Creating a future without youth homelessness


Yfoundations is thrilled to present the full program for ReCHARGE 2017. Yfoundations ReCHARGE conferences are a great opportunity for those who work tirelessly to serve the most disadvantaged young people to come together and share knowledge on how to meet the challenges faced daily.

ReCHARGE 2017 will be held over the 15th and 16th of May at Rydges World Square in the Sydney CBD. 

Yfoundations is confident that ReCHARGE 2017’s nationally renowned key-note speakers and wealth and diversity of experience represented in the concurrent sessions will inform and inspire your work with young people!

Tickets are available here and are moving fast, don’t miss out!

*This program is subject to change without notice*

Monday 15th May



10:00 – 10:30 am

Open and Welcome



10:30 – 11:30 am

Key Note Presentation – Andrew Johnson, NSW Children and Young Peoples Advocate
Andrew Johnson has more than 20 years of national and international experience working in senior leadership positions, NGOs, and international intergovernmental organisations.

His work has included management and oversight of large scale service delivery programming, policy development and advocacy campaigns. He has been requested to present to the United Nations, UN Security Council, US Congress and the Australian Parliament and at other world events on issues pertinent to children and young people.

11:30 – 12:30 am

Key Note Presentation Dr Tracy Westerman, Indigenous Psycological Services
Dr Tracy Westerman is of the Nyamal people near Port Hedland, WA and holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology, a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology). She is a recognised leader in the Aboriginal mental health and suicide prevention fields achieving national and international recognition. Dr Westerman is a widely sought after keynote speaker having delivered at 33 national conferences and internationally in Canada (2003), the USA (2004), Auckland (2006 & 2007) and Wellington (2009).

She has developed unique mental health related psychological tests, assessment models and training packages and delivers her training programs to an average 1,000 participants across Australia annually. Her body of work places her at the forefront of Aboriginal mental health service delivery.


12:30 – 1:30 pm



1:30 – 3:00 pm

Workshop – Yfoundations Model Health Policies
Colin Stokes – Yfoundations Health Team

The Yfoundations Health Team will introduce their freshly developed model health polices and facilitate a workshop on deploying them in SHS to achieve better health outcomes for young people experiencing youth homelessness.

Workshop – Fit Your Own Oxygen Mask, Self Care, Management and Leadership
Meredith Turnbul

Meredith has 20 years experience in leadership roles in the community, health and social change sectors of Australia. She has worked nationally as the Executive Director of the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition and Director of GetUp! as well as the Executive Officer for the state-based Twenty Ten Association.

This session will explore the need to be aware of and practice effective self care as workers in the youth service sector, as well as the benefits of effective leadership and management.

1:30 – 2:10 pm

Panel Discussion – Unaccompanied Under 16’s in SHS
Conveyor: TBC
Panel Members: TBC

This panel discussion will explore the ongoing issue of under 16s accessing SHS and how the sector can better meet their unique needs.


2:20 – 3:00 pm

Workshop – Key Note Follow Up
Jessica Fielding – Advocate For Children and Young People

This workshop will further explore themes and issues addressed in Andrew Johnson’s Key Note Presentation.

Presentation – Early Intervention and Outreach in Schools
Julia Partington & Adam Mackenzie – Platform Youth Services

This session will outline Platform Youth Services school based early intervention and outreach project, hi-lighting the value of this approach and exploring the unique challenges and issues associated.



3:00 – 3:25 pm

Afternoon Tea


3:25 – 5:00 pm

Workshop – Sex and Gender Diverse Young people in SHS
Susan Farar – Twenty10

Twenty10 Inc GLCS NSW works with people across Sydney and NSW who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender diverse, non-binary, intersex, questioning, queer, asexual and more (LGBTIQA+) people and others of diverse genders and sexualities, their families and communities.

Thins workshop will cover, Twenty10’s history and current services, gender, sexuality and intersex variation, the needs of LGBTIQA+ young people experiencing homelessness and invite discussion on supports available to this population and the services that work with them.

