The Brisbane Youth Service Annual General Meeting was held on 20 November at the Valley Hub. We were delighted to welcome over 80 people to the AGM this year, with a larger proportion of external representatives than ever before, including supporters, partners and sector representatives. It is great to see that awareness of BYS and the work that we do is continuing to build in the community, which is critical to growing our service delivery in the future and supporting more vulnerable and homeless young people.
The AGM was opened with an inspiring Welcome to Country by Kate Bond, BYS Intake and Brief Intervention Worker.
Over the course of the AGM we were privileged to hear from four young people about their challenges and the support that BYS has provided them. Their stories included facing homelessness, severe trauma, mental health issues, abuse, and learning to be a young parent. We heard about the support provided by Cheryl at Sandgate House (24×7 supported accommodation) for one young person; the work of the young women and young families team in supporting another as a very young person sleeping rough to find housing, through to the parenting program to learn how to provide the care that a baby and young child needs; along with the work of the Hub team at intake and intervention and the Health team providing counselling and physical health services.
The new BYS video, developed to inform the community about youth homelessness and the work BYS does, was unveiled by Annemaree. Anna Spencer, Board Vice President, Steve Renouf, Patron, Erin Field, Hub Manager, and Annemaree Callander all feature in the video talking about youth homelessness and how BYS helps young people. This is an important new tool that will be used in presentations to corporates, school groups, and others interested in learning about our work.
Outgoing President Helen Wood and Treasurer Brian Tucker spoke about their time on the BYS board and what it has meant to them to be involved. Incoming President Nikola Stepanov spoke about why she chose to nominate for the position, her interest in supporting vulnerable young people, and the many other roles she has held relevant to our sector.