The Overcoming Isolation Short List

These are the projects Members are voting to fund in the Overcoming Isolation Grant Round!




    Open Doors Youth Service is Queensland’s leading youth service enriching the lives of people who identify with diverse sexualities, genders and bodies. We support young people by providing safe spaces and promoting wellbeing to achieve equality in society and positively affirming who young LGBTI people are. 

    For over 13 years, Open Doors, has provided counselling and support services for LGBTI+ young people aged 12 to 24 and their families  and we also work in collaboration with service providers and communities to support the needs of our clients & the wider community. 

    This includes the provision of individual one to one support with a social worker, group drop in activities and referral to other community services organisations. We support young people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless by improving their connection with their family, community, education, employment & training.  Our services also support young people who are at risk of suffering from domestic violence, mental health issues, including self-harm & suicide. 

    Currently Open Doors limits its services for people who live in South East Queensland and moreso in the Brisbane area.  We are the largest (if not only) service if our kind in Queensland and have a wealth of knowledge and believe we a well placed to provide assistance to remote and regional communities. 

    The Project

    Regional & Remote Assistance Program

    Open Doors Youth Service would like to set up a Regional & Remote Assistance Program to provide support outside our current territory of South East Queensland. 

    Our project will: 

    1. Provide assistance to social workers who require assistance with LGBTQIA+ 12-24 specific issues via Skype or Phone. 
    2. Where a regional or remote social worker requires further assistance, our social workers will then provide support directly to the young person via a phone call or skype. 

    We will increase our staffed hours by 2.5 hours at $35/hour (inc super) and will in exchange provide 130 hours of support to regional communities.  In the event demand surpasses what we have been funded for we will increase our hours/week, however that will reduce the number of months this program runs. 

    Working on the basis that the average support will be 45minutes to 1 hour the program will have the capacity to provide 125-150 support calls. 

    We will spend the first 2 weeks (5 hours) on contacting regional and remote youth services via email advising of the new support service. Success in the program is contingent on services contacting us for service, in the event we do not receive the calls, the resources will be distributed back into other Open Doors services. As this program is in concept stage in the event the grant is successful (or demand surpasses what we are staffed for) we can apply for further Larger grants with other government & enterprise organisations.

    Amount requested:




    We are a national organisation that helps queer students and aspiring professionals as they transition from study to full-time employment by partnering with organisations that are inclusive and that promote diversity. 

    Key Program areas are: 

    National Mentoring Program - operating in NSW, QLD, VIC, ACT & WA currently

    Other activities: 

    Networking events - generally state-based including metorpolitan events plus community forums and regional and rural events

    Role models - including national awards annually and online seminars and promotional resources
    Diversity and inclusion - directly working with multiple industries including education sector to improve recruitment and development practices and to ensure workplaces and universities are supportive

    Community building - creation of rural and regional networks. E.g. In QLD we are already in Toowoomba, Townsville, Cairns, Mackay and Gold Coast and similar in other states/ territories such as Wollongong and Albury in NSW

    Regional engagement - currently running an LGBTI student ambassador program in QLD at every university but are looking to move our mentoring online to provide support to students and young queer people in isolated areas and with the aim to connect them with local / state mentors

    The Project

    Rural & Regional LGBTIQ+ Mentoring Program

    This project is part of the National Outreach portfolio of Out for Australia, a not-for-profit LGBTIQ+ organisation. 

    The project will: 

    - provide online support and resources through our tailored mentoring program to LGBTIQ+ students in isolated and rural and regional areas of Australia. This includes online tools for communication. 

    - connect individual queer students with a mentor in their preferred industry of employment who is also a member of the LGBTIQ+ community. This is done via a detailed application and allocation process with training support available via in person training events and online videos

    - ensure our resources are adequately available to rural and regional LGBTIQ+ communities through our teams on the ground in each rural & regional area

    - provide more specialised resources to students who are members of the  LGBTIQ+ Indigenous and people of colour communities as well as students who identify as 2-spirit, sistergirls & brotherboys (by working with government and local community groups already connected to) 


    0. Ground Zero: 

    Assess goals and viability of project against current needs and budget - create timeline and finalise structure of the project

    1. Reach Out: 

    Digitalise our mentoring resources and distribute through current networks to build support (5000+ members) 

    2. Sign Up: 
    Advertise applications to students and provide materials for promotion

    3. Step Up: 
    Assess applications and provide mentors based on the student's needs

    4. Launch: 
    Provide introductions and tailored training online or in-person

    5. Continued Engagement: 
    Maintain communications and review regularly to ensure project is working

    Amount requested:





    People of diverse sexualities and genders (DSG) are over represented when it comes to mental health issues like depression and anxiety.  We want to change this. 

    Growing up DSG isn’t easy and while there is a lot of support around depression and anxiety in our community, much of it comes too late.   StartOut Australia will focus on early interventions that build the confidence and resilience of DSG people with the aim of reducing the entirely preventable burden of poor mental health. 

    We’re building programs that focus on three key determinants of positive mental health: social inclusion, freedom from discrimination and economic participation. 

    We’ll be creating an online community for young DSG people to develop a sense of social inclusion.  Our online community will provide access to stories promoting positive mental health strategies for young DSG people. 

    We’ll work with employers, schools, and universities to promote and advise on steps that can be taken to eradicate discrimination and to improve social inclusion and economic participation of young DSG people. 

    At the core of our work will be the creation of opportunities for young DSG people to be mentored by community and business leaders.  We’re going to build a technology platform that will make this accessible no matter where people are in Australia. 

    We’ll also develop, deliver and promote educational programs, resources, and services that improve leadership skills, self-confidence and resilience in young DSG people. 

    The Project

    Regional Rollout of Online Mentoring Platform

    StartOut Australia aims to have completed the development of our online mentoring platform by mid-late October 2017.  With almost 85 mentors on board and currently trained or in training, we will be able to put role models in the palms of the hands of young regional and rural DSG people.  Once the platform is finalised and the mentors trained, our focus will shift to promotion of the platform to young people in regional Australia and connecting them to our role models. 
    The aim for funding received from The Channel would be to enable volunteers to promote the platform through community networks, social media, and other selected channels relevant to young people who may be struggling in isolation. 
    We would aim to connect between 50 and 100 young people with role models using our online service.

    • Amount requested: