The Overcoming Isolation Short List

Scroll down to find:

 

    1. Open Doors Youth Services

    • Expression of Interest
    • Full Application
    • Attachments

    2. Out for Australia

    • Expression of Interest
    • Full Application
    • Attachments

    3. StartOut Australia

    • Expression of Interest
    • Full Application
    • Attachments

    4. The link to vote

    EXPRESSION OF INTEREST 1

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    • Name of Organisation

      Open Doors Youth Service

    • ABN

      89497785941 

    • Organisation Website

      www.opendoors.net.au/

    • Please tick to acknowledge that the applicant organisation meets the Eligibility Criteria before progressing with your Expression of Interest

      CHECKED: The applicant organisation has Deductible Gift Recipient status type 1 (DGR 1) CHECKED: The applicant organisation has an annual turnover of less than $1 million CHECKED: The applicant organisation operates within Australia for the benefit of Australians

    • Provide a brief description of the applicant organisation

      Open Doors Youth Service is Queensland’s leading youth service enriching the lives of people who identify with diverse sexualities, genders and bodies. We support young people by providing safe spaces and promoting wellbeing to achieve equality in society and positively affirming who young LGBTI people are. 

      For over 13 years, Open Doors, has provided counselling and support services for LGBTI+ young people aged 12 to 24 and their families  and we also work in collaboration with service providers and communities to support the needs of our clients & the wider community. 

      This includes the provision of individual one to one support with a social worker, group drop in activities and referral to other community services organisations. We support young people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless by improving their connection with their family, community, education, employment & training.  Our services also support young people who are at risk of suffering from domestic violence, mental health issues, including self-harm & suicide. 

      Currently Open Doors limits its services for people who live in South East Queensland and moreso in the Brisbane area.  We are the largest (if not only) service if our kind in Queensland and have a wealth of knowledge and believe we a well placed to provide assistance to remote and regional communities. 

    • Project Title

      Regional & Remote Assistance Program

    • Which communities under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella does this project seek to benefit?

      LGBTQIA+ Young People aged 12-24

    • Provide a brief description of the project

      Open Doors Youth Service would like to set up a Regional & Remote Assistance Program to provide support outside our current territory of South East Queensland. 

      Our project will: 

      1. Provide assistance to social workers who require assistance with LGBTQIA+ 12-24 specific issues via Skype or Phone. 
      2. Where a regional or remote social worker requires further assistance, our social workers will then provide support directly to the young person via a phone call or skype. 

      We will increase our staffed hours by 2.5 hours at $35/hour (inc super) and will in exchange provide 130 hours of support to regional communities.  In the event demand surpasses what we have been funded for we will increase our hours/week, however that will reduce the number of months this program runs. 

      Working on the basis that the average support will be 45minutes to 1 hour the program will have the capacity to provide 125-150 support calls. 

      We will spend the first 2 weeks (5 hours) on contacting regional and remote youth services via email advising of the new support service. Success in the program is contingent on services contacting us for service, in the event we do not receive the calls, the resources will be distributed back into other Open Doors services. As this program is in concept stage in the event the grant is successful (or demand surpasses what we are staffed for) we can apply for further Larger grants with other government & enterprise organisations.

    • Explain how the project aligns with The Channel's Overcoming Isolation grant round objectives

      The program objectives are very clear because we are providing our knowledge of LGBTQI+ youth issues to other social workers. 

      Currently there is no youth service that provides this specific support from staff members who are highly qualified in this field.

    • Project start date

       Sunday, October 01, 2017

    • Project end date

       Sunday, September 30, 2018

    • Amount requested:

      $5,000

    • Total project cost:

      $5,000

    FULL APPLICATION 1

    • What specific activities does the applicant intend to carry out with the funds? 

      Open Doors Youth Service would like to set up a Regional & Remote Assistance Program to provide support outside our current territory of South East Queensland. 

      Our project will: 

      1. Provide assistance to social workers who require assistance with LGBTI+ 12-24 specific issues via Skype or Phone. 

      2. Where a regional or remote social worker requires further assistance, our social workers will then provide support directly to the young person via a phone call or skype. 

