Lighthouse Foundation has crafted a unique, highly successful model of stopping the chronic cycle of youth homelessness and has helped more than 780 young homeless Australians to lead autonomous, fulfilling lives. The grant will be used to fund their Homeless Mother and Babies Life Skill Program which assists young mothers through educational support, life-skills training, career development, mentoring along with the resources needed to participate more fully in community life.
Nominated person - Susan Barton AM
Susan began to develop her powerful influence to empower others after witnessing a child die from malnutrition while volunteering in a Sri Lankan orphanage. She took on 22 foster children in her own home from 1976 until 1991, when she established Lighthouse Foundation. Susan pioneered a new approach of dealing with Australian youth homelessness, believing that traumatised young people need a place where they belong, feel cared for and honoured physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Her many awards include Member of the Order of Australia (2002) and Melbournian of the Year (2009).