The Bridge of Hope model of change is based on reducing the barriers faced by the most ‘at risk’ members of our society and providing them with the life skills necessary to overcome vulnerability, disadvantage and exclusion. Issues of disadvantage bring with them problems of depression, social and emotional disorders, levels of violence and substance abuse and unless supported, these circumstances lead to a further more dramatic downward spiral.

The BoH Bridging the Gap Program

More than 43,000 children and young people were living in out-of-home care - foster care, residential care and kinship care - in Australia, as at 30 June 2015. 

Nearly half of all homeless people and more than 60% of youth in detention have experienced out-of-home care. It is clear that the current system is not working and is leaving our children at risk.  

The Initiative is supported by joint patrons Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs, Julian Burnside AO QC and Simon McKeon AO; Ambassador Susan Alberti AC and an Executive Reference Group of leading Victorian social justice professionals... Read more about Bridging the Gap

The BoH Innocence Initiative at RMIT

The Bridge of Hope Innocence Initiative at RMIT is a collaboration between academics, university students and lawyers who investigate claims of wrongful conviction, work to achieve the exoneration and release of ‘convicted innocents’, conduct research and campaign for the reform of issues that may lead to such miscarriages of justice.

The Initiative provides assistance on a pro bono basis to applicants who claim they are factually innocent of a criminal offence for which they were convicted.

The Initiative is supported by joint patrons The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG and Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs, and an Executive Reference Group of leading Victorian criminal justice professionals. Read more about Innocence Initiative

The BoH L2P Learner Driver Mentor Program

Gaining a drivers licence is a life changing experience. For a young person, it helps them to develop skills and confidence and to access better education, training and job opportunities. The L2P program assists participants to gain the mandatory 120 hours of supervised learner driving experience required by VicRoads to gain a Victorian Drivers Licence. It incorporates both road safety and mentoring. Many disadvantaged young people, however, do not have access to a vehicle and/or a supervising driver and may not be able to afford professional driving lessons and the cost of a drivers licence. 

The BoH L2P Learner Driver Mentor Program is being developed in conjunction with key stakeholders to make additional places available for disadvantaged young people including those living in out-of-home care or who have experienced youth detention. The program will provide a vehicle, professional driving lessons by a registered driving instructor, a carefully selected and trained volunteer driver mentor and a driver licence upon successful completion of the licence test. The program has been endorsed by the office of the Minister for Human Services, the Youth Parole Board, VicRoads and the TAC.

An extended program is also proposed to assist participants to obtain a licence to operate a forklift truck (in association with TAFE) and, once that licence has been obtained, BoH will open the door to potential job opportunities.

The BoH Community Co-operative

BoH is developing a co-operative model of social enterprise aimed at community participation in job training and job building. BoH has garnered the expertise necessary to develop a community co-operative model that will secure jobs and opportunity for future generations. This task is particularly important in light of privatisation of public assets in Australia, and the possible impacts of the Trans Pacific Partnership, if implemented.

Being part of a global community and ensuring vibrant local economic development are both important to pursue for the mutual prosperity of all in Australia. The Co-operative and Mutual Enterprise (CME) business model is a viable alternative that can potentially pick up the pieces and rebuild our economy prior to - or when - whole communities of working people are made redundant.

The Bridge of Hope is now establishing a CME ecosystem modelled on the highly successful Mondragon region of Basque, Spain. See the Mondragon website to understand and be inspired.