Opportunity Pathways supports access to study and work

Opportunity Pathways supports access to study and work

young woman hanging hi-viz shirts on the line

Social Futures is offering a new program called Opportunity Pathways for Rent Choice recipients and social housing clients to help them access education, training and work in the Northern Rivers region.

The program offers flexible, personalised support to people who want to improve their employment options. Participants will have access to pre-employment training, employment support, post-employment support and housing independence services.

Anyone interested in the program can contact Jason McDonald, Program Manager on 0428 856 546 or by email [email protected].

Opportunity Pathways is a new initiative under Futures Directions in Social Housing NSW.


Auslan signing comes to Byron Writers Festival

Auslan signing comes to Byron Writers Festival

This year the Deaf Community will have more access to the Byron Writers Festival, beginning with an Auslan-signed promotional video developed in collaboration with Social Futures’ Far North Coast (FNC) Ability Links.

The video features FNC Ability Links Co-Manager Sigrid Macdonald introducing the event and explaining the Auslan interpreting services that will be available during the festival, which runs from 2-4 August at Elements of Byron Resort. “It’s great to see Byron Writers Festival in the vanguard of public events realising the need to make themselves more accessible to people with disabilities, including members of the Deaf Community like myself,” Sigrid said.

Download the media release

In collaboration with:


Remembering Sorry Day …

Remembering Sorry Day …

the word sorry in the sky against sydney opera house

… and the impact of the Stolen Generations on all Aboriginal people in Australia. Our thoughts are with our staff, our participants, our wider communities and their loved ones. We remember and honour Elders past, present and those who are yet to come.

Sorry Day has been held annually on 26 May since 1998. It provides an important reminder for everyone in Australia to remember the past policies of forced child removal. On Sorry Day we reflect on the sad and painful history of the Stolen Generations and recognise moments of resilience, healing and the power of saying Sorry.

The first Sorry Day was held ten years after the publication of the Bringing Them Home report. However a report on government services, released by the Productivity Commission last year, said there were 17,664 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care in 2016-17, compared with 9,070 in 2007-08. So is sorry enough?

Read more about the Stolen Generations and the history of Sorry Day in this fantastic information sheet from Reconciliation Australia.

Right Support. Right Time. 2019 Better Chances Regional Forum

Right Support. Right Time. 2019 Better Chances Regional Forum

The Right Support. Right Time. 2019 Better Chances Regional Forum held on 13 June 2019 at Lennox Head Cultural and Community Centre focused on and explored the question, can children, young people and families we work with get the right support at the right time?

The event attracted 135 attendees representing 46 organisations. The day was facilitated by Naomi Moran, General Manager at the Koori Mail and we had 16 presentations and 4 workshops. All of the presenters were from the Northern Rivers, with the exception of two NSW Government presenters from Sydney who joined with The Family Centre to present on the results of a child protection pilot project. There was a really strong focus on Aboriginal culture, and understanding how the whole sector can work more supportively alongside Aboriginal workers, organisations and communities. Other themes for the day included connecting across organisations and systems, acting on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and connecting with community in our work.

Evaluation told us that 95% of attendees surveyed thought the forum was engaging and interesting, and 96% of those surveyed learnt new things or made new connections that will assist them with their work.

Participants also told us that most useful and enjoyable sessions on the day were Helene Collard, (We Al-li), Carmen Stewart (It Takes a Town) and Naomi Moran (Forum facilitator).

Click below to download the presentations from the forum.


The number of recommendations were developed from the day which will inform the BCF’s work program and results framework. We thank everyone who contributed to making this event a great and challenging day for the sector. 

Social Futures joins Everybody’s Home

Social Futures joins Everybody’s Home

Everybody's home campaign auction image

Social Futures is now an Everybody’s Home Campaign partner

Everybody’s Home is led by leading housing associations and homelessness providers. It is calling on governments at all levels to:

  • Support first home buyers
  • Develop a National Housing Strategy
  • Ensure a better deal for renters
  • Provide immediate relief for Australians in chronic rental stress
  • Create a plan to end homelessness by 2030.

To find our more about the campaign and how you can add your voice, visit the Everybody’s Home Website

everybody's home logo

Free skate, scooter and BMX clinics in GRAFTON

Free skate, scooter and BMX clinics in GRAFTON

Get OFF THE WALL this week with FREE skate, scooter and BMX clinics at Grafton Skate Park!

