The Reach Foundation

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The Reach Foundation (Reach)
Founded 1994
Founder Jim Stynes and Paul Currie
Focus Creating safe and supportive spaces where teenagers can share stories and experiences honestly.
Area served
10- to 18-year-olds
Slogan Every young person should have the support and self-belief they need to fulfil their potential and dare to dream.

The Reach Foundation (Reach) is a youth Not-for-profit organisation established by AFL Brownlow Medalist and 2010 Melbournian of the Year [1] Jim Stynes[2] OAM and film director Paul Currie in 1994. Reach was created from a desire to inspire every young person to believe in themselves and get the most out of life.

Reach runs national school and community-based programs for young people aged 10 to 18 designed to promote their mental health and wellbeing. Programs are run by the young Reach "Crew"[3] in over 500 metropolitan and regional schools and communities across Australia. The main focus is on prevention and early intervention. Programs aim to identify the underlying reasons for negative behaviour and enable young people to redirect their energy towards more positive outcomes.

Independent research shows that Reach helps teenagers to improve overall levels of self-esteem, optimism, and feelings of control over themselves and their lives.[4]

Working with teachers and youth professionals[edit]

Reach works in partnership with The Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) to offer the Finding Heroes program to teachers, educators and youth professionals.

Finding Heroes is based on the positive psychology framework and aims to provide teachers, educators and youth professionals with the practical skills and resources to improve the emotional and social wellbeing of students.[5]

Working with indigenous communities[edit]

Reach works in partnership with DEEWR with the aim of creating relationships with young people in indigenous communities to encourage them to voice their concerns and aspirations for their lives.


Reach programs are held at the Reach National Office "The Dream Factory" [6] in Collingwood, Victoria, the Reach office in Surry Hills, NSW, and in various other locations throughout Australia.


Trisha Squires commenced as CEO from 14 September 2015, taking over from Sarah Davies who took the position in 2011 when Jim Stynes fell ill with cancer.[7] Don McLardy commenced as Chairman of the Board in 2011 [8]


Reach Alumni include:

The Open Book Project[edit]

The Open Book Project was a national campaign launched by Reach in 2011 that endeavoured to show today's teenagers that they're not alone in their lives. Celebrities and members of the general public shared pages of their teenage diary revisiting the thoughts, feelings and ambitions they had as a teenager.[10]

Celebrity entries [11] included Hamish Blake, Cathy Freeman, Rolf Harris, Kerry Armstrong and Jesse Martin.


  1. ^ "Stynes adds Melburnian of the Year to his titles". The Age. 29 August 2010. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "A gamble who became a champion on and off the field". The Australian. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "He has really shaped who I am today". The Age. 21 March 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Pallant, J (2005) The Wellbeing in Young People Study, Unpublished Research Study, Swinburne University, VIC, Australia
  5. ^ "Julia Gillard And Jim Stynes Help Tomorrow's Leaders Reach Their Potential". Kate Ellis MP website. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "The Dream Factory for Teenagers". The Age. 12 March 2002. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "New CEO for Youth Organisation - Reach". Pro Bono Australia. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  8. ^ "McLardy McShane". Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Big Adventure looks at bullying". The West Australian. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  10. ^ "Opening diaries and hearts for a good cause". The Age. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "The Open Book Project Celebrity Entries". Retrieved 30 March 2012. 

External links[edit]