Impact100 Sydney North

2017 Finalists

We are pleased to announce Barbershop Project by Information and Cultural Exchange is the recipient of our inaugural $100,000 Primary Grant. The other finalists, who each received $10,000 Merit Awards Grants are Aurora Education Foundation, batyr and Orange Sky Australia.

Winner of our 2017 inaugural $100,000 impact grant: Information and Cultural Exchange


Information and Cultural Exchange (I.C.E.) provides creative access, equity and opportunity for vulnerable and disadvantaged Western Sydney communities. Since 1984 I.C.E. has collaborated with communities, artists and educators to build creative opportunity and social capacity in Western Sydney, and facilitate and produce community-determined art. I.C.E. objectives are to: provide creative and educative access, equity and opportunity for Western Sydney communities; contribute to and reveal the rich and evolving cultural life of Western Sydney; foster and increase community pride, cohesion and creativity.

Working specifically with Western Sydney at-risk youth, Aboriginal and CALD communities, asylum seekers, refugee/migrant families and people with disability, I.C.E. creates art, builds capacity, facilitates social inclusion, encourages community cohesion, amplifies community cultural development, and enhances our region’s vibrancy. For 34 years I.C.E. has been at the vanguard of community focused and driven art that is bold, imaginative and adventurous.


Its vision is Western Sydney communities empowered with the confidence, resources and opportunity to create art that drives social change. Their mission is to provide cultural and creative access, equity and opportunity. From 2013-2015 I.C.E. delivered 124 projects involving 1,975 participants. Nearly 20,000 people enjoyed I.C.E. live events and 22,058 community members used its studios and facilities. In this period I.C.E. grew self-generated revenue by 89% and achieved a 106% increase in print, online, TV and radio media coverage and employed 288 local Western Sydney artists/facilitators and educators.

With Impact100 Sydney North’s funding I.C.E. will run Barbershop, an innovative 15-month training/mentorship, personal development, creative production program for 100 at-risk young men (aged 14-21years) from Western Sydney (Auburn/Granville and Blacktown/Mt Druitt). Using barbering and digital creativity (music, photography, film) as inspirational engagement/education tools, Barbershop will disrupt entrenched patterns of education disengagement, unemployment and dysfunction. The program aims to engage at-risk young men who are struggling with negative conceptions and expectations of how to ‘be men’ from peers, cultural influences, the wider community, the media – and themselves. It is intended to redress low senior secondary retention rates e.g. Blacktown/Mt Druitt @ 38% (2012) and high levels of youth unemployment e.g. Blacktown/Mt Druitt @ 21.1% and Auburn/Granville @ 25% (2012).

For more information, please visit I.C.E.

2017 $10,000 Merit Award recipients

Aurora Education Foundation

Gaama Project

Aurora Education Foundation was established in 2009, with the mission to inspire the academic aspirations and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Its vision is an Australia where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander success, prosperity and achievement, is just the way things are. Aurora’s programs engage and support Indigenous students to build the academic skills needed to reach their career goals, whether this is by graduating from high school with the foundational skills necessary to run their own small business, or by attending TAFE or university, or even completing a doctorate at Harvard University. Aurora believes engaging Indigenous students in education is the way to create deep, lasting change.


Aurora is a national organisation with programs in various states reaching over 11,000 students a year. It delivers a suite of interconnected programs that walk with Indigenous students through each stage of their educational development and build their resilience, identity, aspirations and sense of community. Indigenous young people look to their own community for role models, advice and support.


The Gaama outreach program will deliver 13 student outreach workshops to 390 Sydney-based Indigenous high school students (Year 7-12). Students will come together with Indigenous academic role models, hear their education success stories, directly meet them in person, ask questions and be inspired to follow in their footsteps. This is a new program for Aurora which will see Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander university students and graduates link up with Indigenous high school students across Australia to support them to realise and fulfil their academic potential and consider the possibilities open to them in the world of tertiary education.

Indigenous Australians experience significantly poorer outcomes than non-Indigenous Australians at every stage of education, from school through to postgraduate study. Nationally, for every 100 Indigenous Year 8 students, only 3 will be eligible for university on the basis of their marks. We know this is not because Indigenous students lack potential, but because of the impact of socioeconomic disadvantage, discrimination, low expectations and lack of role models. Through independent evaluators Nous Group Aurora has robust evaluation data demonstrating the success of its programs.