      We will increase our staffed hours by 2.5 hours at $35/hour (inc super) and will in exchange provide 120-130 hours of support to regional communities.   

      We will spend the first 3 weeks (7.5 hours) on contacting regional and remote youth services via email advising of the new support service and setting up a system to track the number of calls and what support is provided.

    • What would success look like for the project?

      This program is a pilot program for Open Doors Youth Service.  Success in this program would mean that our service is overwhelmed with calls from remote and regional people seeking our support and subsequently we have to apply for (successfully) funding from other sources to sustain the program. 

      Success in the program is contingent on services contacting us for assistance (after we have made our first contact to advise them of our new program), in the event we do not receive the calls, the resources will be distributed back into other Open Doors programs.

    • Provide a brief summary of the applicant's capacity to deliver the project.

      Open Doors Youth Service has a team of 6 employees and as the program is increasing one of our team members staffed hours by 2.5 hours per week we have the capacity to deliver this program as has been applied for. 

      In the event of overwhelming success in the program, additionally Open Doors would seek support via other community donations. 

      Open Doors currently facilitates several major government funded programs as well as programs that have been provided for through company grants.

    • How will you publicise your work?

      Open Doors will spend the first three weeks publicising the work by contacting remote and regional

    • Please list any forms of in-kind support that would be most helpful to the success of your project.

      In-kind support will include Location Rent, Phone Call Costs, Insurance, IT Support & Finance Management & Administration.

    • If you wish to make further comment, or provide further detail relating to the project please use the space below.

      Open Doors Youth Service would be delighted to be considered for this project.   

      The small amount of funds that are provided could well be the beginning of a well developed Regional & Remote Assistance Program for young LGBTI People.

    CLICK HERE FOR Open Doors ATTACHMENTS

    EXPRESSION OF INTEREST 2

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    • Name of Organisation

      Out for Australia

    • ABN

      86603852722

    • Organisation Website

      www.outforaustralia.org

    • How did you hear about The Channel's grant-round?

      Other

    • Please tick to acknowledge that the applicant organisation meets the Eligibility Criteria before progressing with your Expression of Interest

      CHECKED: The applicant organisation has Deductible Gift Recipient status type 1 (DGR 1) CHECKED: The applicant organisation has an annual turnover of less than $1 million CHECKED: The applicant organisation operates within Australia for the benefit of Australians

    • Provide a brief description of the applicant organisation

      Purpose: 

      We are a national organisation that helps queer students and aspiring professionals as they transition from study to full-time employment by partnering with organisations that are inclusive and that promote diversity. 

      Key Program areas are: 

      National Mentoring Program - operating in NSW, QLD, VIC, ACT & WA currently

      Other activities: 

      Networking events - generally state-based including metorpolitan events plus community forums and regional and rural events

      Role models - including national awards annually and online seminars and promotional resources
       
      Diversity and inclusion - directly working with multiple industries including education sector to improve recruitment and development practices and to ensure workplaces and universities are supportive

      Community building - creation of rural and regional networks. E.g. In QLD we are already in Toowoomba, Townsville, Cairns, Mackay and Gold Coast and similar in other states/ territories such as Wollongong and Albury in NSW

      Regional engagement - currently running an LGBTI student ambassador program in QLD at every university but are looking to move our mentoring online to provide support to students and young queer people in isolated areas and with the aim to connect them with local / state mentors

    • Project Title

      Rural & Regional LGBTIQ+ Mentoring Program

    • Which communities under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella does this project seek to benefit?

      Queer students in rural and regional areas

    • Provide a brief description of the project

      This project is part of the National Outreach portfolio of Out for Australia, a not-for-profit LGBTIQ+ organisation. 

      The project will: 

      - provide online support and resources through our tailored mentoring program to LGBTIQ+ students in isolated and rural and regional areas of Australia. This includes online tools for communication. 

