piece of art created. Some of the smallest pieces were the most precious.

It was a reminder that each one of our young people is precious.
Every single person in our Lighthouse community is precious. And these artworks were precious and valuable because of that.

We watched in awe over the past few months as some young people who were adamant that they wouldn’t join in and create an artwork, gradually became drawn into the process and the fun that was happening around them.

Fridays in the Youth Resource Centre became the favourite time of the week for our Outreach young people to visit and many visitors have commented on the fun vibe. Photography was a popular choice of medium, as were 3D constructions from paper, and traditional paint and ink.

All the proceeds of sales went to the young people themselves, and they were thrilled that a diverse range of supporters and the general public were willing to actually purchase their artwork. There was great excitement as the red dots (signifying SOLD) went up beside artworks.

We appreciate Nicky Fraser for her leadership on this project and the amazing art therapists Alex, Margaret and Annette who helped drive the processes over the past months. We also thank all the members of the wider Lighthouse community who took up the challenge and joined the Friday art afternoons

Whoever would have guessed how TALENTED we all are?

Announcing our Patron In Chief His Honour Judge Anthony Howard

“As Patron in Chief  and spouse of the Governor of Victoria, I am delighted to support the life changing work of the Lighthouse Foundation.

For 25 years now, the Foundation has been working to break the vicious cycle of homelessness, which particularly affects vulnerable and young people who have complex needs and deep psychological wounds. Most have experienced family breakdowns, violence, abuse or social deprivation.

The Foundation is almost entirely self funded by very generous supporters. After practising in criminal law as a lawyer and judge for the past 43 years, I know that Lighthouse is making a real difference.”

Anthony Howard QC

Susan named Finalist in the Human Right Awards

Lighthouse Founder, Susan Barton AM, has been announced as a finalist (for the third time) in the Human Rights Commissions Human Rights Medal Awards which will be announced at a gala event in Sydney on Friday 9 December.

One of the presenters will be former Governor General, Dame Quentin Bryce who is a long-time supporter of Lighthouse’s work. Many of our community members will recall her speech about parenthood at our Valentine’s Day luncheon  in 2011.

Susan is a finalist in the Tony Fitzgerald Memorial Community Individual Award and is being honoured for her 30 years of dedication to child protection and defending the rights of homeless youths, very young homeless mothers, and children affected by family violence.

We are very proud of our Susan, and grateful we continue to have her presence here at the Youth Resource Centre every day amongst our staff and young people.

Lighthouse appoints Life Member Richard Lloyd 

We are delighted to announce that Richard Lloyd has been awarded the position of Life Member of Lighthouse Foundation.

Richard has recently resigned from the Board after a remarkable 20 years of service from 1997 – 2016. He served as Chairman from 2001 to 2003 and undertook many subcommittee roles.

Richard was active in the NeXt Generation Committee which was particularly important for a ten year period for Lighthouse, running a series of valuable fundraising events. Richard met his wife Lisa at a NeXt Generation auction event in 1996 and they married a year later. His three children have been raised with Lighthouse Foundation as a key part of the family’s community commitment.

Richard’s elevation to the position of Life Member is a fair recognition of the high esteem in which he is held by the Board and the Lighthouse community.

Future Generations Investment Fund step up as major supporters

We are thrilled to announce a generous grant of over $220,000 funding for the year ahead in support of our Lighthouse Homes Program.

Thank you to Future Generations Investment Fund for this significant grant which will help to provide five Lighthouse homes with some essential support.

Our CEO Simon Benjamin visited the Future Generations Investment Fund Shareholder Presentation at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre last month and met with FGX CEO Louise Walsh. At the event, Simon acknowledged FGX’s significant support of our program.

“This funding is vital in helping to break the vicious cycle of homelessness for young people from backgrounds of trauma, abuse and neglect,” said Simon, “We thank Future Generations Investment Fund for this generous contribution to our important work.”

To learn more about our Lighthouse Homes Program visit lighthousefoundation.org.au/our-programs

Thanks - you made it 'Pozible'

We did it! We reached our $15k crowdfunding goal, to create a life-changing report detailing our program, outcomes and evidence.

Thank you to each and every donor who pledged their support, large or small to make this report possible.

We especially thank our largest contributors Dessie Kontis, Matt Dalling, RedZed Lending, Vicki Vidor, Jane Badler Hains, Precision Mail and several anonymous supporters.

We are excited to share that our ‘Lighting the Way – Delivery and Outcomes Report’ will be out before the end of the year.

A special 25th year edition

We are delighted to announce the publishing of our latest Annual Report – a celebratory 25th anniversary edition.

This year’s format includes a timeline of milestones from across our history, volunteer summary, key highlights, financial snapshot and stories from our young people.

Please take a look into the important work Lighthouse delivered during 2015/2016. This life-changing work is helping traumatised homeless young people to rebuild their lives. Without our supporters, none of this would be possible – thank you.

