Our History

For more than 40 years, FYA has backed young people and youth-led initiatives to create change. You can trace our start to the 1977 launch of the Queen’s Trust for Young Australians, as well as the 1988 establishment of the Australian Youth Foundation. These two preeminent charities merged in 1999 to form FYA –  a bigger, more powerful force for young people.

In the early 2000s, we pioneered ‘venture philanthropy’ in Australia, investing in more than 60 high-impact programs that involved strong youth participation. Then, over the next decade, our Young Social Pioneers program backed more than 300 young people starting social enterprises and movements. 

FYA has also produced landmark research such as How Young People are Faring and The New Work Order. And we’ve put our research into practice scaling school programs promoting enterprise skills, creativity, and equality, such as Worlds of Work, Safe Schools Australia and $20 Boss.

We’re headed into a new decade with a renewed focus on building the power of young people to beat injustice and transform the future.

Our Funding

FYA’s is principally funded through collaboration with Australia’s leading philanthropic organisations, socially responsible businesses, and Government. We welcome tax-deductible (DGR1) donations from the public. We also operate a social enterprise consulting arm, YLab.

A unique strength of FYA is our corpus which is invested ethically and generates about one-third of our budget. This corpus guarantees our independence and allows us to think big and long-term. These funds are a legacy of landmark contributions from the Federal Government, business, and the public since the 1970s.

FYA does not accept funding from companies with substantial revenue from fossil fuels, gambling, fast food, palm oil, animal testing, modern slavery, tobacco or alcohol.