2016 in the spotlight

It’s hard to believe it’s the end of the year already – and equally hard to believe is what we managed to squeeze into it!

As 2016 draws to a close, we’d like to acknowledge the 5,000-plus mentors who donated their time to help ABCN positively impact the lives of disadvantaged youth. We’d also like to welcome our newest member companies – Energy Australia and Vision Stream.

We kicked off 2016 as a newly merged entity with Schools Connect Australia, and as result, welcomed the Business Class into ABCN’s suite of programs. Business Class has had an extraordinary response nationally with 73% growth in just one year across Vic, NSW, Tas and WA.

Our Development Hub, established last year to ensure ongoing innovation and collaboration with our member companies and schools, continued to thrive, piloting both new and one-off bespoke programs. Two of these programs included Pathways to Employment (Optus) and Innovate (PwC). At the same time, a number of one-off special projects were also enabled this year due to corporate support and grants from Amercian Express, J.P. Morgan, MCI, Microsoft and State Street.

Awareness around STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and STEAM (which includes the additional element of the arts) and increasing industry demand for these skills, continued to gain momentum. Accordingly, Innovate, developed in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) gained so much interest that it will now form part of our core program offering in 2017. A collaboration with Microsoft and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences also resulted in a new, one-day pilot program, Full STEAM Ahead, which focuses on the creative aspect within STEM careers.

A revised impact framework exploring the influence of mentoring on student outcomes revealed outstanding results from Focus, ABCN’s female leadership program, where the percentage of young female participants who saw themselves as a leader prior to the program, rose from 4% to 66% after participating. Outcomes such as these confirm the power of mentoring and the transformative effects of ABCN programs on young people. More results will be available in our 2016 Annual Report.

In November, we were delighted to award our 2016 Foundation Scholarships. The 21 scholarships presented this year represent a 40% increase on 2015 and a significant increase in reach, with scholars from Tasmania, Bendigo and Geelong.

We take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support – none of our achievements this year would have been possible without you. Collectively we’ve made a positive impact on the lives of over 5,600 students across Australia!

The team at ABCN wishes you a happy Christmas and festive season and we look forward to reconnecting early in 2017.


 ABCN offices will be closed from Monday 19 December to Friday 6 January inclusive.

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