Last month we farewelled one of our long serving Board Members, David Grant, who had been on the SYC Board since 1995. In that time David has seen the organisation grow significantly including the expansion into employment services and training sector, and growing from a handful of sites to nearly 60 across Australia.

As part of the farewell, one of our HYPA Clients, James, produced an amazing piece of artwork he called ‘More than a helping hand’ which he presented to David in person. The colours in the piece represented the four focus areas of SYC, as well as James’ interpretation how the organisation helps people. He describes it as bringing light into the lives of others, as well as bringing colour to the world around them.

When presenting his artwork James also shared his own experiences with rough sleeping and the positive impact HYPA has had on his life. He is now giving back through our own Youth Leadership Team and has plans to study social work.

David was blown away by James’ story and the artwork. He said it was the commitment the organisation has to improving the lives of people in need, like James, that has kept him around for so long.

“Seeing the number of people SYC helps grow to over 60,000 is something I’m proud of and expanding nationally is also a great thing.

“Establishing multiple HYPA Housing sites is one of the most meaningful projects I have seen in my time at SYC, because when you help a young person find stability it changes their trajectory and it leaves a long lasting legacy for years after,” he said.

David brought a wealth of knowledge around Health and Safety to the organisation, which is his primary background. He highlighted the importance of people, especially young people, having mentors to guide them which he said is particularly important for those starting out in paid employment.

“I was very lucky to have great mentors when I was starting out, I look back at the advice I was given and it has helped me so much. I think it’s so important for young people to have that and SYC does that very well,” he said.

David plans to travel overseas after retiring from all his commitments, but hopes to link up again with SYC in some way in the near future and is grateful for his time spent with the organisation over the years.