(03) 9093 7500

Lighthearted November 2017

It is great to be able to touch base with the Lighthouse community to let you know some of the highlights of our progress over the past few months. After a period of planning and extensive consultation, we are ready to unveil our Strategic Plan for the next five years.

I’ve never been more proud to lead this organisation as we continue, with the support of our extended community of supporters, to break new ground in providing care for children who need a loving family and safe home.

As a natural extension of our work with homeless teenagers, we have now expanded our therapeutic residential program to include very young children who have had difficult and complex journeys through the care system. This year we have piloted the Lighthouse Secure Base program to meet the urgent needs of small children, or sibling groups, whose complex needs made it very difficult for them to be placed within the existing mainstream foster care networks. Sadly, some of Lighthouse’s young people have been in over 15 foster homes before becoming homeless, and this deepens trauma and disconnection.

The concept of the Secure Base pilot scheme is to avoid moving the children around through multiple placements until a permanent home is secured. Instead Lighthouse has developed an innovative way to address this with the new pilot we are currently trialling.

We are also proud to be formally launching Lighting The Way, Lighthouse Foundation Delivery and Outcomes Report. This 80 page publication shows the evidence of the positive outcomes of our Model of Care over the past 25 years and has already proved vitally important in providing the impact measurement which is required for major philanthropic investment in our programs. The Report is rich with stories and photos of our Lighthouse young people and provides graphs and charts that make it easy to see the way our programs work so cost- effectively. The Report can be viewed and downloaded from our website or don’t hesitate to phone us on 03 9093 7500 if you would like to have a printed copy sent to you.

Our own Susan Barton AM has been announced as a Queen’s Baton Carrier for the upcoming 2018 Brisbane Commonwealth Games. She’ll be doing her “run” in Footscray on Saturday 10th February 2018. The next few months will see a couple of our young people stepping up to help Susan train for this event. Whilst Susan is somewhat intimated by this very public challenge, the Lighthouse young people are determined that she should be at her best on the day.

The community camp has just happened at Scotch College’s Phillip Island premises and was declared a great success by the 36 participants. This rare chance to get out of town and into the natural environment is always a high point of the year for our young people. They plan the camp themselves and learn about teamwork and have the chance to develop useful organisational skills. Our carer (and Camp Leader), Dave Gibbs, organized a fun visit by a wildlife officer bringing along a range of reptiles to be handled by those brave enough.

In other good news, the Lighthouse Fundraising and Marketing team has been nominated in several awards for their work on recent campaigns such as #stick it to homelessness and 4 Up Day. The graphic design company – For Studios, who gave us their services pro bono, is also in the running for a design award for their suite of work for 4 Up Day.

We are also deeply grateful to the investors of Future Generation Investment Fund (FGX), for their commitment of $378,000 to the children and young people of Lighthouse, and multi-year future commitment. As each investor can nominate one of 16 children’s charities to be supported with a percentage of their earnings, Lighthouse Foundation is proud to be the top recipient of funding for the third successive year.

Thanks go to each one of you who has played a role in the Lighthouse community over recent months. The circles of support have never been stronger, and we have seen several heartwarming transitions to independent living for our dearly loved young people in past weeks. This has been made possible by the sustained support of our staff, carers, community committee members, philanthropic funders, corporate partners, and volunteers.

With warm wishes to each one of you.

Simon Benjamin




#StickItToHomelessness Goes National

This year during National Homelessness Week (7 – 13 August), Australians showed their support for the 44,000 young people who are homeless every night by getting involved in Lighthouse Foundation’s national awareness campaign #StickItToHomelessness.

We proudly partnered with great Australian brands including Swimwear Galore and General Pants Co to bring this campaign to life. Young people, school kids, parents, friends and the community all got behind the Stick It campaign, sharing our message far and wide during August.

The stickers were made by talented local illustrators and one of our Lighthouse young people, creating an exclusive set of 44,000 to be shared and distributed nationally raising awareness. Each sticker represented one young person who is homeless in Australia on any given night.

The campaign called on Australians to #StickItToHomelessness by displaying these stickers on everyday items like their mobile phone, coffee cup or laptop to start a conversation among their friends, family and co-workers about the serious issue of youth homelessness.

Over 50 cafes participated around Australia slapping stickers on their coffee cups for the week. Our retail partners gave away sticker packs as a gift with purchase and hundreds of volunteers swarmed the streets of Melbourne starting conversations with the general public during National Homelessness Week. We ran interactive booths that engaged the public to share our message around Melbourne in the Bourke Street Mall, at Federation Square, Southern Cross and Flinders Street Stations and on the steps of Parliament.

Thank you to everyone who took part in this wonderful initiative and to our clever and dedicated Marketing Advisory Board who were the brains behind this fun concept. A particularly big acknowledgement goes to our young person Jesh too for his great design and for lending his story to support this campaign.

Check out our hashtag #StickItToHomelessness on Instagram and Facebook to see some of our reach and take a look at our amazing volunteers who helped us Stick It.


Brock's Holden Leaves a Legacy

Holden has raised $65,000 for Lighthouse by auctioning off limited-edition Commodores in October to pay tribute to its Australian manufacturing heritage and raise vital funds for great causes. This once-in-a-lifetime auction provided Holden lovers with a chance to bid and own a slice of motoring history.

Lighthouse Patron Bev Brock OAM proudly introduced Holden to our important work, ensuring this rare opportunity could benefit our Lighthouse young people and programs.

