Year In Review 2022-23

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which SYC and our employees live and work. We pay our respects to their Ancestors and Elders past, present and emerging, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples where we live and work.
Read our commitment to Reconciliation

SYC exists so everyone can succeed.

In October 2022, we launched our 2023-26 Strategic Plan outlining our commitments to revitalising our organisational Vision, Mission and Values for a new chapter.

In our 2022-23 Year in Review, we celebrate and share a snapshot of some of our achievements within our priority areas of Impact, People, Practice and Partnerships to illustrate how these priorities guide the intentions behind our work and service to the community.

A national organisation with a 65-year history, employing over 500 people who provide services to tens of thousands of Australians across areas of education, employment, justice, housing and disability services, we have a shared purpose to help everyone succeed. Throughout this Year in Review, we share a little about what that looks like at SYC.

Our vision

Wellbeing, independence and opportunity for everyone.

We invest back into the community, helping tens of thousands of people every year to create a life without disadvantage, to build sustainable independence and to experience wellbeing in all areas of their lives.


CEO Message

"With a rich history spanning 65 years, our shared purpose and dedication to making a positive impact on our community shine through in all facets of our work, including the successes and experiences of our clients and the unwavering commitment of our staff."


Chair Message

"Throughout my years of service on SYC's Board, I have witnessed the resilience and adaptability of our organisation. We have navigated the ever-changing landscape of our operational environment, consistently maintaining our steadfast commitment to helping people succeed."


Our Impact

people supported
people assisted towards independence through employment initiatives
people assisted towards improved wellbeing through housing, homelessness, and disability supports
people assisted toward greater opportunity through education, training, and justice supports


We are committed to enhancing the reach and benefits of the services we deliver to the community.

At SYC, we are driven to enhance the reach and benefits of the services we provide, making a tangible impact on the lives of Australians. We're dedicated to helping people overcome disadvantage, achieve greater independence, and live their best lives.

We do this by supporting individuals in building their confidence and skills, exploring career pathways, re-engaging in the workforce, and ensuring they have secure housing in safe communities. Through our housing initiatives, our work in justice services, our committed employment team, our growing education and training area and our skillsets in disability services, we're steadfast in our mission of helping people succeed.

This year, in our efforts to empower young people, we've successfully supported them in honing their employment skills, exploring job and career opportunities, and boosting their confidence. Notably, young individuals participating in our employment program at our flagship site, The Foundry, reported an impressive 25% increase in their confidence to tackle career challenges.

Our commitment to helping people re-engage in the workforce is unwavering. Across our more than 40 employment services locations, we provide ongoing support, access to training, transport vouchers, and counselling. As a result, long-term unemployed people in our employment services returned to the workforce at a rate of 62%, overcoming barriers and beginning new chapters of independence for themselves, their families and the community more broadly.

In the 2022-23 financial year, we've worked closely with approximately 3,500 individuals who have interacted with the justice system. One of our flagship programs, Navigator, provides post-release support, leading to a 10% lower re-offending rate compared to the national average. This service was recently recognised, receiving the Community Partnerships Award by the Department for Correctional Services, acknowledging commitment to generating sustainable positive community impact.  

In the last 12 months, we've furthered our commitment to investing in creating affordable, safe housing. We deeply understand that having a home is essential to wellbeing and the ability to overcome disadvantage. Our recent land purchase in Ridgehaven, South Australia, is poised to create exciting opportunities for affordable housing provision.


We attract and retain the best people who believe in our purpose and demonstrate our values.

Our greatest asset at SYC is our dedicated team. We are proud to work with people who are passionate and professional, who encourage and value diversity, who are courageous, creative and, most importantly, who believe in people's potential. In the 2022-23 financial year, we've committed to enhancing our employee experience by improving systems and investing in onboarding experiences for new team members.

We've invested in a new human resources platform to prioritise the experience and wellbeing of our people throughout their career journey at SYC. Our new onboarding platform enables us to strengthen systems for welcoming new staff and ensuring their access to employee development, and training is supportive and reflects our investment and belief in their potential.

This year, we proudly celebrate 44 staff for their service to SYC. With several staff reaching anniversaries of 5, 10, and 15 years of service, this equates to an impressive 245 years in total. The dedication, hard work, and commitment of these staff are invaluable, both in their impact on our services and community at SYC.

We are fortunate to have our community extend to our community of volunteers and students who contribute their energy, passion, and expertise to support our mission. In the last financial year, we have been grateful to host volunteers and students throughout our programs and services at The Foundry, our alternative learning and independent housing initiatives, and head office with students engaged with projects in Data and Analytics and Communications and Marketing. The time, passion, and skills of these individuals are recognised and invaluable to supporting our organisation and building our network of changemakers.


