SAPH Vision Quest Association Inc., now better known as 'New Beginnings',
was established in 1999 as a non-profit charitable organisation. Its aim is to
provide young people who are disadvantaged or at risk of becoming
involved in anti-social behaviour with a sense of self-worth and a sound
understanding of community values and responsibilities.
Ben Brauer, founder of the organisation, had been heavily involved with the
'Gold Coast Child and Family Support Services Network' before he
developed and conducted his first 'Self-Esteem & Leadership Camp' in 2001.
Disadvantaged young people were referred to the camp by schools on the
southern end of the Gold Coast. The camp was so well received that it
motivated Ben to incorporate the organisation in 2002, and formally register
it as a non-profit charity.
Over the past 20 years, more than 45,000 children and young people have benefitted directly or indirectly from our organisation's New Beginnings Self- Esteem and Leadership Camps & In-school Workshops. Participants are referred by schools, indigenous and migrant/refugee organisations from the Gold Coast, Northern NSW, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast regions. The camps are specifically aimed at children ages 10 to 14 and focus on re-building self-esteem, basics of ecology/ conservation, as well as the importance of sound community values, plus the most important principles of communication, cooperation and leadership.
In 2010 the organisation trialled an in-school workshop based on similar principles to their camps. These workshops are based on the same principles of community as the camps, and have received very positive feedback from participating teachers. For this reason the workshops were introduced more widely. Between 2012 and 2019 over 5,200 young people from state schools in Queensland have attended our 'Way of Community' workshops. In 2010 New Beginnings was also commended for innovation at an Investment in Youth Prevention Conference held in Sweden, and cited in the QCOSS annual report as 'the organisation with Youth Prevention Programs that work'. In 2012 the organisation received commendation from the Queensland Chief Commisioner of Police. The following year New Beginnings was presented with a Community Service Award by the Hon. Jack Dempsey MP, Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services. This was followed, following rigorous evaluation, by recognition as finalist in the 2017 Telstra Business Awards (charities category).
The future: It is our intention to make these programs available throughout Australia in the coming years. This requires a greater level of recognition and financial support from our State and Federal Governments. Each child entering youth detention costs the Queensland State Government $243,000 per year. New Beginnings preventative work of reaching at-risk young people before they get involved in anti-social behaviour and the youth justice system saves the Government annually $6.5 million. Further savings to community in stopping bullying, vandalism and youth crime amount to a staggering $65 million each year. The value of these programs to our society is enormous and requires far more comprehensive community support.
Our first New Beginnings Youth Camp (2001)
New Beginnings believe in 'Prevention', helping young people before it's too late.
Please donate to allow us to help our kids and our communities!