      - connect individual queer students with a mentor in their preferred industry of employment who is also a member of the LGBTIQ+ community. This is done via a detailed application and allocation process with training support available via in person training events and online videos

      - ensure our resources are adequately available to rural and regional LGBTIQ+ communities through our teams on the ground in each rural & regional area

      - provide more specialised resources to students who are members of the  LGBTIQ+ Indigenous and people of colour communities as well as students who identify as 2-spirit, sistergirls & brotherboys (by working with government and local community groups already connected to) 

      Process: 

      0. Ground Zero: 

      Assess goals and viability of project against current needs and budget - create timeline and finalise structure of the project

      1. Reach Out: 

      Digitalise our mentoring resources and distribute through current networks to build support (5000+ members) 

      2. Sign Up: 
      Advertise applications to students and provide materials for promotion

      3. Step Up: 
      Assess applications and provide mentors based on the student's needs

      4. Launch: 
      Provide introductions and tailored training online or in-person

      5. Continued Engagement: 
      Maintain communications and review regularly to ensure project is working

    • Explain how the project aligns with The Channel's Overcoming Isolation grant round objectives

      This project will help prevent isolation for queer students in rural and regional communities by creating community networks, introducing an online mentoring platform and will provide comprehensive, tailored resources to students. 

      We want to see every university in Australia take this project on long term and are already actively pushing businesses in regional and rural areas to support us as partners and mentors. 

      Our organisation is made up of members of the LGBTIQ+ community and we work closely with community organisations to ensure we are providing the right support. 

      We have developed a special resource for queer people through our diversity and inclusion portfolio for transgender, non-binary and intersex people as well as bi and lesbian women and now wish to expand to support the POC and Indigenous community. 

      There is little funding and we hope to raise more awareness of how this project is already connecting queer young people.

    • Project start date

       Friday, December 01, 2017

    • Project end date

       Saturday, December 01, 2018

    • Amount requested:

      $5000

    • Total project cost:

      $5000

    FULL APPLICATION 2

    • What specific activities does the applicant intend to carry out with the funds? 

      The three main activities that the funds would assist with include: 

      1. Implementing OFA’s comprehensive rural & regional LGBTIQ+ mentoring program

      2. Providing tailored resources through our online platforms and rural & regional info packs

      3. Building new community networks in isolated areas across the states we operate with focus on: 

      Far north, central and south east Queensland
      Central coast and south east NSW
      All of ACT
      South and Central VIC
      All of Perth and surrounding regional areas

      This funding would go directly to the following categories as outlined in our budget: 

      1. Tech administration support

      a) Digitalising our mentoring program resources including mentoring applications, mentoring agreements, introduction guide and specialised rural and regional one pager, frequently asked questions, leadership and diversity and inclusion documents (info sheets, presentations and reports) 

      b) Website updating to include geographical locator on our rural and regional page with links to each state we operate in and contact details of local community networks and access to our state mentoring teams

      c) Increased use of our current online communication tools including via Facebook via state based mentoring groups and national public page, Google+ Hangouts for one-on-one mentoring, conference calling for planning meetings in rural and regional areas

      d) Future planning such as use of a CRM to build the mentoring program and use of Skype for Business to provide online group mentoring or special online events / seminars with larger groups of mentees and mentors

      2. Advertising

      a) Design of all marketing materials for this project to ensure streamlined nationally

      b) Mass printing of resources for our mentoring teams and community networks in each state

      c) Creating special resources targeted towards POC and Indigenous community (on topics such as leadership, education and employment) 

      d) Promoting applications and program performance via social media marketing

      e) Providing interactive online documents that mentees and mentors can use in their sessions

      f) Photography and filmography to tell stories of our mentees and to provide online resources with visual representation

      g) Distribution of rural and regional packages to all locations we operate in

      3. Network Building & Events

      a) Organising meetings and events at universities and through the local community network

      b) Creating state based events where mentees and student leaders can meet with others from different universities and the wider community

      c) Distribution of funds for meals, travel and incidentals

      4. Miscellaneous / Administration

      a) Research & Development to ensure we are evolving and assessing performance / success of the project and providing accurate information and support to students
      b) general expenses such as stationary, conference calling

      We have other in-kind support from many organisations including some large multinationals such as Google and Boston Consulting Group, however they are only able to provide very little funding. 

      Out for Australia is a young not-for-profit we must apply for funding that directly helps young LGBTIQ+ people overcome isolation by connecting them in a very real way with local mentors as well as connects them with students and the wider LGBTIQ+ community. 

