Youth Collective Impact Initiatives

South West Connect is committed to empowering young people in South West Sydney to be resilient and resourceful individuals.

  • Class Chefs

    This partnership offers senior students an opportunity to participate in a real life restaurant setting by preparing and cooking food whilst working under the guidance of professional chefs. Students are also responsible for the front of house, waiting on tables and serving their parents, families, friends and the wider community.

  • Ambition+ PLUS

    Ambition+ PLUS is an online and in-person careers exploration program that prepares young people to become work ready by guiding their pathway between school, tertiary education and employment. Students also receive free access to an online careers resource tool, '' for 12 months.


    The “Student Pop Up Café” initiative provides an opportunity for an entire class of VET Hospitality (Food & Beverage) students to run a café for the morning and also be co-assessed under the guidance of industry experts and their teacher.Students will serve 200+ meals consisting of an espresso coffee and a bacon and egg roll during the service period. Vegetarian options are also available.This is a unique opportunity for students to gain real life experience and serve paying customers (and meet customer commercial ratios) outside of the school environment

  • FUSION (Fun Unite Smile Ignite Older New) An Aged and Youth Partnership

    FUSION – Bridging the cultural and generational gap and promoting careers and volunteering in aged care and healthcare. The project encourages, supports and increases participation in volunteering at an early age and will assist students in making the transition from school to work while enhancing their employability skills. Students learn about the healthcare / aged care industry, how to care for the residents and the pathways they can follow to start a career in the aged care and healthcare industry. Students can use these skills with their own grandparents or continue to volunteer in the community. At the conclusion of the project, participants will have donated 2,000 hours of volunteering time.

  • Youth Mental Health Summit (Healthy Minds, Healthy Community)

    The partnership is an early intervention, proactive and preventative strategy to address the emergence and prevalence of Mental Health issues amongst young people before the problem escalates without support into adulthood. The aim is to reduce and ultimately prevent youth suicide, bullying by those not aware of the consequences of mental illness and it will help to remove the stigma of mental illness and create a supportive and inclusive community. Up to 500 people will attend the annual Youth Mental Health Summit, hosted by SWC’s community partners, it will provide students and teachers with the skills, knowledge and resources to identify mental health issues. Schools create an Action Plan and set up Youth Action Groups within their schools to improve wellbeing at their school based on the concepts gained at the YMHS.

  • STEP Up to Success

    The program works with young leaders to train them to build resilience and life skills in raising their aspirations, financial literacy & numeracy skills which empowers them with the confidence to excel in class and in life. The STEP up to Success program is derived from Second STEP, an Evidence Based Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) Program. It comprises of multiple layers of activities and programs that lift the aspirations of the students and encourage them to dream about their futures, including structured workshops and aspirational tours. Importantly, it provides students with foundation skills of SEL which help create social cohesion within the classroom and playground, preparing them for high school, university / TAFE, and the workplace. The Second STEP resilience and problem solving program has had a positive impact on the students through a sustained and intensive focus on SEL skills.

  • Big Dreams Bigger Futures

    SWC’s ‘Big Dreams, Bigger Futures’ project supports children to realise their aspirations and achieve their full potential. The project works in partnership with primary schools, students, their families, businesses and community services, to support and grow children’s motivation to engage in meaningful activities and education, that will in turn keep them enthused throughout High School and beyond.

  • Second STEP

    The Second Step program is an evidence based program approved by the Australian Government, designed to teach children how to understand and manage their emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Second Step helps students gain these important skills for success in their transition to high school and eventually into tertiary studies or the workplace.

  • Aspirational ‘Behind the Scenes’ and ‘Future Links’ Tours

    Students visit local businesses and discover the many career options available to them across different sectors including health, hospitality, tourism, man­ufacturing, community services and many more. These tours provide practical and hands-on experiences that enable students to aspire to meaningful futures, as well as to educate them and their families about opportunities, pathways and services readily avail­able to them in their local area. To reinforce the concepts gained, students com­plete an activity worksheet as they ask questions and interact with each host employer.

