On 6 October, Brisbane Youth Service celebrated our 40th Anniversary of supporting young people in Brisbane with a function at the Powerhouse attended by the Hon Shannon Fentiman MP, current and former staff and board members, friends and supporters.
Overlooking the river at the beautiful rooftop terrace, guests heard from the current Board President, Helen Wood, CEO Annemaree Callander, founding member of BYS, Fr. Wally Dethleths, and Minister Fentiman. A very inspiring acknowledgement of country was performed by Aunty Valda Coolwell. The occasion also provided an opportunity to launch the new BYS video featuring BYS staff and stories from five extraordinary young people.
CEO of Brisbane Youth Service Annemaree Callander said Brisbane Youth Service had come a long way since its days as a single worker, street-work agency in 1977.
“Our workforce is now much larger and highly trained.”
“We are a more sophisticated, diverse organisation, however young people’s issues remain much the same as they were 40 years ago,” she said.
“Young people are still struggling with poverty, homelessness, family breakdown, and mental health issues.”
Ms Callander said there are many thousands of young people experiencing homelessness in Brisbane and nearly half of all homeless Australians are children and young people under the age of 25.
“The good news is that we are able to make a difference to the many young people we see – 1,264 last year alone.”
“We are proud of the outcomes we achieve. For example, last year, of the young people we supported, homelessness reduced from 57% to 15% and the number of young people earning income from employment tripled.”