An Opportunity For Reconciliation

In 1997 Peter Gibbs' sister died in police custody. Within the local indigenous community there were calls for violent protests - Peter's family just had to give the go ahead. But they didn't. Sharing their sorrow around the kitchen table the family chose another path to honour Fiona. For a decade Peter lobbied tirelessly to find someone within NSW Police who would share his dream of inspiring more indigenous Australians to join the police force to build bridges with indigenous communities and become role models for disenfranchised Aboriginal youth.

 

The breakthrough came during a chat and cup of tea with a new Commander at Dubbo Police Station who shared Peter's vision. A pilot training program delivered through TAFE NSW to assist Aboriginal people gain entry to the NSW Police Academy at Goulburn was developed. In 2008 the first students graduated from the Indigenous Police Recruitment Our Way Delivery (IPROWD) certificate III course. Over 240 Aboriginal men and women have since studied through the program. As a direct result, there are now 18 additional Aboriginal probationary constables in the NSW Police Force, 22 in training at the Police Academy and many others on the pathway to realising that dream.

 

The IPROWD journey can be very challenging for the participants. Many come from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, remote locations, have limited school education and have health issues. They are also taking a courageous leap by putting themselves at the forefront of social and generational change.

 

BBM Youth Support

 

Recognising that financial constraints were jeopardising the ability of some students to complete the course, TAFE NSW approached BBM Youth Support to extend its scholarship funding to include the program.

 

BBM Youth Support has provided hundreds of scholarships to disadvantaged young students over the last decade to cover relatively small costs associated with their studies such as course materials, trade tools, uniforms, transport, access to IT, occasional childcare. They may seem small, but these costs can be the difference between obtaining a qualification, employment, self-respect and independence. The case for extending support to IPROWD was compelling. Supporting an IPROWD student benefits the student, their peers, friends, family and the broader community.

 

A case in point is an Aboriginal mum to five children who completed her course in 2012. The ripple effect of her commitment to become a police officer will have a profound impact on thousands of NSW residents. She is an inspirational role model and a community leader - exactly what Peter and his family dreamt of as a fitting legacy for Fiona.

 

An Opportunity To Foster Talent And Passion

Soccer is a passion for South Sudanese refugee Alam. But it was in the field of agriculture that Alam was awarded a BBM Youth Support Award. Growing up in Sudan, he witnessed the lack of food security, not only in his village but in the whole of South Sudan. Illiterate when he left Sudan to go to Uganda at the age of 12 and then arriving in Australia with only three years of primary education, Alam has been on a quest ever since to gain the education and qualifications that elude many of his peers in Sudan. To realise his dream of making a positive impact on agricultural practices, within both Australia and South Sudan, he has been studying agriculture. Alam's diligence, enthusiasm, passion, commitment and hard work paid off when he was nominated for the BBM Youth Support Frank Mansell Award for Agriculture in 2012. This scholarship enabled him to travel to the UK to take part in a Third World Agriculture Leadership Program at the Royal Agricultural College.

 

Alam's TAFE teacher described him as "one of those special individuals who, despite experiencing considerable adversity, can retain his compassion, dignity and humanity."

 

These qualities, along with the education opportunity provided through the BBM Youth Support Award, will help Alam realise his dream of improving the lives of communities around the world.

 

Alam's story is about realising his dream. Other young people might dream of being a principal dancer with the Royal Ballet or Australian Ballet, being named as the Socceroo's best ever player, being acclaimed as one of the world's greatest pianists, being part of an Ashes winning Australian cricket team, or being one of Australia's most loved actors¼helping young people realise these dreams is why the BBM Youth Support Award was created.

 

In the performing arts, Steven McRae, Steven Heathcote, Simon Tedeschi and Nicole da Silva have lifted spirits of lovers of ballet, music and drama. On the sporting fields Harry Kewell and Adam Gilchrist have ignited the backyard dreams of a generation of schoolkids to play football and cricket for Australia.

 

They are just six of hundreds of young people who, since 1983, have benefitted from the BBM Youth Support Awards Program. They had an opportunity, at an early and formative stage of their career, to access international tuition and experience. For many it was the event that crystallised the direction they were to take.

 

The BBM Youth Support Awards cover a wide range of pursuits including Agriculture, Ballet, Ballroom Dancing, Cricket, Drama, Golf, Highland Dancing, Horticulture, Jazz, Music, Plain English Speaking, Scottish Piping and Soccer. Whilst not all awardees become household names, many of Australia's best loved orchestras, theatre and dance companies and sporting teams contain a healthy contingent of past BBM Awardees. Others  have become teachers, role models and community leaders.

 

An Opportunity To Rebuild Lives

An unassuming house in a residential street in Dulwich Hill is home to Stepping Stone House. Inside is a vibrant family dynamic where the residents are not related by birth, but by circumstance. Providing a caring but structured environment for teenage girls and boys unable to live at home, the staff help them re-build their faith in humanity and equip them with life skills to lead empowered and independent lives.

 

The staff at Stepping Stone are the force behind its success. As positive role models and mentors, it is their dedication, compassion, perseverance and ultimate belief in the potential of every young person that has enabled previously disengaged young people to leave Stepping Stone House with hope and confidence.

 

The unofficial motto of Stepping Stone House is 'Education=Freedom'. The focus on education is one of the many reasons BBM Youth Support has been a major supporter since 1989.

 

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A quiet achiever in the Australian not for profit sector, BBM Youth Support has been funding a unique combination of awards and sponsorships since 1983. This support has delivered long term benefits to thousands of young Australians, their families, peers and communities.

 

Distributions from its endowment fund assist individuals and organisations which support health, education and career opportunities for young people.

 

An independent organisation with no political or religious affiliations, BBM Youth Support also recognises the need to look beyond simply providing funding. It is raising awareness of causes in the community, creating partnerships and collaborations and exploring new avenues to provide young people with opportunities.

 

From 1925 until 1982 the organisation was known as the Big Brother Movement and assisted young men migrate to Australia from the United Kingdom.

Organisation Details
Sector:
Address: 
Level 4, 5 Hunter Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
Contact details: 

+61 2 9233 4005

info@bbm.asn.au

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