Welcome to A Way Forward

When the world feels hard and its problems confronting, I take great comfort in your compassion. You remind me of the good in humanity. Your beautiful decision to leave a gift to Mission Australia in your Will means that no matter what, there will always be help, always be compassion, and always be a way forward.

That’s why I’m so pleased to share this issue of your A Way Forward newsletter.

Below, you’ll read about some of the ways kind-hearted Mission Australia supporters like you are helping young people find their strengths and see the possibilities in their lives. You’ll read about Olivia*, a young woman who is overcoming substance abuse, and Lola* who first experienced homelessness at just eight years old.

Much of the work Mission Australia does alongside young people is about giving them the tools, support, and self-belief they need to overcome disadvantage, create safe homes, and ultimately thrive.

Between the potential of Australia’s young people, and your very kind gift in your Will, I feel a lot more optimistic about the future.

Thank you once again for your gift.

signature sharon

*Names and images have been changed to protect the identities of the people we help.

In 2023, we surveyed 19,501 young people to learn about the issues that concern them most. The top personal challenges faced by young people were consistent with 2022, with the most common responses themed around school, mental health and relationships.

38% were extremely or very concerned about coping with stress

were extremely or very concerned about coping with stress

38% reported their mental health and wellbeing as fair or poor

reported their mental health and wellbeing as fair or poor

29% found it hard to turn to friends and family when they needed help

found it hard to turn to friends and family when they needed help

Your future gift will make sure young people are always supported to overcome adversity - and thrive.

“Home should be somewhere you feel comfortable and safe”

Thank you for helping Olivia create her own way forward

Olivia* remembers the first day she walked into Mission Australia’s Drug and Alcohol Youth Service (DAYS) in Perth.

“I knew my use had become a problem in my life,” she says. “I wanted to get help.”

DAYS is funded by Mission Australia supporters like you. It works with young people aged 12 - 21 who want to overcome their dependence on alcohol and other drugs. There is emotional and medical support for the withdrawal phase, and a safe place to stay as they recover. Young people are taught life skills and encouraged to work or study – so they can go back into the community and build new lives.

Substance dependency is often the result of, and a contributor to, homelessness. Once Olivia had the support she needed to overcome her dependence on alcohol and other drugs, she responded well to the routine and security provided at DAYS.

DAYS creates a sense of ‘home’ “Olivia says. “Home should be somewhere you feel comfortable and safe. It’s a really good place to come if you’re struggling.”

It’s been over a year since Olivia’s first appointment at DAYS. She’s not only found the strength to overcome dependency, but she’s also studying to become a paramedic, and on her way to a career helping others.

Your gift to Mission Australia means that more young people like Olivia will have a place to turn and someone who believes in them.

Watch Olivia’s story

DAYS Single teenager

New beginnings in an old home

Lola’s extraordinary turnaround

Lola* was only eight years old when she first lived on the streets. Over the years, she dropped out of school, became a drug user, and was involved in a violent and dangerous relationship.

She was among a growing number of young people in Tasmania without a safe home or the security of routine and good modelling.

But because of support like yours, Lola, now 16, has been able to turn her life around.

She engaged with a program at Chigwell House, in Hobart, Tasmania. It’s a lovely old cottage that’s been the base for Mission Australia’s work alongside families and young people for over 15 years.

Lola connected with Heidi, a Youth Support worker at Chigwell House. Over time, Heidi earned Lola’s trust. With Heidi’s gentle encouragement, she revealed some of the traumas in her life, and identified that she needed help. Heidi supported Lola to reconnect with family and education.

Today, Lola is succeeding at college, and advocating for other young people experiencing homelessness in Tasmania. Her future looks bright.

How wonderful that your gift will make sure young people like Lola always have Mission Australia to turn to, and always have a way forward. Thank you.

Chigwell House - Heidi and Lola

Young and homeless: Helping break the cycle for vulnerable youth

A great deal for young people in Far North Queensland

Around 40 young people in Townsville will soon be supported to get their lives back on track at a new Mission Australia Youth Foyer.

Youth Foyers have been extremely successful at breaking cycles of homelessness and disadvantage for young people between 16-25 by providing accommodation and personalised coaching support. In return, residents sign up to The Deal – an agreement to fully participate in the Foyer’s education, work, social activities, civic participation, and life skills development.

It’s a wonderful way to give young people a solid foundation while they develop their independence and tap into their strengths.

The Townsville Youth Foyer will be a beacon of hope and opportunity for young people in our region.”Krissy Regan, Program Manager, Townsville Youth Foyer

Your commitment to Mission Australia will help many vulnerable young people leave behind lives of homelessness and substance dependency.

Townsville Youth Foyer

39,300 The number of young people facing homelessness last year.

Early intervention is the RESET young people need

Nearly a third of all Australians reaching out to Mission Australia for homelessness support are under 25.

Thanks to a generous gift from a family philanthropic foundation, Mission Australia has opened the RESET4Youth program in South West Sydney. It helps young people aged 18 to 25 who are sleeping rough, couch surfing, or living in boarding houses or crisis accommodation.

RESET starts with secure accommodation and furniture for a young person. A case worker helps them set goals and build life skills such as budgeting. If needed, they can access support for mental health or addiction issues.

“Homelessness can often be incredibly isolating, destabilising, and traumatic for young people. Without proper intervention, it can have ripple effects on their lives.
Mission Australia is proud to support young people to avoid long-term homelessness, reach their full potential, and thrive.”Nada Nasser, Mission Australia’s NSW State Director

Your thoughtful decision to include Mission Australia in your Will helps ensure there is a way forward for young people in need for generations to come.


Your Gifts in Wills team

Our team is so thankful for your generous decision to leave a gift to Mission Australia in your Will. If you have any questions or want to chat about your life-changing legacy, please reach out to us.

nicki grant

Nicki Grant
Gifts in Wills Program Manager

07 3394 8111
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Lisa Gledhill thumb

Lisa Gledhill
Gift Planning Advisor

0439 403 267
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Maria Natera

Maria Natera
Gift Planning Advisor

0448 523 318
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Ashlee Ralla
Estate Coordinator

02 9217 1064
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A message from Maria

"Working for Mission Australia is not just a job, it’s a privilege.

Every day I hear stories - from you sharing why you feel compelled to help, and stories of people whose lives are touched by your love and support.

Your commitment to protecting vulnerable people is beautiful and makes what I do everyday incredibly fulfilling. Thank you."

*Names and images have been changed to protect the identity of the people we help.
AIHW (2022) ^Specialist Homelessness Services Annual Report 2021-2022

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Our founding purpose - 'Inspired by Jesus Christ, Mission Australia exists to meet human need and to spread the knowledge of the love of God'