The limited edition Director Commodore – the most advanced Commodore ever made in this country – was auctioned raising over $130,000 with 50% of the proceeds supporting our important work.

The car’s unique build number of #05 is a fitting tribute to the original Director and the man who created it, the late Peter Brock.

FGX Invests in our Future

The investors of Future Generation Investment Company Ltd (FGX), have recently announced a remarkable commitment of $378,000 to the children and young people of Lighthouse.
This is a multi-year future commitment, with the amount growing due to outstanding investment returns.

As each investor can nominate one of 16 children’s charities to be supported with a percentage of their earnings, Lighthouse Foundation is proud to be the top recipient of funding for the third successive year. Overall, FGX is investing $3.8m into supporting Australian children in need this year.

If you’re interested in learning more about this great investment opportunity you can attend the upcoming Future Generations Investment Forum in Melbourne, 30 November. Please contact Janet Grima on 03 9093 7500.


Schools Making an Impact

Lighthouse’s school program is in full flight. Thank you to all of the wonderful schools who have been raising funds for Lighthouse in the most creative and innovative ways.
Each school that participates in our School Philanthropy Program has the opportunity to hear from a Lighthouse guest speaker and some schools recently have been lucky to hear directly from our young people. It’s been really inspiring to watch as the school kids hear about homelessness firsthand from their peers. Their motivation levels for supporting our cause go through the roof, and we’re proud to see the results of their hard work supporting our program and community.

Thank you to Tom, our Schools Program manager for championing our work to the next generation.


Corporate Wishing Trees

Lighthouse is thrilled to announce that 28 corporates are getting behind our Wishing Tree Gift Drive this year to help us fulfil the festive wishes of our young people and Carers.
This unique program commenced in 2013 with just a handful of committed corporates and has now grown to support not only the gifts for our current and Outreach young people but also helps Lighthouse to equip the homes and resource centre with festive supplies and essential items required for throughout the year.

This exclusive program is a really engaging way for companies to contribute to a cause that cares during the festive season and is a wonderful option for our dedicated corporate partners. If you’d like to become a Lighthouse partner contact us on 03 9093 7500.


Camp of the Century 

In October all of the Lighthouse community got together for our annual Lighthouse camp to Phillip Island.

Each of our homes convoy together in carloads, stopping for a picnic along the way. It’s always a positive experience and a wonderful way to make lasting memories together.

Thank you to Tom Batty and Scotch College for once again donating the use of their wonderful camp facility.

Each of the young people play a role in planning the camp themselves. They learn about teamwork and have the chance to develop useful organisational skills.

This year’s camp was filled with great experiences, games and personal development work. It began with a smoking ceremony recognising the traditional owners of the land which was a great first time experience for many.

Our carer (and Camp Leader), Dave Gibbs, organised a fun visit by a wildlife officer bringing along a range of reptiles to be handled by those brave enough. It was fairly intimidating for some, but a great experience.

This rare chance to get out of of the city and into the natural environment is always a high point of the year for our young people.

Thank you to everyone involved. We can’t wait for next year’s camp. This one will be hard to top.


Our Village of Artists on Display

And that’s a wrap! Congratulations to all of our amazing young people who contributed to our 2nd annual Young People’s Art Exhibition.

Over the last two days, works created in art therapy sessions by our young people and Outreach community, were put on public gallery display and sale at Schoolhouse Studios in Collingwood.

Amongst the many diverse and colourful artworks was a cardboard village with buildings created from each member of our community. Young people, carers, volunteers and staff all created pieces of many shapes and sizes and it was a true highlight of the show.

Our launch party last night celebrated our courageous young people and provided an opportunity for some to share stories about their journeys through our Art Therapy Program. They take pride in their creations, which were greatly admired in the formal setting of the gallery.

The ongoing connection with our Outreach young people is clearly a strong point of the program and the exhibition.

This brilliant exhibition became a metaphor for who we are at Lighthouse – a jigsaw puzzle of a diverse community. We really are a village.

A special acknowledgement goes to Nicky and our art therapy students for all their hard work.


Local Community Action

There’s been lots of activity happening in each of our Community Committees. Thank you to our loyal and dedicated volunteers who are such a special part of our community.

Just some of the wonderful events and actions taking place include; our East Malvern Committee Movie Night raising almost $1,900, our BBQ fundraisers by Coburg, Kensington, Bonbeach and Clayton Committees collectively raising almost $5,500. Our Richmond Committee Pub Quiz made a fabulous $770 and the annual Clayton Committee cocktail party bought in a fantastic $4,970.

These essential fundraising activities help to keep the lights on in each one of our homes. You can support by going along to any of our committee events, donating prizes for raffles or volunteering your support.


Jerry's Journey 

Congratulations go to our young person Jerry and Lighthouse team member Tom who joined more than 2,000 tandem bike riders accompanying vision impaired people in the annual Ride Daylesford challenge in October.

This amazing opportunity was made possible by Community Fundraiser Daniella Erni, who has been helping Jerry, Tom and several members of our community to train for this challenge all year.

Daniella helped to kit the boys out with goods from 2XU and even sourced donated bikes from a local bike store here in Richmond – The Bike Shed. Her enthusiasm and support has been instrumental.

This amazing initiative has brought so much joy and happiness to our community and we thank you Daniella for all you have done to make this possible.


Leave Lighthouse a Lasting Gift

Contact our Bequests Manager, Michelle on 03 9093 7500 or via michellem@lighthousefoundation.org.au.