Download a copy via lighthousefoundation.org.au/annual-report

Committees in Action

Our amazing community committees have been very busy lately. Thank you to all of our dedicated committee members who continue to support our homes and young people. Your support means so much.

On Sunday 16 October our Richmond & Clayton Community Committees joined forces to hold a ‘Girl on a Train’ Movie Fundraiser. The evening was a great success, raising over $1,800.

The Clayton Community Committee held a High Tea afternoon on Sunday 20 November. Guests enjoyed delicious treats, tea and champagne raising nearly $3,000 to support the Clayton home.

Our Kensington Community Committee have been selected for the Grill’d Moonee Ponds Local Matters Promotion. Pop in to submit your vote for Lighthouse.

There’s only two weeks left to get your tickets for the Springvale Community Committee raffle. With a deluxe prize including a Porsche limousine and a night of wining, dining and entertainment worth over $2,000, you’d be silly to miss out.

Tickets are 1 x $5 or 5 x $20 and can be purchased via fundraising@lighthousefoundation.org.au or by calling 03 9093 7500. Tickets are also available from our Youth Resource Centre at 13 Adolph St Richmond. Raffle drawn 16 December at 12:00PM AEST.

We are also pleased to announce the launch of our Community Committee for our Coburg North home. A number of enthusiastic members of the local community are coming together on Tuesday 6 December to embark on their journey with Lighthouse.

Together, we can end youth homelessness.

Community FUNdraisers

There have been a rich collection of community fundraisers hosting activities to support Lighthouse over the past few months.

Amongst the many events and activities we especially want to thank Kids In Philanthropy and Lauriston Girls School with their G.I.V.E Back Day, Andrew Lilley and his annual Royal Melbourne Golf Day, Rob and the team at Jetts Gyms in Richmond for their month-long local raffle, Pascoe Vale Holy Trinity Op Shop for proceeds from sales and Dan Gregory’s fun ‘Man Lunch’.

To be inspired, download our Community Fundraising Kit here or register to hold your own special fundraiser via lighthousefoundation.org.au/fundraise 

Making wishes come true

The festive season is well upon us and 15 wonderful organisations are helping Lighthouse to make this Christmas a special time for our young people by participating in our Wishing Tree Drive.

Businesses large and small are sourcing festive gifts for the young people in our program as well as those part of our Outreach family. Gifts like – perfume, books, children’s toys, clothing, movie vouchers, electronics, sporting and camping equipment, baby goods and exciting experiences.

Thank you to Fitness First Bourke Street and Fitness First Collins Street, RedZed Lending Solutions, Kalus Kenny Intelex, Amdocs, Grocon, John Holland, IDP Education, CNP Brands, Mirvac, Keilor Lifestyle Centre, Arro Homes and DBXB ANZ Pty Ltd.

Whatever your beliefs or background, Christmas is an opportunity for Lighthouse to further create a sense of family for our young people. Unfortunately at Lighthouse, Christmas can be a really difficult time for the young people in our care, with extra care required during these tough months.

Please consider making a donation to help support our program and help us to provide positive festive experiences for our young people.
With most of our festive gifts already allocated, Lighthouse’s Wishing Tree drive is NOW FULL for 2016. To register your workplace to take part in our 2017 Wishing Tree drive, please contact us in the new year via fundraising@lighthousefoundation.org.au

Introducing our new Marketing and Fundraising Advisory Board 

Welcome to our new Marketing and Fundraising Advisory Board. This group of industry representatives, entrepreneurs and business people bring with them a multitude of skills and networks all in support of Lighthouse.

The newly formed Advisory Board will work closely with the Lighthouse Marketing tram to provide recommendations on fundraising, marketing, brand and communication initiatives and help us to develop new campaigns.

The Advisory Board is chaired by the wonderful Luke McInnes, General Manager of BSchool and members include: Lighthouse’s Marketing and Fundraising Director Janet Grima and Marketing and Communications Manager Karli Jacobsson, Erika Geraerts Co-Founder and Director of Frank Body, Tom Pitney Owner and Publisher of TheVine.com.au, Matt Tominc Investment Manager for Light Warrior Group, Amy Hattam Account Director of Bastion Effect PR, Karla Dawes Managing Director at Karla Dawes Press Office, Sarah Holloway Co Founder Matcha Maiden and Matcha Mylkbar, Nick Lord Creative Director of Factorie at Cotton On Group, Angelo Klidomitis Head of Marketing for RedZed Lending Solutions, Joel Bartfeld Brand Director for Arro Home and Sam Hains Software Developer for KindyNow.

With an ambitious fundraising goal of $1M this group of leaders will help Lighthouse to create exciting new campaigns and initiatives.

We look forward to sharing some of them with you in the new year. Stay tuned!