Sailing On Group Photo! They look very happy here back on land, having succeeded with group and solo sails!
A brief history of the development of Youth and Family Therapy (YaFT) into Explore Youth & Family Therapy Inc.
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 counsellors 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, the program became a trusted resource for schools, youth refuges, youth agencies, DHS (now DFFH) 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 trauma informed, relational therapeutic approach, utilising outreach counselling, Family Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Outdoor Therapeutic Sessions, Bush Adventure Therapy (BAT) Sailing On and VITAL ProJeX - No Limits & Unlimited (early intervention & leadership programs 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 Karena 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 and onwards, YaFT partnered with the newly formed TLC Support Inc. and 3Fold Community Development (now Compelled by Love) the Community arm of 3fold resources , Select Equip and YaFT continued deepening it's partnership with Xplore Tri-Yak Adventures (XTA).
Volunteers deserve a special mention as without their enthusiasm, involvement and time, YaFT would not have been able to deliver such genuine, relational, consistent 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 people 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 Explores commitment to long term relationship with young people and exemplifies the life-changing work of Explore.
Consistent funding from Compelled by Love, Family Mediation and Reconciliation Program (FRMP), Xplore Tri-Yak Adventures, Select Equip and numerous individuals enabled Explores work to continue.
In 2017, Robert ceased lecturing at Holmesglen TAFE and began working 2.5 days a week within the Berry Street Take Two program, bringing his extensive youth work experience to the role of Senior Clinician within a therapeutic residential care home for at risk and homeless young people.
In July 2017, YaFT changed it's name to Youth and Family Therapy-Xplore, reflecting the diverse work of outreach counselling, Action Base Learning, Adventure and Bush Adventure Therapy and significantly reflecting the relationship between Xplore Tri-Yak Adventures (XTA's) Inc. In 2018, following the above mentioned name change and after much reflection 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. registered not for profit association to Explore Youth & Family Therapy Inc. to reflect the combing of YaFT programs and XTA. This was done to ensure the ongoing viability of the various programs.