The groundwork for the Education First Youth Foyer Practice Framework began in June 2012 when Colin Falconer, Director of Innovation and Strategy at the United Kingdom (UK) Foyer Federation, conducted workshops on the Open Talent approach with a small team from Hanover Welfare Services (now Launch Housing) and the Brotherhood of St Laurence. An extraordinarily innovative and creative thinker, Colin shared his ideas in a spirit of great generosity, openness and dialogue. Colin's ideas inspired Hanover and the Brotherhood to seed and develop a uniquely Australian version of Open Talent in collaboration with the UK Foyer Federation.

To shape the content of the Practice Framework, a cross-sectoral Service Development Team (see list) was formed, comprising representatives from Hanover, the Brotherhood, Melbourne Rotary, Kangan Institute and Holmesglen Institute. The content and design of the Framework has greatly benefited from the diverse experience and expertise of the group members, who have brought energy, commitment and rigour to the task. In particular, we thank Jack Melbourne and Quin Scalzo from Melbourne Rotary who have embraced and helped shape the vision for the Education First Youth Foyer in a range of related projects. They continue this work in an entirely voluntary capacity.

This Practice Framework has also drawn on the experience and expertise of a number of Foyers in Australia and in the UK, especially Braintree Foyer. In particular, we thank Jethro Sercombe and John Berger from Anglicare's Oxford Street Foyer in Western Australia for generously sharing their time, experience and Foyer resources.

Staff at the Geelong Grammar School - particularly Charlie Scadamme, Justin Robinson and Steve Andrews - have also inspired and informed the development of the Practice Framework. We thank them for generously sharing their expertise in positive psychology and youth wellbeing. Narelle Clay, CEO of Southern Youth and Family Service in Wollongong, has also generously shared their experience in establishing and implementing a Foyer.

The Service Development Team includes:

  • Shelley Mallett (Hanover/Brotherhood)
  • Sally James (Brotherhood)
  • Niamh McTiernan (Foyer Practice Framework Project Manager, Hanover)
  • Jo Buick (Brotherhood)
  • Fin Bird (Hanover)
  • Jon Deakin (Foyer Service Development Manager, Hanover)
  • Daniel Durik (Hanover)
  • Deb Keys (Hanover)
  • Joseph Borlagdon (Brotherhood)
  • Michael Horn (Brotherhood)
  • Jeff O'Hare (Brotherhood)
  • Deborah Yule (Foyer Project Officer, Brotherhood)
  • Chris Camwell (Kangan Institute)
  • Jan Lambert (Holmesglen Institute)
  • Jack Melbourne (Melbourne Rotary)
  • Quin Scalzo (Melbourne Rotary)