Youth and Family Therapy - YaFT
A youth and family therapy program took shape in the Southern and Eastern suburbs of Melbourne in the 1980's under the umbrella of Youth for Christ Melbourne (YFCM) . Dedicated counselors successfully met a need, providing long-term, outreach, relational and therapeutic support to at risk young people and their families experiencing difficulty.
From its beginnings, this program became a trusted resource for schools, youth refuges, youth agencies, DHHS and community support professionals. In 2009, the program was named Youth and Family Therapy (YaFT). By 2011, YaFT had developed a trusted model of support to 'at risk' young people and families. YaFT is based on a relational therapeutic approach, outreach counseling, Family Therapy, Bush Adventure Therapy (BAT) and VITAL Projex - No Limits & Unlimited and Sailing On (an early intervention program for primary & secondary schools).
When YFCM closed in 2011, Robert was encouraged by many within the youth sector to continue the unique support offered by YaFT in this challenging area of youth work. In 2011, Robert and Karen Coller took the decision to continue with the work of YaFT. They sought philanthropic funding from like-minded people and organisations who saw a need and were committed to making a difference to young people's lives within our community. YaFT gratefully acknowledges the practical and prayerful support of many individuals and groups.
In 2012/13, YaFT partnered with the newly formed TLC Support Inc. and 3Fold Community Development (now known since 2015 as Compelled by Love).
Volunteers deserve a special mention as without their enthusiasm, involvement and time, YaFT could not deliver such genuine relational and community based care for young people.
In 2019, 'Sailing On' completed it's 15th Bush Adventure Therapy journey to the Gippsland Lakes with a group of 7 young people 5 facilitators. 3 of the young returned for another journey as peer mentors, 2 facilitators were volunteers and 2 were students on placement, we look forward to many more in the years to come!
Sailing On is a mainstay of YaFT's commitment to long term relationship with young people and exemplifies the life-changing work of YaFT.
Consistent funding from Compelled by Love, Family Mediation and Reconciliation Program (FRMP), Xplore Tri-Yak Adventures, Select Equip and numerous individuals enables YaFT's work to continue.
In 2017, Robert ceased lecturing at Holmesglen TAFE and began working 2.5 days a week within the Berry St Take Two program, bringing his extensive youth work experience to the role of Senior Clinician within a therapeutic residential care home for at risk young people.
September/October 2019: Explore Adventure Therapy Inc. is currently in development and is closely linked with YaFT in vision and mission.
Robert offers support as a youth worker, Youth and Family Therapist and Bush Adventure Therapist. He is an enthusiastic and trusted youth worker of over 30 years experience in the field. His adventurous spirit and encouraging nature is synonymous with his approach to discovering potential and helping people to trust new found realisations about themselves and relationships.
Robert is a Clinical Member of the Australian Association of Family Therapy. He is also a member and past co vice-chairperson of the Australian Association of Bush Adventure Therapy.
Robert began his youth work career with a Diploma of Youth Ministry from Ridley College.
Robert's experience includes::
Robert is based at TLC Support Inc. 265 Canterbury Rd, Bayswater, Melbourne. As an outreach worker, Robert meets with young people, couples and families wherever needs can be best met. He offers support throughout the Eastern and Southern suburbs of Melbourne and western Gippsland.
Robert's experience ideally places him an a much sought supervisory role for youth work and homelessness professionals.
Our ongoing journey:
In July 2017, YaFT changed it's name to Youth and Family Therapy-Xplore, reflecting the diverse work of outreach counseling, Action Base Learning, Adventure and Bush Adventure Therapy and significantly reflecting the relationship between Xplore Tri-Yak Adventures (XTA's) Inc. volunteers who offer invaluable support to YaFT sailing, adventure and Bush Adventure Therapy programs.
In 2018 the committees of YaFT and XTA's combined. In September, 2019 the combined board made the decision to change the name of Xplore Tri-Yak Adventures Inc. to Explore Adventure Therapy Inc. to ensure the ongoing viability of the various programs.