Innovation for Change Award, sponsored by Youth Focus

Mental Illness Fellowship of Western Australia 

Mental Illness Fellowship of WA (MIFWA) is an independent community-based mental health organisation with 30 years’ experience supporting people with a lived experience of mental illness, their families and carers across WA. MIFWA is a community mental health provider with a small team of experienced and dedicated people who understand, offer information and practical support. Established by families and individuals with lived experience, it is driven by hope to find a way for people diagnosed with a mental health challenge to reconnect with their life and community. MIFWA’s approach is not clinical or medical (at times it complements this aspect of people’s care/treatment). Rather, the organisation focuses on supporting people to get on with their life, goals and aspirations. MIFWA knows that people do much better when they are active, contributing and have opportunities to participate, learn and develop. 

Beacon - cyber safety app 

Australian parents have a new weapon in the battle to keep their kids socially and emotionally safe online with the launch of Beacon. An Australian-first, Beacon is a research-based cyber safety app. It’s an in-the-moment digital platform to provide tailored communication directly to parents and other caregivers to build their capacity to help their kids to be safe and enjoy engaging with digital technology. Beacon was made possible by a three-year partnership which combines 14 years of cyber behaviour research at the Telethon Kids Institute with Bankwest’s digital and cyber safety expertise.  

Telethon Kids Institute is one of the largest non-profit medical research institutes in Australia, with an aim to improve physical and mental health, development and the lives of children through research. Its researchers have conducted more than 30 projects investigating young people’s online behaviours including mental health and bullying, totalling more than $5 million in funding since 2007.  

This pipeline of research feeding the app’s dynamic content includes world-first interventions to address online benefits and challenges for children, young people, parents and members of the school community, such as cyber bullying and sexting. 

Yawardani Jan-ga 

Yawardani Jan-ga means ‘horses helping’ in Yawuru language and to date, has delivered close to 800 Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) sessions to Aboriginal young people aged six-25 years in Broome, Derby and Halls Creek. Sessions are delivered by 23 local Aboriginal men and women who completed the three-week Yawardani EAL Practitioner Training course. Yawardani Jan-ga is at the forefront of developing effective ways forward to address the detrimental impacts of multi-generational trauma in Aboriginal families and communities. The design of Yawardani Jan-ga’s offerings is in direct response to community voices seeking strength-based, culturally secure social and emotional wellbeing methods for Aboriginal young people at any stage of life. Yawardani Jan-ga provides a culturally secure tailored holding space for prevention, intervention and treatment. This supports every individual in reaching their potential in a person-centred design.