    • What would success look like for the project?

      We currently have 260 mentees in the OFA program matched with mentors for 2017 nationally and we have a clear strategy for the next 5 years for our mentoring program. This project will ensure we are supporting queer students in rural and regional communities who are isolated through mentoring, networking and leadership. 

      Our aim is to match 100 rural and regional students with mentors across all 5 states we operate in. We also aim to have a 50/50 split between students and professionals participating in OFA events. 

      We will collect clear metrics to measure our success through quantitative and qualitative methods. The way we will do this includes: 

      1. Monthly state and national reporting that measures: 
      a) the number of student applications
      b) the number of mentee / mentor matches
      c) the number of rural and regional areas reached
      d) the number of new community networks created

      2. Biannual review and summary report by the National Outreach Coordinator which will: 
      a) collate all monthly data reports into a summary
      b) collect feedback from mentees and mentors via feedback forms at events and online via our mail out platform
      e) assess the type of groups and identities that applied during the application process and reached through our advertising platforms
      f) assess the number and types of resources created and advertised for rural and regional communities
      g) collect the number of events / social networking opportunities organised and supported in rural and regional areas

      3. Submit reports to our national board each quarter for review of perfomance

      4. Submission of full report to The Channel in December 2018 (or as determined) including all the aforementioned information

      We will also monitor our analytics on this project through our media platforms and will assess it's impact in the wider queer community through community consultation.

    • Provide a brief summary of the applicant's capacity to deliver the project.

      Out for Australia operates in 4 states (QLD, NSW, VIC & WA) and 1 territory (ACT) and have over 100 members of our executive team. 

      We are now in our third year nationally and originally launched as Out for Sydney in 2013. 

      In terms of administration, as the national outreach coordinator I will manage this project and will be the direct contact to The Channel. 

      I have previously managed national projects and major campaigns as the National Secretary of the Australian Queer Students Network (2 years), as a QLD Organiser for the Marriage Equality Campaign (current) and have served on the OFA executive at state level for 2 years as QLD Outreach Coordinator and at national level this year. 

      I have also been a communications coordinator for the Google Student Ambassador program with 60 student ambassadors across Australia and New Zealand, supported and volunteered with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (national mentoring program) at state level in QLD (2014 & 2015) and volunteered in the UQ Student Union on behalf of LGBTIQ+ students from 2012 - 2016. I have been recognised as nominee twice for QLD Young Achiever of the Year (under 25) in 2016 and 2017. 

      Last year I created community networks on behalf of OFA in Cairns, Townsville, Toowoomba, Gold Coast and Brisbane and built connections with Mackay, Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast and Northern NSW. We held community events with universities, local businesses and wider LGBTIQ+ community groups in the rural and regional areas I visited. 

      This paved the way to establish the QLD Universities Diversity Network with LGBTIQ+ students from all 10 universities in Queensland in an aim to provide a platform to share resources, tell our stories across universities and to connect with the wider queer community. Ultimately we held 14 events, connected several hundred students with each other, provided support through meetings, engaged with university management teams and then held a student leadership training day with selected OFA Student Ambassadors (4 LGBTIQ+ student per university) to provide them with professional and personal skills including building confidence and leadership abilities such as resilience, public speaking, event organising, community engagement, policy development and much more. We did all this with the support of our community partners and sponsors and I personally negotiated sponsorship contracts with our national team. 

      I believe I have the relevant experience, skills and passion to successfully deliver this project. However it is a team effort and I have outreach teams in each state who are supported by our other portfolios to ensure that all tasks are completed and are achievable. 

      I have my CEO and national team who will monitor my own performance and provide support where necessary. 

      We hope to obtain further in-kind support from our partners such as Aurizon, Google, Commonwealth Bank and KPMG. This unique position we hold within the LGBTIQ+ community allows us to provide leadership through action, support students whilst they are studying and as they go into full-time employment. 

      We will use all current resources at our disposal. 

    • How will you publicise your work?

      We have a strong national presence publicly with over 5000 people on our Facebook page plus hundreds of students in our state based student groups who will share this project's details nationally. This includes from initial application through to success stories. 