Additionally this workshop will attempt to identify gaps in service provision, professional development and data collection and invite participants to reflect on the suitability of their service, and opportunities for partnerships and professional development.

Workshop – Understanding Vicarious Trauma
Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia

Vicarious trauma refers to the detrimental impacts suffered by people who are indirectly exposed to traumatic material. Workers are exposed to traumatic material when they assist others in emergencies, or witness or hear about incidents of abuse, violence, torture, or neglect. Vicarious trauma is quite different to burnout.

This workshop will equip participants to understand the construct of vicarious trauma, recognise what predicts vicarious trauma and it’s symptoms and outline effective strategies for managing vicarious trauma.


3:25 – 4:10 pm

Presentation – The Women’s Justice Network Overview
Sarah Avery – The Women’s Justice Network

The Women’s Justice Network (WJN) is a grassroots community organisation committed to advancing the prospects and wellbeing of women and female youth affected by the criminal justice system. WJN is unique in its provisions and the diversity of its community as the only organisation in NSW solely addressing the many issues facing marginalised women and female youth affected by the criminal justice system.

This presentation will give an overview of WJN, an outline of WJN’s programs, followed by a specific look at the interaction between homelessness, housing crises and criminalisation in female youth.

There will be time for Q&A about WJN programs and the ways in which SHS’ can provide support to young women in an attempt to prevent criminalisation and encourage improved life choices.

Presentation – Skills to Pay the Bills, Education, Employment and Youth Unemployment
Chris Stone – Yfoundations

This session will examine some of the key implications of the recently released Yfoundations report “Skills to Pay the Bills”. This report involved a survey that gathered data on over 700 young people. The results from this survey give insights into the further resources that are required to ensure that young people have the education and employment opportunities they need.



4:10 – 4:50 pm

Video Presentation – Project Youth In School Programs and Employment Pathways
Kellie Checkley – Project Youth

Project Youth has been providing in-school programs and employment pathways for many years. This film will highlight some of the more recent work Project Youth is doing in this space. Focusing on both education and employment programs, participants will hear from a range of stakeholders Project Youth works with, including school staff, employment partners and NSW Police.

The film will provide practical information for participants on how to implement these projects into their own communities and will be followed by a Q&A session


Tuesday 16th May

9:00 – 9:20 am

Open and Introduction



9:20 – 10:35 am

Presentation – The impact of Using the Sanctuary Model With Young People Experiencing Homelessness
Gerard Jones & Brittni Davies – MacKillop Family Services

MacKillop Family Services is a Sanctuary Model certified organisation and the licensed provider of Sanctuary training in Australia. Sanctuary is a trauma-informed system of care. MacKillop works with children, young people and families across NSW, Victoria and WA and they have implemented Sanctuary in all of their settings. This includes their homelessness services in New South Wales.

This presentation will provide an overview of Sanctuary and its application in working with young people experiencing homelessness, with a focus on how workers support young people who have experienced trauma. All MacKillop Family Services homeless services staff use Sanctuary to respond therapeutically to the needs of their clients. The presentation will use case studies to illustrate this journey.

Panel Discussion and Workshop – Breaking Down Family Breakdown
Conveyor: Sophie
Trower – Domestic Violence NSW
Panel members – TBC

Domestic Violence NSW will convene this panel discussion to examine barriers and lost opportunities for collecting and reporting data around domestic violence as a key driver of youth homelessness.

The Panel will feature experts from various roles and will be followed by a workshop around advocating for improved systems and responses.



9:20 – 10:00 am

Presentation & Workshop – Young People and Digital Sexual Cultures – A Harm Minimisation Approach
Jessie Hunt – Yfoundations Health Team
Yfoundations Health Team will present their position paper penned in 2016 which outlines the state of play for young people in negotiating a ever-changing digital culture and presents the argument for applying non judgemental harm minimisation principles to this issue.

This session will also cover the sample workshop originally included in Young People and digital Sexual Cultures practically equipping workers to work with young people around the issues addressed.



