9-11 May 2023
ICC Sydney


米6米乐体育 2016 saw an impressive display from over 120 exhibitors with one standing out not just because they wowed us with their concept but also because they literally had a shipping container onsite that has been converted into a home!

This exhibitor was TRY Australia who brought in their affordable, sustainable social housing as part of the social enterprise, TRY 米乐体育M6app下载 Project.

Onsite we had the pleasure of meeting their General Manager, Megan Johnson, and we’ve sat down with her to get a further understanding of what TRY Australia is and the TRY 米乐体育M6app下载 Project.

 What’s the story behind the TRY 米乐体育M6app下载 Project?

Since 1883 TRY Australia has been guided by the spirit and ethos of its founder William Mark Forster recognised that if you have come from a life of hard knocks, making the decision to become a contributing member of society takes initiative and courage. He also saw that given the right opportunity to ‘try’ that courageous first step, young people will begin a journey towards success instead of failure.

The TRY Society began with youth clubs and trade training. Today TRY Australia continues that work while expanding its reach. TRY delivers access to early learning, provides mentoring for at-risk young people and develops training opportunities that create real job pathways.

We remain committed to developing and delivering programs aimed at social inclusion and meeting the changing needs of disadvantaged young people.

How do you connect with industry?

As the General Manager Corporate Fundraising and Events,  I am responsible for building mutually beneficial partnerships with Corporates, small businesses, community groups and individuals to support the delivery of our services to disadvantaged young people in our community. These partnerships can consist of financial support, in-kind donations and volunteering. I am also responsible for supporting the delivery of our events including our gala event – Raise a Roof.  This event is held every 2 years and raises awareness and funding for TRY 米乐体育M6app下载, a program that builds affordable social housing while creating training and employment opportunities for disadvantaged and at-risk young people.


Where did the idea of TRY Australia come from?

TRY Australia have been delivering services to disadvantaged people in Victoria for over 100 years.  William Forster is our organisations founder who believed in the innate ability of the young people who participated in the programs he established and constantly assured young people that if they were prepared to try they would be amazed at what they could accomplish. ‘In fact’ he told them: ‘we should consider ourselves a TRY Society’.

Over the years the organisation has adapted to the ever changing needs of the community and has continued its commitment to making a meaningful difference for individuals and communities.

Did you face any hurdles during the start-up of TRY Australia?

Like any organisation TRY Australia has experienced much change and challenges throughout its 133 years of operation.  The organisation has had to adapt to the changing landscape of the communities we work within and adapt our programs and services to ensure they are meeting the need identified and making a meaningful difference to those impacted.  We consistently review and refine our policies, processes and procedures to ensure we are relevant and meeting the expectations of the community.

TRY Australia inspires young people, but who inspires you?

I look up to our Chief Executive Officer, Julia Cambage. Julia has held a number of successful high level management roles, including most recently 9 years as CEO of Procurement Australia, 4 years as National Executive Director & Company Secretary with Family Business Australia and prior to that, as CEO of Mid North Coast Development Corporation in NSW. Julia is ideas driven and results oriented, committed to making a difference, providing clear leadership and achieving results.

What does the future hold for Try Australia?

The TRY way is to work with others on identified place-based need. This along with the organisation’s values, guides choice in where and how we grow. Growth takes many forms and may be around location, programs or impact. Our aim is to design, deliver and evaluate clever, sustainable solutions that disrupt the cycle of disadvantage. Our efforts however, are based on identified need, and evidence based decisions. The difference we make is measured and reported.

Are they any current projects your particularly excited about?

Our organisation is currently exploring the opportunity to develop ‘TRY Working’. This program will provide a continuum of engagement, recruitment, job readiness and employment to deliver a supported transition for young people facing significant barriers to employment. With TRY Australia the transition from disadvantage and disengagement to meaningful and sustainable employment will be seamless.


We all have favourites – Do you have a Favourite TRY Australia project?

Yes – TRY 米乐体育M6app下载!  This program is a new innovative initiative for TRY Australia.  It is a program that will be established as a social enterprise, building affordable, sustainable social housing while creating training and employment opportunities for disadvantaged and at-risk young people. In February 2016 the TRY 米乐体育M6app下载 program officially started with 12 trainees accepted into the program. It provided them with hands on training for their Certificate 1 Construction with line of sigh to a job. This initiative is one of the first of its kind in Australia.

I am proud to be a part of a team that is delivering such innovative and sustainable programs that provides opportunities for young people not in education, employment or training and that is also about bringing positive change to their lives.


What advice would you give to aspiring talents who want to either enter the industry or start their own business?

If what you’re doing is not your passion, you have nothing to lose!

If you are considering a career in the not-for-profit industry it is a wonderful opportunity to make a meaningful difference to the lives of many people in many different ways.  It will allow you to work in a collaborative environment and contribute to the enrichment of the community.

To find out more about TRY Australia, visit their website try.org.au

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