  • Future Links Future Ready

    SWC has partnered with local schools & businesses to deliver a unique & innovative approach to navigating careers and connecting with employers. Through a series of interactive sessions, participants have been inspired and motivated to take action after gaining the skills and resources to help them overcome common barriers.There are 4 main components of the project, which were delivered throughout the year: (1) Future Links Career Workshops and Seminars, (2) Career Explorer Tours (including tertiary education options) , (3) Future Links Skills Journal (to log career options and aspirations), (4) Mentoring & Volunteering.

  • STEPS to a Brighter Future & Dream Big For A Better Future

    These programs include an Aspirational Behind the Scenes / Future Links Tour and an Evidence Based Program to help participants connect with adult role models in a workplace setting and to start seeing a better future for themselves.This initiative helps disadvantaged primary school students facing bullying and generational welfare dependency by providing resilience and life/financial skills and raises their aspirations to provide them with the confidence to excel in class and in life.Disadvantaged students are likely to underperform, disengage from education and leave school early. "STEPS to a Brighter Future" & “Dream Big for a Better Future” takes a collective impact approach, bringing together the education, business and community sectors and is underpinned by Evidence Based Programs including World Health Organisation endorsed programs, delivered by facilitators trained to get the best from participants.

  • Seek a Skill Interactive Careers Expo

    SWC and its partners developed the Seek a Skill Interactive Careers Expo, as a means of addressing the skills and jobs shortages across Western Sydney and inspiring young people to consider and explore career pathways by connecting with people already in the field or have the resources to help them. The Seek a Skill motto of “find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it” (Katherine Whitehorn) remains highly relevant as we continue to explore opportunities to evolve the Seek a Skill initiative to inspire even more young people.

  • Dare to Dream

    “Dare to Dream” helps primary school (including CALD and refugee) students at risk of generational unemployment and welfare dependency with resilience and life skills and raises their aspirations, financial literacy & numeracy skills to provide them with the confidence to excel in class and in life. Disadvantaged students are likely to underperform, disengage from education and leave school early. “Dare to Dream” takes a collective impact approach, bringing together the education, business and community sectors and is underpinned by Evidence Based Programs including World Health Organisation endorsed programs, delivered by facilitators trained to get the best from participants.

  • Yamaha Student Grand Prix

    The Yamaha Student Grand Prix Partnership created in partnership with SWC due to the skills shortage of experienced technicians in the marine and motorcycle industry. Since taking part in the Yamaha Student Grand Prix in 2013 as a Year 10 student, Brenden Williamson has gone on to be awarded the “2015 Australian School Based Apprentice of the year” and also gained the official government title of “Australi­an Apprenticeships Ambassador”.

  • Mini Career Pals (Literacy and Career Aspirations program)

    The program involves a class of Year 5/6 students from different schools exchanging letters throughout the school year with adult volunteers from different vocations and professions to improve liter­acy and inspire their learning through the art of letter writing. With the aim of building capacity within schools to deliver their own version of Mini Career Pals using the tools and resources already created by SWC, SWC will host a breakfast session to share this information with schools across the Fairfield and Liverpool LGA’s interested in replicating this fun, innovative and relevant real life aspirational program in their own schools. Successfully adapted by Marsden Road Public School, their version covers 3 of the Department of Education’s Strategic Directions – Creating Futures Together 2015 – 2017.

  • FRIENDS for Life

    FRIENDS for Life – FfL is an Evidence Based Program (EBP) that develops numerous social and personal skills, as well as building positive relationships with peers and adults. Developed in Australia and acknowledged by the World Health Organisation, the FfL program also promotes self-esteem, problem-solving skills, psychological resilience and self-expression. This program is a soft entry point to connect with young children to ‘plant the seed’ of future-thinking.