Roots of Change is a storytelling platform dedicated to the Alumni community of The Funding Network Australia. Here we share their stories of ingenuity, courage, determination, spirit, growth and the impact these grassroots organisations have had, as a direct result of funds and support received from The Funding Network community.




Providing both immersive training and meaningful employment for at-risk young people.

Youthworx provides accredited training programs created to assist marginalised young people, giving them the necessary tools and skills to realise their full potential as creative, engaged members of society.

2017 Pitch
Funds raised: $23,705

At TFN Melbourne in June 2017, Youthworx raised $23,705 to invest in cutting edge film equipment, original project development and a Business Development role. Each of these areas will no doubt increase the capacity of the organisation to invest in the young people they work with and continue to bridge the gap between shelter and purpose.

The Impact...

Youthworx was started over 10 years ago as a way to engage and support marginalised young people who were homeless or at risk of homelessness. Jon Staley and the team wanted to challenge these young people and ensure that the next risk they took was a creative one. They believe creativity is to the spirit what food is to the spirit - nourishing. And with this in mind, they started a youth media social enterprise.


Their work has since been recognised at local film festivals, but due to their limited resources and capacity Youthworx wasn't able to capitalise and accept all the opportunities that came their way. With support from The Funding Network, they have been able to upgrade their equipment and scale up their business, providing more paid work for these young people. One of the beneficiaries is their new photographer Matt, who has been taking on more work thanks to their new pro-level camera. Check out his story below. 


“Over the past six months we have been able to employ one of our graduates Matt as a photographer on a range of corporate shoots including producing content for LXRA, Social Traders, John Holland, Westpac and DVV. During this period, Matt has averaged 3 to 4 days of work per week, through combined photography and film work, and this simply wouldn’t have been possible without the investment in equipment. To put it in context, Matt had struggled at school, left home at 14 but has now found a real creative niche and is building his professional resume as a photographer and videographer and doing a great job. This is what makes it all worthwhile when you see these type of outcomes” – Jon Staley, Executive Manager

Read their Impact Report

Learn more about Youthworx.

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