Give Where You Live is proud to announce the following 2019-22 Innovation Grant recipients. Each of these organisations will receive up to $175,000 over the next three years to fund their innovative project:
- Good Cycles – Youth unemployment in Geelong is at 12.8%, higher than the rate for both Victoria (10.2%) and Australia as a whole (11.1%) (ABS, September 2018). However, the rate and risk of unemployment is unevenly spread between different geographic areas and groups of young people. Youth unemployment in areas such as Norlane-North Shore, Corio and Whittington is as high as 24.4%, 21.8% and 18.6%, respectively (ABS-Census, 2016). There are several factors including low educational attainment, inadequate skills for the local employment market, mental illness, criminal record, transport disadvantage that act as barriers to employment and are affecting significant numbers of young people in Geelong as evidenced by the high levels of youth unemployment noted above. Good Cycles offers a proven model to address these barriers, engage the most vulnerable young people in the G21 area and transition them onto an employment pathway. Good Cycles will scale up their Transitional Employment Model in Geelong. The model incorporates: Jobseeker engagement (through partner organisations), Pre-employment Training (via the Pedal Empowerment Program (PEP)), Transitional employment (supported paid employment for 6-12 months with Good Cycles) and External employment (with local employers/industry). Their Innovation Grant will specifically help fund the delivery of the PEP and the employment of a Transitional Employment Manager, 0.5 FTE to support the delivery of the full model in Geelong.
- Bethany Community Support – There is strong evidence of a disadvantage-incarceration relationship. Two-thirds of prisoners have completed Year 10 or less. Only 16% have completed Year 12. One-third have a chronic health condition. Two-thirds have been drug users in the year prior to conviction, and 40% have a history of overuse of alcohol (AIHW, 2015). Intellectual disability is 5 – 10 times more prevalent among prisoners than among the general population (Baldry, Clarence, Dowse & Trollor, 2013). Two-thirds of Victorian prisoners had a history of family violence as a perpetrator and/or a victim survivor in the previous decade (Victoria Dept of Justice and Regulation, 2018). Some studies have found almost 90% (Shiroma, Ferguson & Pickelsimer, 2012) of prisoners present with a Traumatic Brain Injury and a NSW study found 82% of prisoners with a history of TBI (Schofield et al., 2009). Mental illness/psychiatric disability is extremely high among prisoners, with one-third receiving treatment at the time of arrest. Half have a history of psychiatric treatment and rates higher than the general population in anxiety disorders and depression, personality disorders, drug and alcohol induced psychosis, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia reported as highly prevalent (Butler et al., 2006). The cycle of re-offending is routinely accompanied and made more intractable by the disadvantage-offending-disadvantage cycle. Unfortunately, little to no ex-prisoner-specific support is available at present which is contributing to high re-incarceration. This population experiences discrimination and marginalisation from services and the broader community which undeniably impacts on their capacity to seek help. In Victoria, 50% of prisoners come from 6% of the state’s most disadvantaged postcodes (Vinson, Rawsthorne, Beavis & Ericson, 2015). Corio-Norlane (3214) is one of those postcodes. Bethany Community Support will seek to address the need to support ex-prisoner’s reintegration trajectory within the Corio-Norlance community to try and break this cycle through the development of a model of reintegration support for released prisoners. The development of this model will be facilitated thorough a co-design process. Other project partners include Deakin University and the Department of Justice.
The following 2018-21 Innovation Grant recipients are entering the second year of their grant award:
- Geelong Ethnic Communities Council trading as Diversitat – To support refugees and asylum seekers to find sustainable employment through New Futures an innovative pathway that incorporates volunteers and mentors, welcomes new arrivals via the Humanitarian Settlement program and embraces the potential of a multi-lingual workforce throughout Geelong.
- Kids Thrive – To build young people’s educational engagement and trusted community networks, through supporting the Geelong Kids as Catalyst community action program, where students aged 11-13 years learn personal, social, enterprise and community development skills – forging local partnerships to design and lead the delivery of real-world, values-based projects to benefit their community.
The following 2017-19 Innovation Grant recipients are entering the final year of their grant award:
- Deakin University – To reduce the likelihood that a person will commit further crime and return to prison by providing them with a structured peer mentoring program upon release from prison. The peer-mentoring program will provide direct support and referral to a range of support services that support people who are disadvantaged.
Previous Innovation Grant recipient’s include:
- Lorne Community Hospital – (2017-19)
- Bethany Community Support (2016-18)
- A joint initiative between BATForce, Barwon Child, Youth & Family, St Joseph’s Flexible Learning Centre-Youth + (2016-18)
- St Laurence Housing Ltd. (2015-17)
- Time For Youth (now part of the merged entity Barwon Child, Youth & Family) (2015-17)
- Pathways (2015-17)
- Geelong Mums (2014-16)
- Good Beginnings (2014-16)
- Minerva Community Services (2014-16)
- Hands on Learning (2013-15)
- Glastonbury (2013-15)
- DoCare Geelong (2013-15)
- Bethany Community Support (2013-15)