Our History

For a relatively young charity Youth Focus has come a long way. The timeline below charts the development of the organisation including its key milestones:


The organisation commences as Youth Charities Trust from an office in the city run mainly by volunteers with a professional staff of 1.5 people. The primary focus was peer support camps for around 80 young people aged 14 – 18 years. Our annual turnover was approximately $100,000.

1998 – 1999

We were selected by government to run a pilot project entitled ‘Prevention of Youth Suicide and Self Harm’. Funding totalling $170 000 was provided allowing us to employ 3 new staff. This period also saw our programs extended to a full time counselling service while family counselling commenced with a part time counsellor.

2000 – 2001

We moved into renovated offices in West Leederville with the help of PM constructions and Gus Irdi as appointed as our new Chairman. The Board was expanded and a CEO was appointed (Jenny Allen). The government recognised our work on the pilot project and we were selected as service provider.

During this time Woodside became our major corporate partner which provided us with the capacity for a significant expansion seeing us employ more counselling staff and developing our work model.

2002 – 2003

The Wind Over Water Foundation commenced their long standing partnership during this period and this has been a cornerstone to the development of our Peer Support program. With the support of Hawaiian and Lotterywest we were able to secure our new premises in Goodwood Parade in Burswood.

Our services staff grew to cope with the ever expanding client demand and we undertook a significant policy and procedures assessment. During this period the Youth Focus charity house concept was born.

2003 – 2004

The Ride for Youth was born in 2003, the event was the brain children of a number of recreational cyclists and it sees riders pedal from Albany to Perth. Since its inception to 2014 it has raised more than $10,000,000 to support our work.

Worsley Alumina began their support of our South West project of ‘Suicide Prevention in the South West’ and in total we are seeing over 300 clients and 40 families. The Ride for Youth event tops $300,000 in fundraising per year and the ‘Night of Nights’ ball is inaugurated in July 2004

2005 – 2006

By now we are seeing 500 clients and 160 families with a budget of $1.5M and 18.6 employees. An office is opened in Mandurah and Telethon begins their support of our metropolitan counselling service. The Ride for Youth raises $400,000 per year and the first Youth Focus Charity house is built with the support of Scott Park and Redink Homes


We hit a current record of 840 clients and 240 families serviced by a team of 25 in our Services team and 8 in our Business team. Our budget has now increased to $2.7m


By the end of 2010 we had support just under 1,000 young people. Our full staff compliment grew to 40 people and our turnover reached $4m.

2011 – 2013

This period has seen significant growth in all aspects of the organisation.  During 2013 we anticipate that we will have provided our free and unlimited ongoing mental health counselling to around 2,000 young Western Australians and be operating from 8 locations including Burswood, Joondalup, Midland, Kwinana, Mandurah, Bunbury, Albany and Geraldton (scheduled to open in late 2013).  Our staff numbers have grown to close to 60 people with the vast majority of this growth being in our Service team.  In 2012 we developed our Training team to provide mental health training to workplaces, to the education sector and to community groups.  Our fundraising events continued to grow with the 2012 Hawaiian Ride for Youth generating more than $2M in its 10th anniversary year.  In 2013 the event would go onto raise a further $1.5M seeing the total raised by the event over the past 11 years exceed $8.2M.