Youth Live4Life

Youth Live4Life is based in the Macedon Shire, It is a proven community based model for suicide prevention, developed from the ground up, that is in demand as the blueprint for all rural communities in Victoria, if not Australia.  Youth Live4Life Inc. empowers rural Victorian communities to support, improve and invest in young people’s mental health and wellbeing through the implementation of the Live4Life model.  Their vision is that all rural Victorian communities have the capacity to support, improve and invest in their young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Social Venture Partners Melbourne Team – Paula Giles (Lead Partner), Mark Jankleson, Tony Morgan, and Margi Olsen. 

Youth Live4Life Inc.is based in the Macedon Shire. Their vision is that all rural Victorian communities should have the capacity to support, improve and invest in their young people’s mental health and wellbeing. They aim to empower rural Victorian communities to support, improve and invest in young people’s mental health and wellbeing through the implementation of a proven community based model for suicide prevention. This model has been rigorously evaluated , was developed from the ‘ground up’, and is in demand across rural communities in Victoria, if not Australia.

Why did they need our help?

Suicide is the leading cause of death in young Australians. The toll is staggering and the ripple effect from its impact on immediate family, friends and community is devastating and long term. It is estimated that 35% of deaths in the age group 15 to 24 years and 21% of deaths in the age group 25 to 44 years are due to suicide and close to one-in-seven young Australians in any given year experience mental ill-health.[1]Access to services and support is limited and for those living in rural and regional areas, even more so.. Social Venture Partners Melbourne is helping YouthL4L extend their reach into new communities, fund additional capacity and is working with their Board to address strategy, organisation, and governance needs.

How we assisted

During our relationship we established a collaborative partnership with the Board, CEO and members of the team to:

  • Set expectations of how we will work together
  • Reviewed and developed an outcomes based strategy (e.g., Strategic narrative, Strategy on a page)
  • Developed organisation models for growth
  • Drafted Terms of Reference for new board sub-committees (e.g. Finance, Audit & Risk Management; Communication & Marketing; Revenue Sourcing & Fund Raising; Program Design & Delivery)
  • Worked with the CEO to shape a preliminary CEO work plan
  • Provided support to the development of a five-year business plan
  • Assisted with a funding submission
  • Conducted a Board skills self-assessment and skills development plan

The impact

We have worked closely with the Board and CEO to firm up their strategic, organisation and governance foundations to prepare for growth, and to reduce risk as new communities continue to seek to employ the L4L program.

What’s next?

We continue to assess priorities and needs in a collaborative way. Our goal is to assist YL4L achieve their vision and deliver lasting impact and benefit to regional and rural communities.

“SVP’s support and guidance of Live4Life over the last 21 months has been incredibly valuable – thank you. 
When I first met Wayne (SVPM Partner) back in February 2018 Youth Live4Life was an incorporated body with one part-time (.6EFT) project manager and trailing the Live4Life model in two pilot communities. We had not secured funding for the second year of implementation in these two communities but we had a vision. Since then we have transitioned to a company limited by guarantee, conducted a board review, established a range of committees to support the Board and the executive, undertaken two rigorous independent evaluations of the model, implemented a CRM system and completed our business plan to scale amongst other things and you have been a significant part of this.

It’s inspiring to be working with people, young and old, in rural communities that want to make change. It is through grass-roots and community-led activism that real, lasting change occurs. It does not come from the top down. We are on an important journey, and I am very privileged to be on this journey with you. Two years ago you took a leap of faith and backed us. We have more work to do together and Paula and I are working on a date for late January, early February for us to be able to have another Board/SVP workshop to set our agenda for 2021. Bernard Galbally, CEO


I have been incredibly fortunate and humbled to see the work that Life4Life do. It is a community led program that enhances the leadership skills of the kids, provides a forum for parents and develops the capacity of the community to look after their young citizens.  I have been enormously impressed by the shared energy and talent of L4L and SVP as we have worked together ‘around the kitchen table’ on this most pressing social issue.” Paula Giles – Lead Partner, Social Venture Partners Melbourne.


[1] Future Generation & EY Australia’s Mental Health Crisis October 2019

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