Celebrating six years

Monday 22 July marked six years since the launch of our very first Helmsman Project program and we would like to take this opportunity to reflect on our journey. From the first program with 15 students to the 73 programs and over 400 students impacted to date, The Helmsman Project has continuously strived to positively impact the lives of more young people.

The Helmsman Project was founded by a shared belief that young people should be able to flourish regardless of their background. Six years later, this belief has flourished into an innovative, growing not-for-profit organisation whose programs are continuing to develop and extend its impact on young people, their schools and the wider community. 

The Helmsman Project's growth since its inception would not have been possible without the incredible support we have received. 54 pro bono coaches, countless volunteers and at least 15,000 hours donated to our cause is just one snapshot of this incredible support. Sponsors including Goodman Foundation, the Department of Human Services, Barclays, QBE Foundation, Brickworks, Endeavour Energy, EG Funds Management, Westpac, The Funding Network, Teen Spirit Foundation, James Kirby Foundation and others have played a critical role in allowing The Helmsman Project to operate its programs. 

A major highlight from the past six years has been the longitudinal randomised control trial research conducted in partnership with the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education (ACU), The University of Sydney and the Australian Research Council. The research project, led by Distinguished Professor Herb Marsh, co-supervised by Dr Michael Cavanagh and analysed by PhD student Wendy Gwyn, has supported the growth and development of The Helmsman Project programs. Our programs have been built on research that suggests personal coaching and adventure education activities have the potential to have a positive developmental impact on adolescents. This research project is in its final stages and we eagerly await the results to continue to evaluate the efficacy of our programs and refine our approach to maximise our impact on young people. 

There has also been plenty of exciting events over the years including annual dinners, graduations, trivia nights, bake offs, end of year celebrations and more. Bringing together our supporters, students and stakeholders is important to us to show our thanks and share our stories. 

Reflecting on the past six years of The Helmsman Project inspires what the next six years will behold. Our mission to enable young people to develop the skills and perspective to set meaningful goals, overcome setbacks, persevere and thrive remains strong and will continue to drive the organisation. 

The Helmsman Project

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