      Our website is streamlined and easy to navigate to ensure we reach as many people and have a dedicated team who monitor our online performance including SEO. We will update our website and include a special geolocator to provide direct contact for students in rural and regional areas. 

      As mostly young members of the LGBTIQ+ community ourselves on the executive we are acutely aware of the challenges many LGBTIQ+ students face, especially those from rural and regional backgrounds. We will share mentee and mentor experiences through our marketing materials such as posters, flyers, mentoring  program one pagers and via our social media platforms including Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+/ YouTube. Our principal media partner is Star Observer and we will publish media releases and regular content for this project including showcasing The Channel as primary sponsor. 

      We will address the needs specifically of LGBTIQ+ students because they are still feeling isolated and through our specialised resources we can connect them to others who they can identify with and build communities that promote diversity and inclusion. For example, we can match a mentee with a local mentor from the same region who is working in the industry the student plans to work in and provide leadership materials to guide them. 

    • Please list any forms of in-kind support that would be most helpful to the success of your project.

      In regards to in-kind support, it would be highly beneficial to have research support to ensure we are providing accurate and tailored resources to students. This would include data on specific demographics and connecting researchers to OFA for the purpose of further supporting supporting the wider LGBTIQ+ community. We would also appreciate any design work support as volunteers we are only able to do so much in certain time frame. Finally it would be ideal to have an advisor / point of contact who has experience in this area and can support us especially in the development and implementation stage.

    • If you wish to make further comment, or provide further detail relating to the project please use the space below.

      Our vision is to create an Australia where every LGBTIQ student and aspiring professional is confident to be their authentic self in workplaces which celebrate diversity. 

      I joined Out for Australia 3 years ago as a student and mentee in the OFA national mentoring program. But my story is a very strong representation of who we are as an organisation. 

      I come from Albury in regional NSW and came to university in Queensland with no support from my family who are living in my hometown because we just didn't have the funds to the point of homelessness and my parents didn't fully support my sexuality. 

      I experienced student life in the country where homophobia is still higher and I was bullied but I stood up for myself because there was no one else to help. I felt isolated to the point that I tried to commit suicide but life changed at 17 when I got my first mentor. They inspired me to study at university and to give back to my own community. I turned my life around and university opened my mind to opportunities including global travel but also to full immerse myself in queer activism. 

      I joined OFA because my boss at Uber encouraged me to at the time as it was launching nationally. I gained leadership skills and overcame isolation by connecting through OFA. We have already worked with thousands of students to ensure they are supported  and will continue to build confident leaders of the future.

    CLICK HERE FOR Out for australia ATTACHMENTS

    EXPRESSION OF INTEREST 3

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    • Name of Organisation

      StartOut Australia

    • ABN

      35167695945

    • Organisation Website

      startout.org.au

    • How did you hear about The Channel's grant-round?

      E-Newsletter

    • Please tick to acknowledge that the applicant organisation meets the Eligibility Criteria before progressing with your Expression of Interest

      CHECKED: The applicant organisation has Deductible Gift Recipient status type 1 (DGR 1) CHECKED: The applicant organisation has an annual turnover of less than $1 million CHECKED: The applicant organisation operates within Australia for the benefit of Australians

    • Provide a brief description of the applicant organisation

      People of diverse sexualities and genders (DSG) are over represented when it comes to mental health issues like depression and anxiety.  We want to change this. 

      Growing up DSG isn’t easy and while there is a lot of support around depression and anxiety in our community, much of it comes too late.   StartOut Australia will focus on early interventions that build the confidence and resilience of DSG people with the aim of reducing the entirely preventable burden of poor mental health. 

      We’re building programs that focus on three key determinants of positive mental health: social inclusion, freedom from discrimination and economic participation. 

      We’ll be creating an online community for young DSG people to develop a sense of social inclusion.  Our online community will provide access to stories promoting positive mental health strategies for young DSG people. 

      We’ll work with employers, schools, and universities to promote and advise on steps that can be taken to eradicate discrimination and to improve social inclusion and economic participation of young DSG people. 