We strive to be recognised as an industry leader in person centric service design and delivery.

As we all know, the rental crisis has become an increasingly pressing issue nationwide, with record-low vacancy rates, rising rents, cost of living pressures, and innumerable anecdotal accounts of first-time homelessness.

We are working on the front lines of this crisis, capturing and sharing our experiences of responding to the rental crisis through our RentRight SA service and Data Snapshot series. We've seen demand for advice and support increase, particularly from those aged 40 and older. We've also seen pressures intensify in the increasing number of people who report that they can't find a place to live and struggle to pay rental debt.

Our experience guides how we work with the community and our advocacy, resulting in submissions to policymakers and the sector more broadly. Our collaboration with various stakeholders, reference groups, and the government resulted in the creation of the Lived Experience Engagement Framework. This document will drive the incorporation of lived expertise in the sector for more responsive and effective services.

We have also seen amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act in South Australia, removing the no-cause eviction clause. No-cause evictions have been frequently brought to our attention by members of the community seeking support and providing input. We, along with our reference group members and sector colleagues, have been advocating for this change, and we're pleased to see progress in this space.


We actively engage in purposeful partnerships to achieve higher value and positive outcomes.

Partnerships are the backbone of our success at SYC. Collaborating with corporate partners like Suncorp through our workplace giving program has enabled us to enhance our unfunded services to better empower people to pursue independence and opportunities.

Throughout the course of this financial year, we've had the privilege of partnering with Weeks Homes, whose dedication and passion for addressing the housing crisis and creating positive environments for people, especially young families, have made a significant impact. A donation of $42,000 worth of equipment and supplies transformed an empty car park into a beautiful children's playground and parent social area at one of our independent housing locations. Moreover, staff from both Weeks Homes and SYC volunteered two days of their time, working collaboratively to bring this project to life.

'The $42,000 donation was made available via our charitable foundation, and we are delighted to be part of this important project to help young families. We have seen firsthand the great work that SYC does and the difference it makes to the lives of young people in our community,' said Weeks Homes CEO Peter McIndoe.

SYC's partnerships with business and values-driven organisations have led to innovations and profound community impacts, improving the lives of the people we serve. Earlier this year, NF McDonnell and Sons were recognised as the National Employment Services Association 2022 Employer of the Year for creating inclusive employment opportunities through our jointly delivered social enterprise.

In the words of John Martin-Brown, Human Resources Manager at NF McDonnell and Sons, 'The opportunity to be involved in this social enterprise has meant we can support our community while having useful and valuable work completed across our work site while being able to access and assess potential employees.'

We thank all the individuals, organisations, and community partners for their generosity and commitment to helping us achieve our vision of wellbeing, independence, and opportunity for everyone. We would also like to acknowledge every contribution made to our Team SYC Giving program, which helps support unfunded activities for young people in our community. Together, we are creating a brighter future for all.

Volunteers, supporters & partners

We wish to thank our corporate partners, community groups and individuals that helped to support and advocate for our work, programs, and services.

The commitment of funds, skills, influence, and time allows us to enhance our impact and provide more opportunities for the people we work with.

Placement students
Total Volunteer and Student Hours

Lifetime Supporter Awards

The Lifetime Supporter Award recognises individuals who have made a significant contribution over an extended period in supporting SYC’s vision of wellbeing, independence and opportunity for everyone.

Catherine Schultz

Board Member

Catherine, an esteemed Board Member since March 2012, brings over three decades of executive experience in the services industry to SYC. Catherine leads various committees at SYC, providing her expertise in finance, audit, risk, and infrastructure. Catherine's invaluable contributions elevate our organisation's governance and strategic vision.

Patrick Tapper

Board Member

Patrick, a dedicated Board Member since January 2011, has a career spanning over 30 years in telecommunications, technology, media, and entertainment. An integral member of SYC committees, including his role as Chair for the Information and Communications Technology Committee, Patrick's wealth of industry experience fortifies our organisation's technological advancement and risk management capability.

Paul Di Iulio

Board Member

Paul Di Iulio has an extensive background in executive leadership within Local Government, with a robust tenure of 15 years as Chief Executive Officer and has been a valued Board Member since March 2011. His expertise in civil engineering and governance, coupled with his commitment to infrastructure and technology committees, enhances our strategic direction.

Simon Matthews

Chief Financial Officer

Simon spearheads SYC's financial management in his role as Chief Financial Officer. Since joining in 2006, his focus on transparent reporting and strategic financial planning has been pivotal in enabling SYC's growth. Simon's diverse background, transitioning from accounting firms to commercial finance roles, fortifies our financial strategies and positions us for sustainable future endeavours.

Get SYC news in your inbox

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

The information provided will be used in accordance with our privacy policy. You can view our privacy policy here.