Welcome to the Father James Grant Foundation

The Father James Grant Foundation empowers disengaged youth to become powerful assets for business through its support and mentoring program, “Mission Engage”.

We work in partnership with businesses to provide real employment pathways for young people otherwise at risk of long-term unemployment and disadvantage. Tailored to the participating business, the Mission Engage program provides disengaged youth with the necessary skills, training and confidence to improve their employability, their lives and supercharges the positive impact they have on the business.

The Mission Engage youth program is a national initiative free for young Australians, provided with the financial assistance from host businesses, philanthropic activities and support of the Father James Grant Foundation.

WHO ARE DISENGAGED YOUTH?

Many young Australians leave secondary education without any academic aspirations and no clear vision or understanding of a career path. These youth can be law abiding, living harmoniously with their family, and engaged in other social and community activities, but lacking the motivation or the skills required to gain meaningful employment. Without a clear direction, youth can become disengaged, often leading to low-self esteem, isolation, drug and alcohol abuse, crime, and long-term unemployment.

What is initially a single issue – such as unemployment after completing school – becomes multi-faceted, and this can have negative consequences for the young person, their family and friends, and the wider community.

The Father James Grant Foundation’s ‘Mission Engage’ program was developed to encourage and engage at risk youth, and provide them with the necessary skills, training and confidence to find employment. Most commonly, the program works with 18-22 year old Australians without a clear vision for their future and whose school, sporting and social experiences have failed to inspire confidence or a strong sense of self.

WHY WE’RE THE FOUNDATION TO DO IT

After successful ventures with Chaplains without Borders and Catholics in Business, Father James Grant founded the Father James Grant Foundation in early 2015.

With a philanthropic focus, the Foundation was established to harness the skills and the knowledge of business people. With over two decades of experience working within the education and chaplaincy sectors, Father James Grant has developed a deep understanding and knowledge of the driving motivations behind youth disengagement. Furthermore, he has identified a real need for businesses to get more out of their social programs.

“What’s driving me is, ’how can I be a useful Priest and Chaplain? If chaplaincy involved just walking around talking to people I would have been out of business a long time ago. You have to be the source of positive change.”
– Father James Grant

Father James founded Australia’s first inter-faith corporate chaplaincy service, and has worked extensively within organisations including Crown Casino, Southern Cross Station, Bendigo Bank, Myer, Target, the Peter MacCullum Cancer Clinic, CrownBet, Melbourne Victory F.C, Premier Fruits, I.P.A, and the Wilson Group, in providing corporate-based chaplaincy initiatives. Furthermore, Father James founded two schools on the Indian sub-continent.

Meet The Team

James Grant

Founder

With over thirty years of pastoral care and experience here, the US and Europe, Father James Grant is considered one of Australia’s most innovative and thought-leading priests.

‘Through my work with numerous large corporate organisations through ‘Chaplains Without Borders’, employers realised the benefits in a strong social program that engages the wider community, pools their talents and makes a real difference.’

Elizabeth Roper works with the Father James Grant Foundation Youth Unemployment

Elizabeth Roper

Program Coordinator

Elizabeth Roper proudly coordinates the Mission Engage Youth Engagement Development Program, bringing her wealth of experience across counseling to each session.

Elizabeth has experience as a coach/mentor across a large, diverse range of programs in Australia covering women’s health facilities, women’s prison system, providing support around the effects of violence, institutionalization, and stigma on women who are trying to re-establish themselves within the community. Her experience in working with adolescents, parents/guardians, and teachers in a public secondary school has helped her achieve an appreciation and respect for cultural diversity together with a sensitivity to social justice issues and equal opportunity. We are incredibly excited to have Elizabeth on board.

Vinnie Azzopardie

Vinnie Azzopardi

Program Coordinator

Vinnie Azzopardi proudly facilitates the Youth Engagement Development Program as a clear extension of his role in the Responsible Gaming Support Centre at Crown Casino involving counseling, psychological and chaplaincy referral, and crisis assistance.

Azzopardi has shown his superior interpersonal and compassionate people skills are invaluable in forming trusting and supportive relationships with disengaged youth, with his role with the Father James Grant Foundation allowing him to further his skills.

Louise Tebbutt

Advisory Board

Louise joined Myer from the Coles Group in 2006, where she held senior roles in a number of businesses including Coles Supermarkets and Target. She was appointed to the role of GGM Human Resources, Risk and Safety in August 2012, after leading the Human Resources function as General Manager and has over 17 years of industry experience.

Luke Donnellan

Luke Donnellan

Advisory Board

Luke Donnellan was elected as the State Member for Narre Warren North in 2002 and appointed as Shadow Minister for Child Safety and Shadow Minister for Sport and Recreation following the 2010 Victorian State Election.

After finishing university, he worked in the finance industry as a client services manager involved in tax finance and property advice. He also worked as a Finance Advisor as well as in marketing and strategic planning.

John Roskam

Advisory Board

John Roskam has been the Executive Director of the free market think tank, Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), since 2004. Previously the Executive Director of The Menzies Research Centre, Roskam has been a senior adviser and Chief of Staff to federal and state education ministers.

His fortnightly column appears in The Australian Financial Review and is a member of the Editorial Board of The Australian Journal of Public Administration.

 

Richard Alston

Richard is a former Liberal member of the Australian Senate, 1986 to 2004, representing the State of Victoria. He was Minister for Communications and the Arts 1996-97, Minister for Communications, the Information Economy and the Arts 1997-98 and Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts 1998-2003. He was also Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate 1996-2003. From February 2005 to February 2008, Alston was Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom in London.

Carlo Galati

Carlo has held senior leadership positions in national and international organisations, including General Manager People & Culture for Apiam Animal Health, Head of Human Resources – Animal Health for Merck Sharp & Dohme, Senior Manager for Change, Business Efficiency and Transformation at National Australia Bank and Regional Director Human Resources for AIG. He has extensive experience in consulting, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, sales & distribution and financial services (banking & insurance – life/general).