      At the core of our work will be the creation of opportunities for young DSG people to be mentored by community and business leaders.  We’re going to build a technology platform that will make this accessible no matter where people are in Australia. 

      We’ll also develop, deliver and promote educational programs, resources, and services that improve leadership skills, self-confidence and resilience in young DSG people. 
       

    • Project Title

      Regional Rollout of Online Mentoring Platform

    • Which communities under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella does this project seek to benefit?

      Young LGBTQIA+ in regional Australia struggling with their sexuality

    • Provide a brief description of the project

      StartOut Australia aims to have completed the development of our online mentoring platform by mid-late October 2017.  With almost 85 mentors on board and currently trained or in training, we will be able to put role models in the palms of the hands of young regional and rural DSG people.  Once the platform is finalised and the mentors trained, our focus will shift to promotion of the platform to young people in regional Australia and connecting them to our role models. 

      The aim for funding received from The Channel would be to enable volunteers to promote the platform through community networks, social media, and other selected channels relevant to young people who may be struggling in isolation. 

      We would aim to connect between 50 and 100 young people with role models using our online service.

    • Explain how the project aligns with The Channel's Overcoming Isolation grant round objectives

      We are innovating and using technology to reach young people at a time where they are struggling the most.  The average age of a first suicide attempt for a DSG young person is 16.  The average age of coming out in regional Australia is closer to 20.  This means through isolation, young people are likely to self-harm before they realise they are not alone and have a chance to reach their potential. 
      We're approaching the problem differently - we're focused on early intervention, positive mental health promotion and reaching young people where they need us the most - in their homes, alone at night with just their phone as the connection to a world they'd rather be in.  Role models, right there - even if the world around them doesn't seem right.

    • Project start date

       Friday, December 01, 2017

    • Project end date

       Wednesday, January 31, 2018

    • Amount requested:

      5000

    • Total project cost:

      15000

    FULL APPLICATION 3

    • What specific activities does the applicant intend to carry out with the funds? 

      This project contains four separate, related activities all designed to achieve the engagement of young people of diverse sexuality and gender in rural and regional Australia. 

      The first two activities provide content to generate and support the initial engagement of young people with StartOut’s recently launched online mentoring platform. 

      The first activity is the production of a community service announcement (or series of) to be aired on regional radio in the lead up to a series of regional visits.  The CSA’s will be aired for free but require production.  The CSA’s will talk about the need for and existence of the StartOut online mentoring service and the mental health benefits young people may receive by participating.  Where relevant, they will also advise that StartOut will be visiting the area soon.

      The second activity is the production of video content using ambassadors discussing the benefits of accessing role models and how StartOut is breaking down the barriers or isolating factors by using an online platform.  The content will be engaging, use the power of personal story telling and will be produced using ambassadors relevant to the target audience.  We are currently engaging and have expressions of interest from Tom Ballard (comedian), Casey Conway (football), Jason Ball (footall), Chloe Logarzo (soccer) , Jessica Jonassen (cricket), Keegan Joyce (television), Benjamin Law (current affairs).  We also have stories from “real” people available on our youtube channel to demonstrate the kind of story telling we aim to use.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Xrtt77pVPo is an example.

      The third activity involves a targeted media campaign arounds visits involving both social and traditional media to raise awareness of the visit and our services generally.  The success of our launch story on Triple J and ABC will be leveraged.  We have indications from both networks, as well as others that they are keen to continue to run stories on our work, particularly as we move into regional Australia

      Finally, the key element of the project is the regional engagement roadshows where a team of volunteers (4-8 per trip) will undertake a series of regional roadshows stopping at up to 5 regional towns per trip engaging with a targeted selection of youth clubs or activities, ideally participating in festivals or other youth events.  The aim will be to connect with young people in their own environments to develop awareness of the online mentoring platform and engage potential mentors and mentees in the platform. 

      The trips will take in towns where LGBTI support services are minimal or non-existent and will find and engage young people (who are not out) in a non-confronting way to ensure that we create sufficient curiosity publically that young people will then reach us privately, online. 

