From film nights and stamp clubs to supported transitional housing for young people who are experiencing homelessness we’ve grown a lot over the past 58 years. Today, as we celebrate our 58th birthday we think it is important to remember our past as well as cast an eye towards our exciting future.

When SYC began in 1958, providing extra-curricular activities and social work services to the Glandore Boys Home Sunday School, we had a clear mandate: to support young people who have experienced disadvantage. That core mandate has remained the same 58 years later and there’s an important reason for this. As an organisation we have a relentless belief in people and their potential and we’re committed to helping people be independent. We developed our four focus areas of Home, Wellbeing, Learning and Working because we realised for people to reach their full potential they need access to a range of integrated services that can provide wraparound support.

We developed our expertise with young people, but we now provide our services to more than 55,000 Australians of all ages every year. We’ve grown from an organisation that relied on 85 volunteers and local community centres to one that employs more than 600 staff across our three brands HYPA, Job Prospects and Training Prospects at over 50 permanent and 20 outreach sites throughout Australia.

Over the years we’ve not been scared to experiment and try new things. In collaboration with our sector colleagues we developed a youth homelessness gateway (Trace-A-Place) that has been running continuously for 35 years. Again with our sector colleagues SYC took part in the early alternative learning programs for young people, which now make up the ‘Flexible Learning Option’ system run by DECD. That desire to experiment so we can deliver better services continues to drive our mission and is the reason why we decided to back our Sticking Together Project, an innovative project to support young people who have recently found work. Trying new things has also lead us to attempt to break a World Record to raise money and awareness for our fundraising brand #TwoFeet in Light Square in October.  We’d love you to join in on the fun and help us achieve that, so register now and come along!

SYC CEO Paul Edginton says that those involved with founding and running SYC in the late 50s would barely recognize the organization it’s become.

“From small things, big things grow and that’s certainly the case for SYC.  The great thing about SYC’s growth as an organization is that the core of our purpose remains and has held true all these years, but it’s wonderful to see our services extend to people of all ages while continuing to offer a second to none service to young people.”

“We have big plans for SYC throughout its 60s – not that far away now – and look forward to working with our stakeholders, employees, customers, colleagues and clients for many, many years to come.”