The Streets Movement was borne out of the idea that everyone has something to offer that can benefit and support the community.
In Jesse Martin’s case, he was able to offer something that he and his friends were given as young people growing up in Cairns: a safe space and boxing lessons. This may not seem like much, but for a community with high rates of youth disenfranchisement and few opportunities for community engagement, it was a start. And it quickly became so much more.
In 2010 Jesse set up a community centre in Bentley Park, using his own funds and sleeping in the boxing ring to help pay the bills for the first two years. Over time, more young people started accessing not only the boxing classes but a growing number of programs available at the centre.
Jesse was able to secure support from local businesses, including our local office in Cairns, to continue to grow the centre and expand into other ways to give back to the community and provide opportunities for young Indigenous youth to find and take advantage of new pathways. This was the start of The Street’s Movement as we know it today.
We have since expanded our involvement with The Streets Movement from our local base in Cairns, and the organisation is now a national partner for The Grant Thornton Foundation.
We are very proud of our involvement in The Streets Movement and their progressive approach to community engagement and empowerment.
“Our ethos is to provide a hand-up to community members, not a hand out”
Jesse Martin, Founder of The Street’s Movement
Community centres and the Nexus Initiative
The Nexus Initiative has its roots in community outreach and has been a cornerstone of The Streets Movement since its inception with the community centre in Bentley Park. It has since grown to be the home for many other community programs and expanded into a second premises in the city, the Nexus Centre.
The Nexus Centre – operating under the Nexus Initiative – was designed to provide local grassroots community groups and entities a space to operate from and deliver their service. The idea behind the initiative was that the community groups, once at a certain scale, would be able to take over the space – freeing the Nexus Initiative to invest in additional spaces in areas of need.
The Pryce Centre for Performing Arts – started by local Indigenous woman Rita Pryce promoting the arts and culture – will be taking over the lease of the Nexus Centre in 2020 and will develop a dance studio and cultural centre in line with their growth strategy.
The Nexus Initiative will be expanding into Melbourne and Western Sydney in 2020.
“Mulumulung is Eora language, my mob’s word for the Pleiades constellation which has helped guide explorers into the unknown for centuries”
Jesse Martin, Founder of The Street’s Movement
The Mulumulung Experience is a cross-cultural and educational experience for young Indigenous change-makers from regional and remote areas of Australia.
The first three Mulumulung tours – each comprising of five students – have visited Cambridge University and Oxford University.
Many of the students that have gone through the Mulumulung International Experience have gone on to University or to start up their own initiatives aimed at empowering Indigenous communities. The success of the tour has seen a significant increase in the number of people applying to be part of the program going forward. The calibre of the students – who both provide a written submission and participate in an interview – has been phenomenal.
In future, there will be opportunities to travel to Berkeley and Stanford Universities, the L.A. Film School, NASA, United Nations, Nanyang University and Beijing University of Science and Technology.
During our time supporting The Streets Movement, we have been pleased to offer financial advice as well as making introductions within our network to likeminded organisations to support The Streets Movement deliver on the wonderful work they do within the community.
In addition to providing funding towards the Mulumulung International Experience, with a fourth tour scheduled for February 2020, Grant Thornton Foundation will also be supporting The Streets Movement on their expansion of the Nexus Initiative into Western Sydney and Melbourne.
The Streets Movement has already supported so many young people and community organisations to flourish. We’re sure they will have the same impact on the future communities they work with.
For more information on The Streets Movement, visit their website: www.thestreetsmovement.org
Started in 1968, Special Olympics is a world-wide movement and the largest sporting organisation for people with intellectual disabilities.
The organisation uses sport to open the hearts and minds of people and to change perceptions about people with intellectual disabilities.
Over the course of the year Special Olympics provides weekly training across a variety of different sports, monthly games, quarterly competitions and annual national competitions in addition to sending athletes to compete at World Games every four years.
As a Not-for-Profit organisation, they are reliant on corporate sponsorships, donations and volunteers to continue the work they do. Not only does the Special Olympics program provide sporting opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities – it provides a network of support and friendship for a community that has traditionally been marginalised and isolated.
Our Perth office has been involved with Special Olympics for many years – both as a corporate sponsor and as volunteers at various events.
In 2018 we welcomed Special Olympics as a national partner of The Grant Thornton Foundation and in 2019 we hosted our very first Mini Olympics in our Sydney office. Eighteen athletes competed against 40 accountants, auditors and advisors across various indoor disciplines including golf, soccer, cricket and bowling. It was an opportunity to learn more about each other while bonding over the great social barrier-breaker that is sport.
There will be more Mini Olympics hosted by our offices across Australia. Our support is as much about creating opportunities for inclusion as much at is about helping to fund their programs.