Last updated: 24 Jan, 2018

VicHealth’s Bright Futures for Young Victorians Challenge provides support for projects which promote community and young people's (12–25 years old) resilience, social connection and mental wellbeing.

We know that this age range is a critical period for individual development, one that is characterised by important transitions through education, work, family and relationships. During this time, young people are developing physically, intellectually and emotionally, while forming autonomous identities, building independent social networks and initiating intimate relationships.

The Bright Futures Challenge aims to build resilience in young people and grow social connection within their communities. The projects supported through the Challenge will trial preventative strategies to equip young people to better cope with challenges they may face now and into the future.

VicHealth’s Bright Futures Challenge has proved funding at two tiers:

  • Seed grants, supporting new projects for a period of 12 months;
  • Horizon grants, continuing the development and delivery of ideas supported in the first 2016 round.

Successful recipients of the second round of VicHealth Bright Futures grants are listed below.


Seed grants

The Mali project - Banyule City Council

Through this project young Somalian Australians will create social media campaigns focusing on positive health based behaviours i.e. eating right, coping with exam stress, culturally sensitive drug, alcohol and sexual health information. Working with industry specialists and high quality technical facilities participants will develop engaging content, act as role models within their community, while also gaining access to other programs or holistic individual support.


Arts Agitators - Casey City Council

Although it has one of the largest populations of young people in Australia may face significant barriers to participation in arts and cultural activities, and their health and wellbeing benefits. The recent opening of new arts facilities in Casey creates an opportunity to co-design new programs and activities with local young people which will benefit their peers and the broader community.


Kitchen Challenge - City of Greater Dandenong

By building the capability and capacity of vulnerable young people Kitchen Challenge aims to change their behaviours and attitudes, while broadening the choices available to them. Engaging participants in an immersive program based in a commercial cooking environment will provide opportunities to learn about nutrition, gain new life skills, while also being linked to access points for meaningful ongoing employment.


First Step - Darebin City Council

Darebin Youth Services (DYS), in partnership with Northland Shopping Centre Management, will co-design an education to employment to program that can transition young people into entry level retail positions, and build the capacity of local businesses to support young people. The training sessions will be held at Darebin City Council’s brand new Northland Youth Access Hub, located within the shopping centre.


GPS Adventures - Golden Plains Shire Council

Delivered in one of the fastest growing rural municipalities this exciting pilot project connects young people with community, adventure, and lifelong learning opportunities. Council will work in partnership with YMCA Geelong and the Shire’s young people to deliver a series of one day theme-based adventure trips and two resilience camps capitalising on the value in experiential learning and mentorship.


Skills 4 the Future (S4F) - Manningham City Council

This new collaborative initiative will enhance young people's resilience, employability, and career options building their skills and experience. The project will be informed by the Youth Summit to be held in March and co-designed with youth leaders, building their capacity in project planning, implementation and evaluation.  An integrated suite of options will build the capacity of participants to be more competitive in today’s labour market.


Youth Uploaded - Maroondah City Council

Youth Uploaded will develop empowering, engaging and relatable local digital and online content, piloting new approaches youth work. A diverse cohort of young people will be integral to the co-creation process with further training and mentorship offered thereby providing employability skills including digital production, project management, team work, and personal effectiveness.


Young Women's Leadership Program - City of Monash

The YWLP will be delivered as a community based training program to strengthening the leadership skills of participants while raising awareness of gender inequality and respectful relationships. Different models of learning will be included with participants also being provided access to volunteering and other community activities. Fifty percent of enrolments will be targeted toward migrant and refugee young women.



Horizon grants

Safe and Supported in Cardinia - Cardinia Shire Council

In its first iteration Safe and Supported in Cardinia delivered a range of initiatives to  LGBTIQ+ young people, their families, professionals, education providers and the wider community. During the next phase of the project Cardinia Youth Services will to expand its support to LGBTIQ+ young people while also using learnings from the earlier project to increase the acceptance and inclusion of young people with a disability. 

We Know Your Name, But Not Your Story - Corangamite Shire Council

Knowing someone's story can decrease assumptions and judgements, and increase the likelihood of making meaningful social connections. Continuing VicHealth’s support for this program into a second phase will enable further development of the story collecting and media making elements as they are further embedded within the Building Resilience in Corangamite Kids (BRICKs) schools program and made available to all local year 9 students.


