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Our Vision

Inspiring young people to belong and be the person they want to be.

Our Core Values

1. Inspiration

Everything we do is inspired by our innate desire to become the best version of ourselves and to inspire others to do the same. We are empowered to be our true selves.

 

2. Power of Connection & Community

We believe in creating energising and meaningful relationships with others and ourselves. We believe in the power of connection with others and the power we bring as an individual to make a difference in our world.

Respect and Acceptance

3. Respect & Acceptance

We nurture an environment where everyone feels welcomed, safe, heard, respected and accepted for whoever they are.

Why we were established

There are 4 million young Australians today.

They will form the backbone and define the Australia of tomorrow. In the midst of Australian bushfires, a global pandemic, social distancing and a looming economic downturn – how do we maintain their hope and faith for the future?

 

In Australia today, we have services and resources for the 20% of youth who

struggle with mental illness. But what about the other 80% of Australian youth?

 

They may not be mentally unwell but many still struggle with life. Imagine the incredible changes and pressures of growing up today as a youth with Covid-19, friendships, social media, studies, university, money finding work and starting a career. Is there a way we can prevent or reduce mental illness?

 

In working with young people, we observed a common desire in youth for a safe space, without judgment from others, that changed the way we viewed wellbeing in youth which is summarised in this one research response by a young 14 year old girl.

 

“I am struggling with problems and I just don’t want to talk to my parents or friends. I don’t want to speak to kids helpline or youth services because that makes me feel like something is wrong with me.”

Where can a young person go today to have safe honest discussions that are important to them with people they can relate to? Most young people are just struggling and not talking about it.

 

The 2019 Young Australian Loneliness Survey commissioned by VicHealth is the first known study to examine loneliness severity in a large cohort of young Victorians aged

12 to 25 years. What they found is alarming. One in six adolescents aged 12- 17 and one in three young adults aged 18-25 suffer from loneliness and isolation.

 

The Highway Foundation was established to create an inspiring safe place for connecting youth who are from similar ages with similar struggles connecting online from all over Australia to discuss things that are important to them led by a youth facilitator who has had the same life experience. In this safe space, youth can connect and explore the best versions of themselves and in doing

so move forward to take the right actions for them.

 

By being in a supportive group of like- minded youth they can also create authentic relationships and move forward together inspiring and supporting each other.

 

Our guiding principle is that all youth come with all the answers. By holding a safe space for them to explore their life and themselves they can uncover what is truly right for themselves.

Highway’s job is not to fix what is wrong, in- stead, Highway is about creating transforma- tional moments where youth can find clarity and inspiration for their life and therefore feel empowered to move forward.

 

In these times more than ever, we need to instill hope and the belief our youth can live a good life. Science tells us that when we have inner belief, we are more likely to act on it and therefore achieve it.

 

Highway not only works with young people, but we enhance sustainable change by working hand in hand with parents, schools, councils and communities. We believe youth need to be supported not only by Highway but by their community. Together when we are working together to nurture the best

in our youth for tomorrow – then that is a future worth looking forward to.