David_ Brent.a.k.a. Leanne Townsend (1)

NASCA CEO Leanne Townsend

Over the past couple of years, I have had the pleasure of watching NASCA raise the bar not only for ourselves but also for the young people that we work alongside. While the external environment for Aboriginal non-profit organisations remains a very challenging one, I have seen our community come together and show resilience, determination, and a shared sense of purpose.

While the challenges have been may – from a persistently tough fundraising climate to discouraging misperceptions about the role and value of Indigenous community development and Indigenous Rights – what has shone through is the steadfast commitment to enabling our most vulnerable to take charge of their lives and thrive.

I’m pleased to report that, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our team and all our extended family, friends and volunteers who participate in our key initiatives, we saw many notable successes this year. Among them was NASCA’s participation in the Association For International Sport For All – known as the TAFSIA Games in Indonesia, in early October. Showcasing traditional Australian Indigenous Games on the world stage gave light to our sustained connection to our culture and the power of social change through sport. Seeing our students experience many firsts this trip, (first time flying, first time overseas) they did our organisation proud, working hard in the humidity to run workshops with dozens of participants from all over the world.

This year also saw the evolution of our Northern Territory work with the re-development of our program and operating practices that significantly improves our volunteer recruitment and our measurable impact through the introduction of our own evaluation and research framework. Our reputation in the region has resulted in demand for NASCA to expand, coming directly from three new communities in 2017. We are working very hard to find the resources to respond next year.

NASCA worked conscientiously with our partner organisations to host over 160 participants on our weeklong careers immersion program, with young people travelling from all over Australia including as far away as Perth and Remote NT communities. Without the support of many non-profits, businesses and universities this experience would not have been possible. Many of our participants walked away with work ready skills and an accreditation in either first aid or hospitality.

During the past year, NASCA has continued to evolve our strategy and invest in the organisation to lay foundations for our future growth. In partnership with Lend Lease and the Greater Western Sydney Giants AFL team, we realised our ambition to work in Western Sydney, commencing work in April with 50 young people. We will double our work in response to community demand in 2017 to work with 100 participants.

Our team members continue to be our greatest strength. Their commitment and dedication is absolutely critical to our organisation, and I would like to thank our team and volunteers for their continued hard work throughout the year. As we move forward in 2017 and beyond, I am proud of what NASCA accomplished this year and excited about the future. Our community is strong and vibrant, and together we will continue our efforts to uphold Indigenous rights.

Donate today and change a future

Help young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders stay strong in their culture and identity.