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Our Blog

Welcome to the Sir David Martin Foundation Blog. Our General Manager posts regular updates, and we invite occasional guest bloggers, such as our Ambassadors.

Phone Stories - from Distress to Hope

Phone Stories - from Distress to Hope

A note from Jenny Leahy, SDMF Fundraising Coordinator, on the calls we receive from families every day.

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Now is the Time to Commit

Now is the Time to Commit

A note from Rob Woods, SDMF Board of Governor on the upcoming 145Classic: Ride for Youth.

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This year - fill a young person with colours!

This year - fill a young person with colours!

"Triple Care Farm has filled me in with really bright colours."

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The War on Drugs – a Fresh Look at Addiction

The War on Drugs – a Fresh Look at Addiction

 

I recently finished reading a book called Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari.

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Reflections

Reflections

 

This week marks my five year anniversary with the Sir David Martin Foundation and it will also be my last as I move on to another challenge and hand over the reins to a new General Manager.

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Choice, opportunity and belonging

Choice, opportunity and belonging

Being a Governor on the Board of the Sir David Martin Foundation gives me cause to think about choice, opportunity and belonging.

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Hope for young Australians

Hope for young Australians

As the librarian at Royal Australian Naval College, HMAS Creswell, I work in an environment where I have the pleasure and satisfaction of seeing young people embark on a career in the defence force. In most cases they've been supported by a network of family members and friends who have guided, mentored and advised throughout this lengthy process.

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Why I Support Sir David Martin Foundation

Why I Support Sir David Martin Foundation

Boxing is more than just a hobby, sport or exercise to get fit. For me, boxing has become a way of life, which I discovered when I was a teenager. I grew up in a tough neighbourhood in the UK and boxing became both a passion and discipline for me, which kept me fit, focused, and out of trouble.

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Why Philanthropists Enable Real Change

Why Philanthropists Enable Real Change

I was posed a question recently about why Triple Care Farm relies on Philanthropy – as opposed to Government funding, or charging fees. The answer is a complex one, but central to it is the power, consistency and flexibility that philanthropy offers.

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'Couch Surfing': the modern homelessness

'Couch Surfing': the modern homelessness

I recently house-sat for a family and had the joy of looking after their furry friends during my stay. Word spread quickly and, before long, I found myself house sitting for a few more families around Sydney in the following months. It was quite fun!

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Conquering Jamberoo Mountain

Conquering Jamberoo Mountain

It's not Mount Everest, but Jamberoo Mountain became my obsession for a few months last year.

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Not giving up

Not giving up

The young people at Triple Care Farm inspire me in my role at Sir David Martin Foundation. Meeting Matthew* on one of my recent visits to the Farm was particularly inspiring.

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Should we legalise drugs?

Should we legalise drugs?

I was recently asked 'should Australia legalise drugs? 'What a great question. There have been countless articles on the 'war on drugs' and how it hasn't ever been won.

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More than art

More than art

A thought that often plagues my mind is...I wonder how much of "me" has been shaped by the life I was born into. Would I be the same if I had grown up in poverty? What if I had an abusive parent or experienced some sort of trauma at a young age? What does it feel like to truly have no hope? How would my needs be different?

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The truth of the Ice Epidemic

The truth of the Ice Epidemic

Earlier this year I attended a conference on the ‘Ice Epidemic’.  It was fascinating to hear from academics, researchers, social workers and health practitioners, all who offered different perspectives on this topic, which has been so visible in the press and in our community over the last 2 years.

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Actions not words

Actions not words

At a recent supporter event at TCF, Farmer Tim shared with the visitors, the role that the domestic animals play at the farm. 

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Creativity with a Purpose

Creativity with a Purpose

What a privilege it was to attend Mission Australia’s recent Creative Youth Initiative (CYI) ARTWORKS! exhibition at the end of last year. On my way home at the end of the night I was overwhelmed with feelings of encouragement. I was uplifted to meet some of the students, and chat to them about their work.  Their achievements led me to walk away with a heap of hope and optimism.

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Home for Christmas - everyone deserves one

Home for Christmas - everyone deserves one

Every day is the same. Some might be hot or cold or wet or windy, but each day for a homeless person feels the same. The boredom might be offset by concern or worry about losing your possessions or when someone wants to fight you or when your dog gets sick. Young people and old, they all face the same issues and they live from day to day and hand to mouth. This much I have discovered while spending some time travelling around with the Missionbeat van, as a volunteer.

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Two things this week revealed to me how powerful respect can be – its absence and its presence.

Firstly, a few words on disrespect. 