WHEN?  FROM 2-4.30pm onGrafton easter skate park activity

  • Tuesday 16 April – BMX
  • Wednesday 17 April – Scooter
  • Thursday 18 April – Skate

WHERE? Grafton Skate Park

Limited spaces, book your places!

Call Sonya 0427 317 595 | Shaun 0417 598 392 | Ricky 0427 333 281

Parental/carer consent required for young people under 16.



Fifteen fabulous young songwriters will battle it out for prizes

Fifteen fabulous young songwriters will battle it out for prizes

Young Songwriters AwardsFifteen young songwriters have been chosen to perform live at this year’s Lismore Young Songwriters Competition Finalists Showcase on Friday 12 April [tomorrow] at Studio One29, Southern Cross University.

The young songwriters hail from Byron Bay, Mullumbimby, Lismore, Lennox Head, Grafton, Evans Head and places in between and will battle it out for more than $11,500 worth of prizes.

Lismore Young Songwriters Competition committee member, Madeline Seely of Social Futures, said prizes on offer included professional RODE microphones, double passes to Splendour in the Grass, mastered track recordings at Rockinghorse Studios, SAE Institute Byron Bay, and Southern Cross University, a fantastic stereo system from The Audio Room, paid gigs at Crankfest Youth Festival, and the Lismore Lantern Parade and more.

“It’s such a great opportunity for our budding musicians to get their name out there, but also to win some real prizes for their talent which can help launch their career,” Madeline said. “The Finalists Showcase is popular and tickets to last year’s event sold out quickly. It’s a free event but it’s important to reserve a ticket well in advance so you don’t miss out.”


Budget underwhelming for Northern Rivers residents

Budget underwhelming for Northern Rivers residents

Australian Commowealth Crest and words Budget 2019-20

Social Futures CEO Tony Davies has welcomed the Federal Budget announcement that $527.9 million has been set aside for the proposed Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People With a Disability – but says there is little else to celebrate for residents of the Northern Rivers.

“Congestion-busting initiatives are all well and good for big city residents but we actually want some decent social and economic infrastructure in places such as the Northern Rivers,” Mr Davies said.

“Beyond the Royal Commission there’s not much for vulnerable people in this Budget.”

Mr Davies said the most obvious area overlooked by the Budget was the urgent need to lift the Newstart allowance, as called for by organisations including the Australian Council of Social Service and the Business Council of Australia.

Read full media release

Get the full budget details from the Australian Treasury

Listen to Tony’s interview with Bruce Mackenzie (ABC North Coast) on Wednesday 3 April, 2019

Opportunity Pathways … a new route to housing independence

Opportunity Pathways … a new route to housing independence

red haired young woman working in fashion shopOpportunity Pathways is a new program that is designed to break the cycle of disadvantage for social housing recipients. It will also reduce their reliance on government-funded social housing or Rent Choice subsidies.

Anita Mansfield from Social Futures, says “This new program is designed to help people realise their career aspirations and transition away from social housing toward housing independence. We will create personalised support plans and pathways to career opportunities, but we can also support participants with Social Futures wrap-around services, so it’s an entirely holistic approach.”

The program will be offered in Lismore and Tweed Heads to people aged 17 or older who are: social housing tenants or members of their household; approved social housing applicants on the waiting list; and people who receive the Rent Choice subsidy. Social Futures anticipates it will support 165 participants over the next three years.

Read the media release



image: Northern Star

New national research backs the Northern Rivers community’s call to address the housing crisis in our region, where over 12,000 households are experiencing rental stress and more than 3,000 households are on the social housing waitlist.

The research is contained in a just-released report from the University of NSW’s City Futures Research Centre and finds more than one million social and affordable homes need to be built across Australia by 2036 just to meet current demand and keep pace with population growth.

Social Futures CEO and President of the NSW Council of Social Service, Tony Davies said the research also revealed the current social and affordable housing shortfall in NSW was 216,400 homes with the shortage particularly acute in the Northern Rivers.

Read the media release

Write to your local candidate and as what they’ll do about housing if elected?

Delivering services around COVID-19

Social Futures is committed to the continuation of delivering support services in a safe, practical and innovative way while navigating COVID-19.