      The current plan involves trips as follows: 2 x NSW, 1 x VIC, 1 x TAS, 1 x SA, 1 x QLD.  Trips would target larger and smaller towns based on research about the location of young people.  An example of a NSW trip could include: Bathurst, Blayney, Cowra, Young, Wagga Wagga and Albury. 

    • What would success look like for the project?

      Success measures for the project are as follows: 

      Six regional road trips of up to five towns visited. 

      Social media engagement increases particularly in the geographic areas visited

      Media coverage of the organisation and the benefits of positive mental health and availability of online mentoring programs. 

      New mentees (young people of diverse sexuality and gender) on boarded from each visit

      Memoranda of understanding developed with regional youth organisations 

    • Provide a brief summary of the applicant's capacity to deliver the project.

      StartOut Australia currently has a team of approximately 100 volunteers across Australia.  This program will be led by a volunteer with specific responsibility for regional engagement.  Our engagement team involves several young people who have been involved in regional campaigning (for the Yes vote and the three major political parties).  While we are apolitical, the skills brought by seasoned campaigners are highly useful in ensuring a targeted, effective approach to engagement is made.  They can connect with regional organisations, young people and businesses to allow us to best reach isolated young DSG people; 

      StartOut have been working with Mad Scientist Digital, a creative agency offering their support pro-bono to build engaging social and traditional media content and strategies to ensure that our small spend on media and production is highly effective. 

      Our existing media coverage has been highly effective with ABC, Triple J and others offering ongoing support. 

      Financially, StartOut have allocated funds additional to those sought to this project to ensure it is achieved and will continue to seek in-kind support from airlines and travel companies to ensure that the project can meet the target of six trips. 

      The volunteer mentors/role models we currently have on board include people of a variety of backgrounds.  We currently have volunteers who are: Women, men, transgender or transitioning, grew up in small country towns and large cities, have been refugees, are of culturally varied backgrounds (Aboriginal, Chinese, Iranian, Polish, India, Bangladeshi and others), live with varying abilities (cognitive and physical).  We are continuing to recruit to ensure we reflect as greater range of circumstances that our mentees encounter as possible. 

    • How will you publicise your work?

      Our work will be publicised using social and traditional media in the lead up to each regional visit. 

      On each visit, video will be captured of our engagements and packaged up to provide live content and follow up content for social media.  This content will include interviews with young people about their role models, access to support and the need for networks like StartOut. 

      We have commenced conversations with media outlets about joining us on trips to capture the project in action. 

      A formal 'white paper' on the outcomes of regional engagement will be written to share with partner organisations and media outlets.

    • Please list any forms of in-kind support that would be most helpful to the success of your project.

      Digital content production

      Travel - airfares, ground transport, accommodation, meals and fuel for volunteers to support the small allocated budget. 

      Hardware - tablets, phones and mobile broadband so the platform can be demonstrated.  Additionally, smart phones and pre-paid data that could be provided to young DSG people who are from low socio-economic environments

      Research on youth population centres and community attitudes. 

    • If you wish to make further comment, or provide further detail relating to the project please use the space below.

      Mentoring is not a new concept – and there is certainly no shortage of mentoring programs available. There is currently a shortage, however, of effective and meaningful engagement strategies for young DSG people in Australia. We already know that the overwhelming majority of young DSG people turn to the internet. StartOut will reach our target audience by developing an accessible and innovative platform that engages with the DSG community by speaking the same language as them – through digital means. 
      StartOut provides the DSG community with a forum that allows a person to anonymously ask questions, receive support and advice, and, if necessary be referred to a specialist community service provider at no cost. The focus of our work is to ensure that vulnerable people do not fall through the cracks before being able to build the necessary resilience for everyday life. 
      The mentoring program will: 
      ♣ Facilitate connections between DSG people and role models regardless of location
      ♣ Encourage dialogue through innovative communications techniques
      ♣ Promote safety through feedback and peer monitoring so we can safely put the right role models in in contact with the right people around the country who might be struggling with their sexuality and/or gender identity. 

      The combination of using technology and role models (mentoring)nas a preventative mechanism for mental health issues is not currently available anywhere else in Australia.  Each element exists in it’s own right (Twenty10 mentoring, online counselling, beyondblue etc.) but not as a combination. 

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