10:15 – 10:55 am

Presentation – Sexing Up the Sector
Sarah Smith
South East Sydney’s HIV and Related Program Unit
This session will introduce and present the development of a new range of policies, resources and practices for anyone who seeks to engage with young people about their sexual health, equipping attendees to use the framework support tool most effectively.



10:55 – 11:20 am

Morning Tea


11:20 – 12:50 pm

Presentation & Workshop – Adapting the Social Housing DFV Tool Kit For a SHS Context
Zed Tintor – Tintor Consulting

Strengthening Practice in Responding to Domestic and Family Violence, a Toolkit For Community Housing Providers was developed by the NSW Federation of Community Housing Providers and several consultants including this sessions presenter Zed Tintor.

This session will outline the toolkit and facilitate conversation about its limitations in a SHS and how it may be adapted to be more applicable.



11:20 – 12:00 pm

Presentation – Boarding Houses and Youth Homelessness
Tamara Killick – Boarding House Outreach Service
The Boarding House Outreach Service (BHOS) supports occupants of general boarding houses in Sydney’s Inner West, providing ongoing case management support to occupants of boarding houses who are at risk of homelessness or those who have just become homeless and are looking to move into a boarding house.

This session will outline BHOS’ work and examine issues specific to working with clients who currently or previously have accessed boarding houses.

Presentation and Group Discussion – Developing Aboriginal Cultural Competency in SHS services.
Marist180 believes the journey towards reconciliation and cultural competence is an ongoing commitment and a two way conversation. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth are massively over-represented in care, in homelessness services, and in the juvenile justice population. Aboriginal led organisations are absolutely leading the way in addressing these systemic problems. But how do mainstream organisations commit to a culturally competent service without tokenism?

This session will introduce you to some of Marist180’s dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth team, who will share their story about how they are developing a culturally competent service. They will explore the successes they are proud of and the mistakes and challenges they have faced faced. “We don’t have all the answers, but we want you to join our yarn-up and be in the conversation.”



12:15 – 12:55 am

Presentation – Complex Tenancies and Young People
Grant Arbuthnot – Tenants Union of NSW
This session will equip workers to better understand and address the issues and challenges unique to various complex and precarious tenancy situations which young people often encounter on their pathways out of youth homelessness.


12:55 – 2:00 pm




2:00 – 2:40 pm

Presentation – Shared living and the Youth Private Rental Subsidy
Cindi Petersen – Launchpad Youth Community & Maria Porter – FACS
This will session will outline the advantages of shared living as a pathway out of youth homelessness, the advantages of shared living in terms of addressing affordability and availability as well as the challenges to a service when managing shared tenancies.

This session will also look closely at the Youth Private Rental Subsidy, equipping workers to assist clients in accessing the subsidy.

Panel Discussion – Young People who Participate and Why
Conveyor: Ben Corio – Yfoundations
Panel Members – TBC

This panel will bring together young people of various experiences who participate and contribute to services and programs and explore their experience, examining the structures and resources that have encouraged and facilitate sustained engagement, as well as those that have discouraged and hindered it.

Workshop – Tenancy and Occupier Agreements for Young People in Transitional Housing
Chris stone – Yfoundations

This consultation workshop will examine some of the practice and legal implications of different types of agreements used with young people in transitional housing. An overview of the legal potential consequences of different agreements will be given. With this as background participants will have the opportunity to engage in discussions about the practice advantages of different types of agreements. The workshop will consider whether legal reform is required to ensure that transitional housing providers are able to effectively help young people while also giving them the protections they need.



2:55 – 3:15 pm

Panel Discussion – You Cant Ask That
Conveyor: Colin Stokes
Panel Members:
NSW Youth Homelessness Representative Council & Yfoundations
Inspired by the recent appearance of A NSW Youth Homelessness representative Council (YHRC) member on the ABC’s You Can’t Ask That program, this session designed by the YHRC and facilitated by Yfoundations is your opportunity to ask all the questions of young people who have experienced homelessness that you have never had the chance to ask before. Ticket holders will be invited to submit questions digitally in the week prior to the conference, and anonymously in person at the conference itself.


3:15 – 3:30 pm


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