Bandmates Victoria - Maribyrnong City Council

The pilot phase of Bandmates Victoria saw the development of a contemporary mentorship program that could assist people with a disability to achieve community and cultural participation while also working with the live music industry to deliver accessible and inclusive experiences. Driven by popular demand Bandmates will now be expanded to outer Melbourne and regional areas with an  online platform introduced that can further champion good practice and increase social networks.


Dad Space - Wyndham City Council

The Dad Space program welcomes dads, dads to be, carers and guardians up to the age of 25 to come together, share experiences, and gain access to tailored support for their journey of parenthood. The year one pilot demonstrated the need for an ongoing program with expansion in the second operational year to incorporate a more significant online component and an increased range of community-based activities and excursions.


2016 Bright Futures funding recipients View more

Twelve new projects connecting councils, community and young people will receive funding through VicHealth’s Bright Futures for Young Victorians Challenge.

The Bright Futures Challenge aims to build resilience in young people and grow social connection within their communities. The projects supported through the Challenge will trial preventative strategies to equip young people to better cope with challenges they may face.

Funding for the Bright Futures Challenge is for a one-year period from October 2016. Projects that demonstrate the greatest potential during the pilot phase may be offered further funding.

Successful recipients of the VicHealth Bright Futures grants are listed below.

Upstart and Uplift - Brimbank City Council 

Brimbank Youth Services and CCollective will provide a safe learning environment for young people aged 18 to 25 years interested in developing the practical and interpersonal skills required to become entrepreneurs. The collaboration will develop a business idea that will result in cultural, community, social, and economic outcomes.

Safe and Supported in Cardinia - Cardinia Shire Council

Through the implementation a range of initiatives with young people, parents and local community groups Cardinia Youth Service will build resilience, social and community connections for Same Sex Attracted, Sex and Gender Diverse (SSASGD) young people. 

We know your name, but not your story... - Corangamite Shire Council

Council will work in partnership with Humankind Enterprises to build community connections by training young people to become media makers. A pop-up media booth will be used across Corangamite to collect interviews, photos and videos. These stories will be used to inspire the community to welcome diversity, and to connect in real and meaningful ways.

Wired into the Warra - Gannawarra Shire Council

Gannawarra Shire is made up of multiple small towns with limited transport options between them. Development of a virtual youth space will provide a platform to increase the social connection and accessibility that is vital to addressing isolation and socioeconomic disadvantage experienced by local young people.

Understanding Reality - Hindmarsh Shire Council

This project will allow young people aged 12 to 18 years to be in control of deciding how they would like to be informed of current issues and trends relating to their own wellbeing. Forums and events will be used to encourage social connection and opportunities for young people to talk about problems before they become too great.

Green Valley Garden - Latrobe City Council

A partnership will be established across three secondary schools and Latrobe City's wider youth support services to create edible pop up gardens in underutilised public spaces in Morwell. Students will learn about healthy eating, develop skills with hand and power tools and become more knowledgeable about agricultural process.

Bandmates - Maribyrnong City Council

Bandmates delivers a one on one support model that connects young people through engagement with live music. The pilot program is a partnership between four LGA's, Arts Access Victoria and Music Victoria, with a plan to expand across Melbourne and regional Victoria to include more socially isolated young people.

Voice Your Voice - City of Melbourne

The City of Melbourne, in partnership with The Huddle, Our Say and Scanlon Foundation, will develop an online jury and pod cast series to empower youth to express their aspirations and collaborate with other young people in identifying, owning and delivering solutions to the problems they face.

Youth-Friendly Employer Certification Program - Moonee Valley City Council

This project aims to establish a more positive, supportive experience for young people who are job-seeking and working by growing employers' awareness of the impact of their behaviour and workplace on the confidence and wellbeing of young people seeking work or in the workforce.

The Moreland Youth Movement Project - Moreland City Council

Twenty four Year 12 students will work in teams to identify a real world issue affecting young people within their local community and develop solutions. Valuable peer-to-peer feedback will help strengthen the ideas before they are presented to Council’s Youth Advisory Committee for potential endorsement. 

Dad Space - Wyndham City Council

This is a unique and exciting pilot project targeting young dads within Australia's fastest growing municipality, Wyndham. This project aims to promote resilience, community connectedness and holistic wellbeing through supportive group facilitation, online platforms and case management.

The Art of Belonging – Yarra City Council

Through consultation with local young people, and inspired by international experiences such as the Project for Public Spaces in New York, Yarra City Council and Artful Dodgers Studios will empower young people to shape their local community, and build a stronger sense of place by embedding arts and culture in their everyday environment.