For more information please visit, Aurora Education Foundation

batyr Australia Ltd

batyr@school North Sydney

batyr was established in 2011 by Sebastian Robertson after his struggles with mental health during his time at university. It was created to destigmatise mental ill health and increase the help seeking rate through sharing stories of lived experiences with mental health issues. batyr’s vision is an Australia where young people engage in positive conversations about mental health and are empowered to seek out help when needed. Its mission is to deliver innovative peer-to-peer programs that engage, educate and empower young people. batyr programs focus on addressing issues that impact the mental health of young people, and promote resilience and help seeking behavior.


batyr provides programs that train young people to speak about their personal experience with mental ill health and start a conversation in their community, helping to break down the stigma surrounding mental health. batyr then takes these young people into schools and universities across the country to share their story in structured and dynamic programs that empower other young people to reach out for support from a wide range of mental health services around them (e.g. school counselor, GP, Headspace or Lifeline).

Suicide is the leading course of death in young people, aged between 15 and 24 (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2011, p.21), this needs to change! Despite 1 in 4 young people suffering from mental ill health by the end of adolescence, mental health is not openly discussed and remains the ‘elephant in the room’. Mental ill health holds a stigma that prevents open and frank exchanges, creating a barrier to young people getting the help they need. According to the 2013 National Mental Health Report, stigma is the issue of most concern for people living with mental ill health having the “potential to inhibit help seeking, increase the experience of psychological distress and adversely impacting upon the recovery process” (p.43-44).

With funding from Impact100 Sydney North, batyr will deliver 40 structured and engaging batyr@school programs in North Sydney. The project will target 6,000 school students aged 14-18 years. Recently batyr completed a Masters study with Macquarie University that proved the impact of its programs on reducing stigma and increasing help seeking through professional services. However, currently batyr’s programs are scattered across regions and they have not as yet had the ability to hone in on an area with a targeted approach to reaching a large proportion of the student population. This project will enable the compilation of feedback from student surveys (approximately 6000) to present to the North Sydney Primary Health Network (PHN) in the hope of securing ongoing funding and creating a sustainable platform for batyr in North Sydney. If batyr can then work with the North Sydney PHN and showcase this work to the other 30 PHNs around the country, this could have an exponential impact on batyr and the mental health of young Australians.

For more information, please visit batyr Australia Ltd

Orange Sky Australia

Project Orange Sky Youth 

Orange Sky is the world’s first free mobile laundry service for people experiencing homelessness, defined as the absence of safe, healthy and permanent accommodation. It was founded in Brisbane by two 20 year olds in October 2014. Since then the custom fitted vans have been servicing parks and drop in centres across Australia and the wider community with two industrial washers and dryers in each van. Now 812 volunteers manning 13 laundry vans and 3 shower vans wash 7.2 tonnes of laundry and provide over 150 showers to homeless people (who Orange Sky call friends) in over 100 locations throughout Australia every week.


Its mission is to positively connect communities with the objective of helping transition people out of homelessness by: restoring respect and a sense of dignity; raising health standards; developing positive and genuine connections and providing a sense of purpose and direction. The services provided to people experiencing homelessness include: free laundry and free showers from mobile vans; positive, genuine and non-judgmental conversations; skills training and casual employment opportunities. The target population is people living in poverty and people adversely impacted by natural disaster and those fleeing unsafe environments.

28,500 Australians are homeless in NSW. Of these 10,551 are under 25 years of age. In Sydney 42% of the city’s homeless are under 24. Impact100 Sydney North’s grant would fund Project Orange Sky Youth to provide training and employment opportunities for disadvantaged Sydney youth. This will restore a sense of purpose and prepare them for more permanent opportunities. The funds will enable Orange Sky to secure commercial laundry and screen-printing contracts and then recruit and train young people to execute these contracts. Orange Sky will provide casual employment for 45 young people at risk in the first year, 75 in year two and 150 in year three.

Orange Sky believes it can engage 60 volunteers, secure the support from 25 local businesses and create opportunities for 45 disadvantaged youth in the first year. They will assist young people transition from these opportunities to more permanent employment and predict the project will be self-funding at the expiry of the funds in 12 months. This will occur as Orange Sky builds the number of commercial contracts to support the cost of the operation, creating a sustainable social enterprise.

For more information, please visit Orange Sky Australia