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Launch of the ‘What Works’ Online Resource

31 March 2010 at 4:45 pm
Staff Reporter
A new initiative from the Foundation for Young Australians looks at youth-led Not for Profit organisations around Australia to see what makes them run successfully.

Staff Reporter | 31 March 2010 at 4:45 pm


Launch of the ‘What Works’ Online Resource
31 March 2010 at 4:45 pm

The Foundation for Young Australians has launched What Works, an online resource that celebrates the work of youth-led organisations across the country and highlights best practice in running them successfully.

What Works combines three major research reports and 36 case studies of youth-led organisations, produced by the Australian Youth Research Centre at the University of Melbourne.

The series of reports, Partnerships in the Youth Sector, Young People Active in Communities, and Inclusive Approaches to Young People, offers guidance based upon the experiences researches, youth workers, teachers, community workers and the people they work with.

Partnerships in the Youth Sector

This report aims to:

  • Explore some successful models of partnerships and services that provide for young people with a variety of strengths and needs;
  • Explore some complex relationships and organisational funding scenarios between groups with differing values and cultures; and
  • Respond to increasing demands for youth workers to work within schools and employment organisations.

The report revealed the following characteristics were consistent in successful projects:

  • Communities owning and directing partnerships
  • Nurturing trust and respect within the partnerships
  • Valued contributions from all partners (including young people)

Young People Active in Communities

This report aims to:

  • profile community projects that uphold responsibility, trust and respect in young people;
  • offer guidance around the engagement of young people in their communities
  • celebrate the important work already underway by young social change-makers and emphasise the important of youth-directed projects.

The report found the following characteristics were consistent in successful projects:

  • Agency’s attitude and approach
  • Appropriate adult facilitation
  • Appropriate facilities and resources
  • Building upon diversity
  • A Youth voice
  • Making some change, (showing young people they are making difference)

Inclusive Approaches with Young People

This report aims to:

  • document a diverse range of projects engaging young people who have been marginalised in some way;
  • give participants in the projects a chance to reflect upon their work and share their thoughts; and
  • offer guidance around getting a successful social inclusion project off the ground

The report found the following characteristics were consistent in successful projects:

  • Active participation of young people
  • Positive and diverse approaches
  • Clear guidelines
  • Clear and practical outcomes
  • Links with parents and community
  • Support of positive role models
  • Built in reflection
  • Long-term commitment
  • Knowing the young people

The organisations in the case studies address problems such as disengagement from school, cross-cultural conflict, substance abuse, social exclusion, racism and Australia’s response to climate change.

The reports were compiled and edited by Fiona Taylor and Michael Kimberley.

The full reports, case studies and summary slideshows can be viewed at the website  

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