Quarter Two Impact Update


We are here to support youth mental health throughout COVID-19 and beyond. All our programs can be delivered online or face to face!

Quarter Two Impact Update

August 4, 2021


CEO Update: batyr’s Herd has been growing in big ways to reach young people

At the time of writing this update, many parts of Australia have been placed under lockdown restrictions, leaving thousands of young people once again grappling with uncertainty and disconnection. It’s incredibly hard. But it shows just how important it is for us to be sharing stories of hope and resilience. The positive feedback from young people over the past three months has been overwhelming for us, including Maclean in Clarence Valley (around 525km from Sydney) where our NSW team were greeted by a group of Year 7’s holding balloons, asking if they could sit in on our programs and if we could come back and visit them.

In a huge milestone for batyr, we also welcomed aboard our newest university partner, RMIT, in what is our most integrated and expansive university partnership to date. It was around this time that the Government underlined a commitment to invest more in mental health in its Budget announcement, including $1 million to reduce the stigma associated with mental health among health practitioners, and the establishment of a new National Suicide Prevention Office, which we hope will turn into strides towards true system reform. 

There are even bigger things coming over the next few months, including the further development of a Global Advisory Group to provide advice on innovative projects that will drive best practice, bridge connections to new networks in mental health, funding, research, advocacy, and more.  

In the meantime, there are so many wins to celebrate over the quarter, and individuals and organisations to thank for their continued support, so let’s get right to it.

Highlights include:

Over quarter two, we reached a total of 9,965 young people, visiting over 11 different regions! Some other highlights included:

  • Delivering 2 presentations at the Suicide Prevention Australia Symposium sharing youth insights and recommendations from research through batyr, and presented on the evolution of the OurHerd app.
  • Piloting a larger style online Being Herd workshop – we’re keen to make this a regular offering along with a larger face-to-face workshop.
  • Working with young people in regional NSW through our new Being Herd 1:1 offering and digital story creation thanks to funding from the NSW Department of Education. These young people will be sharing their stories at upcoming programs throughout regional NSW.
  • Brisbane speaker Paula sharing her story at an Arbonne conference at the Gold Coast and garnering incredible feedback from attendees.
  • Our very own UniSA program coordinator Marta speaking on a panel held by the Mental Health Coalition of South Australia, raising the voices of young people, and batyr’s profile, in the region.

Many ANU students, and everyone at batyr, were deeply saddened that our long-standing partnership with ANU came to an end this quarter. However, students are excited to continue to be involved in exciting initiatives like Civic2Surf and the ANU Thrive community to continue creating positive conversations about mental health.

COVID-19 fatigue is an ongoing challenge for high school and university students alike but it was great to get back to delivering our programs face-to-face over the quarter and create that energy in the room. Hearing this feedback was uplifting!

Mel Hopkins adds more big brain energy to our board

Mel Hopkins was appointed to our board as a non-executive director earlier in the year and we were thrilled to officially announce it this quarter!

Mel brings with her a tonne of experience from the corporate world and a passion for mental health, currently working as Optus’ Head of Consumer Marketing, CMO, and leading the team for all customer-facing marketing and engagement.

“It took me many years to talk about my own journey with mental-ill health due to the stigma surrounding it that’s embedded within our society. I’m so excited to be joining an organisation that’s focused on encouraging open and honest conversations among young people to change this,” Melissa said.

We’ll be hosting a special LinkedIn Live interview with Mel to discuss the role of brand in achieving impact, the significance of storytelling and the importance of connecting corporate expertise with not-for profits.

Follow @batyraus to make sure you don’t miss it!

RMIT University partnership

We’re over the moon to have RMIT join batyr as our newest university partner.

This partnership has been designed to engage RMIT’s whole student population, catering to the diverse needs of Vocational Education (VE) and Higher Education (HE) students.

This partnership comes during a tough few months for uni students, particularly international university students, who have had to cope with the ongoing impacts of rolling lockdowns in the state.

This would not have been possible without the hard work of our VIC team!

We’re on the lookout for a co-funding partner to support this partnership so get in touch with [email protected] if you’re interested and want to know more about our work with RMIT.

OurHerd update

With 163 inspiring stories already making an impact, we revamped the OurHerd website, and are now up and running on Insta

We also presented OurHerd at an event being run by the Multicultural Youth Affairs Network (MYAN) NSW in partnership with Blacktown City Council.

