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About Us

TRY Mentoring aims to support disadvantaged young people between the ages of 7-20 to help them reach their potential by matching them with a positive adult role model who is able to provide support, guidance and friendship. This is achieved through a range of opportunities including one to one and group environments.

TRY Australia's mission is ‘to deliver a brighter future through learning and community programmes . . . for those who TRY' and offers a range of programs to meet this goal.

We believe that nobody does it on their own, and having the support and guidance of a mentor can break the cycle of disadvantage, provide opportunities and experiences that can improve a young person’s outcomes, help them make better life choices, and see life through an alternative lens.

We are responsive to identified needs within the community and are able to develop evidence-based programs and foster partnerships to deliver innovative solutions to support young people.

Our mentoring services are governed by a comprehensive set of procedures and policies that ensure young people are safe and play an active role in decisions relating to the match. Within each program young people are matched with a carefully screened and trained volunteer. Both the young person and the volunteer are supported and supervised by a Coordinator for the duration of the program, usually a year.

Our History
Over the past seven years the TRY Mentoring program has been funded and managed by of one of Melbourne’s oldest charities TRY Australia. TRY began youth mentoring, right here in Melbourne 131 years ago. In fact, we are the oldest youth mentoring charity in Australia!

In 1883 there were many similarities to the economic and social conditions that we find ourselves in today. The city was growing rapidly. There was a huge influx of immigrants. There was great wealth alongside severe poverty. In the poorer suburbs there was high unemployment, street gangs and organised crime.

Just as there is today, there was a generation of young people ‘at risk’.

Into this environment stepped William Mark Forster. Initially from his own home in the inner city he began a mentoring movement that inspired Melbourne. Within a few short years the organisation he called the ‘TRY Society’ spread across Melbourne giving disadvantaged young people opportunities in education, self-improvement, recreation, training and employment. His philosophy was simple:

“If you TRY you will succeed.”

A century later the self-funded TRY Society was a household name with a network of youth clubs and community centres all over Melbourne.

Today TRY Australia’s services include: vocational programs for the long-term unemployed, English language, literacy & numeracy educational programs, fee for service training, employment programs for the disadvantaged sector of the community, children’s services through our 22 Kindergartens and 8 Child Care Centres, youth programs, and a diverse range of fund raising programs that support TRY’s charitable activities.

Over the past four years we have created new programs such as Mentoring in the Hood (MITH) and First Friends to meet the changing needs of young people in our community. While innovative in 2014, both programs are in reality a continuation of what WM Forster began a long time ago. One-to-one mentoring is still considered a capacity-building approach for enriching the lives of young people and we will continue to do this as TRY Mentoring.

2017 © TRY Australia - by Rohan Pereira, IT&T Helpdesk