State of Origins are by far my favourite games of footy (league). Last night’s Blues victory was hard fought and deserved and I can’t wait for the third game up in Queensland. 

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May Blog: Urgent appeal to address the Ice Epidemic

May Blog: Urgent appeal to address the Ice Epidemic

I’m not going to mince words here — this is a desperate time. Our society is under attack by the scourge of ‘ice’. Every day young lives are being ruined by this evil drug. 

This month, we have launched a special appeal to help make the solution to this epidemic, a reality. Please hear me out. 

As you know, each year, Triple Care Farm (which we fund and is operated by Mission Australia) offers 100 young people, who arrive at rock bottom facing life on the streets, jail or an early grave; a last chance to turn their lives around.

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March Blog: Reflections on the Ride

March Blog: Reflections on the Ride

Monday 2nd March. I sit here in tired satisfaction and a little pain, reflecting back on yesterday. Instead of relaxing at home with the family I joined the inaugural 145Classic: Ride for Youth.

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Andrew Lock does the Sydney to Hobart

Andrew Lock does the Sydney to Hobart

SDMF Ambassador Andrew Lock recently competed in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and shared his experience with us.

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Thoughts triggered by travels

After the countdown and the anticipation leading up to Graduation, suddenly it is behind us. 

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January Blog: Happy New Year!

It's back to work now after a wonderful Christmas break! Maddy in our team challenged me to write a blog entry but in the flux between ‘holiday mode’ and ‘work mode’ instead of focusing on one thought, there are lots of ideas buzzing around my head.

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November Blog: The demonic claws

I am always struck with how much more powerful and rich a story is when shown in a video than being told in prose, or even worse presented in statistics.  (I fully recognise the irony of writing this rather than filming it…*).  Anyway.  This week I was again blown away by the power of film.  

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October Blog: The generosity bucket doesn't run dry

I admit it – I did the Ice Bucket Challenge last month.  For anyone who doesn’t know, this involves being nominated by a friend to pour a bucket of ice water over yourself and/or donating to charity, before nominating others to do the same.

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September Blog: P!ssed off

Ever paused and reflected how many times a day you get angry, frustrated or annoyed by something?

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July Blog: TCF Outcomes Data just released

In July each year we get the annual Triple Care Farm outcomes report.  This is a significant piece of research, and the culmination of marrying your generosity to the professionalism of the Farm staff and the bravery of the Students. 

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June Blog: The Bravery of Youth

Last October saw one of the most frightening – and thrilling – days of my life. 

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6 Jungle Inspired Thoughts

6 Jungle Inspired Thoughts

It was a long hard slog each day on my trek of the Kokoda Track, putting one foot in front of the other for hour after hour. I had plenty of time for reflection and I formed 6 key thoughts over those 10 days.

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May Blog: What is Success?

What is success?

I had a long conversation recently with the Triple Care Farm Manager, Gab Holmes, about the Farm’s 2013 results.  I was worried that there was a low ‘graduation rate’ included in the 2013 and wanted to know whether this reflected an issue with the program and student’s progress from it, or something else.

What followed was a detailed discussion about what constitutes ‘success’ for the young people coming to the Farm.  

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Reflections on my Kokoda Trek

Dawn was still just a distant promise when we emerged from our tents in response to the call of the bagpipes. One of the trekkers had carried the pipes for many days, in order to honour his relative who had fought and died on Brigade Hill.

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April Blog: Tax V Philanthropy

I was asked a great question at a BBQ last weekend.  

Working in the Community Sector I am often asked by friends "why should I donate money to yours of any other charity? I pay my taxes, why doesn’t the Government fund this sort of thing?”  

It’s a fair question.  

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January Blog: What Lies Beneath...

This week I was contacted this week by a Graduate of Triple Care Farm.  The lady got in touch via email, and her email signature showed she was working in a successful and interesting career.  I guess the Farm, and other interventions, helped get her life back on track.

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December Blog: The Knot Unravelled

December at Triple Care Farm marks the end of the Semester, the end of the year, and the chance to celebrate the amazing transformations of Students who have been through the program. Around 100 young people arrive at Triple Care Farm each year with their lives a tangled knot of problems like addiction, trauma, homelessness and mental health issues.  
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One in 3 homeless young people say they are homeless because they are unable to afford housing costs or find work...

Homeless youth are much more likely to have alcohol and drug problems, mental illness and trouble with the law...

33% of youth aged 16 and 17 years have tried at least one type of illegal substance including; cannabis, hallucinogens, amphetamines, ecstasy, opiates or cocaine...

Over 100,000 Australians are homeless on any given night, of which at least 44,000 are aged 12 to 25...