In other major news, batyr officially partnered with UK-based charity It Gets Brighter to collaborate on bringing stories of young people from It Gets Brighter to OurHerd. This will see batyr working with other experts in the sector for knowledge sharing and to maximise the opportunity for giving more young people an avenue to be able to express their stories through OurHerd.

batyr + MTV’s Mental Health Action Day
batyr joined forces with MTV as a founding partner of MTV’s inaugural Mental Health Action Day. This global campaign brought together a coalition of groups worldwide to drive our culture from awareness to action around mental health. Over the month of May, batyr promoted OurHerd as an opportunity for young people to take charge of their mental health by taking a moment for themselves to share their stories and to listen to messages of hope and resilience from peers. The campaign trended on Twitter with over 5,700 individual tweets! There were over 8,000 Instagram posts, more than 1000 broadcast, print and radio mentions, and 2.6m views of #mentalhealthactionday content on TikTok. We want to continue to both collaborate and drive these messages of action, each and every day.

Theory of Change ready for rollout

We’re so excited to announce that we completed our project with the Centre for Social Impact to develop our Theory of Change and Impact Evaluation Framework that will be launched soon 🎉 🎉.

This Theory of Change will provide a pathway for batyr to understand and measure our impact, for the young people we work with but also for their communities and the broader mental health system. 

In this way, we know how our activities lead to improved mental health outcomes for young people and their communities, as well as increasing the connection and trust in the batyr brand and increasing the awareness of the batyr mission throughout the community.

Run for the Herd raised almost $50,000!

A whopping 337 runners, joggers, and every mover and shaker in between took up the challenge in the 2021 Run for the Herd Virtual Festival.

We were floored by the effort and generosity from so many in a range of different communities across Australia to smash the stigma around mental health.

An incredible $49,678 was raised, which will allow 1,987 young people to experience our empowering preventative education programs. Yewww! 

In particular, we wanted to give a special shout out to our top individual fundraisers Alyssa D’Onofrio, Paige Lamb, and Chloe Leahy! Also, the QLD batyr crew, who raised over $2,500!

And a huge thank you to Ethical Partners Tatrai Giving Fund for doubling donations over the R4TH weekend.

So much love and support for our new and long-term partners

In a huge milestone, Third Link, who is one of batyr’s Platinum Partners, enter their tenth year of support for batyr. Thirdlink Investment Manager was founded by philanthropist, Australian Philanthropic Service Founder and well known investment industry veteran Chris Cuffe to benefit both investors and the not for profit sector. We are grateful to Chris, Natasha, Candice and the team for this support over the years and look forward to celebrating this 10-year milestone.

In other exciting news:

  • Be sure to check out batyr’s 2020 Annual Report which is now live! I’m so happy to be able to share with you everything we were able to achieve during a year like no other.
  • nib foundation extended its partnership so we can continue delivering [email protected] programs to university students in FY2022, particularly international students. University students are a particularly high risk group so we are pleased to work with nib to support young people in this way.
  • Pinnacle Charitable Foundation and Palisade have committed a further grant funding to continue supporting batyr to reach young people in the Central West of NSW, including a pilot project to develop an online platform that will provide continual touch points and engagement opportunities for individual advocates in regional communities. Watch this space!
  • batyr was selected as the beneficiary of a Mutual Trust Myer Staff Fund grant which will support the delivery of school programs across Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia.
  • batyr received grant funding from the ICAP which will be used for batyr programs nationally.
  • To continue the impact we’re making in regional NSW, batyr received a grant from our friends at Coca-Cola Australia Foundation. This is our second grant from CCAF and we are grateful for their ongoing support.

batyr in the media

batyr’s total media coverage over the quarter was buoyed by some great local stories, including Pieter Lindhout’s epic Coo-wee March fundraiser and a unique team effort in R4TH

Excitingly, we got a shout-out from industry publication Third Sector for batyr’s new Data and Insights, and Global Impact teams.

A special mention must go to Sydney speaker Charley for speaking openly with the media about overcoming obstacles in her mental health journey.

As always, it’s you that inspires us to do our best for the mental health of young people in Australia. Thank you for your continued support and generosity. We could not do what we do without you. 

Take care of yourselves,

Nic Brown


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