Member profile - Ben Brauer, New Beginnings

Promotion is mostly known as a for-profit tool, but ‘New Beginnings’ President Ben Brauer believes it is the only way to pave the future success of his charitable organisation.

Mr Brauer is the founder of the Gold Coast-based youth charity, which works to prevent vulnerable young people entering the youth justice system, discouraging anti-social behaviour by improving program participants’ self-esteem and instilling a greater sense of community and belonging.

‘New Beginnings’ has been successfully operating in Queensland and northern New South Wales for more than 17 years, but with political and social climates rapidly changing, Mr Brauer sought fresh ideas at Queensland Council of Social Service’s 2016 State Conference as a scholarship winner.

“We currently don’t receive any ongoing government funding. We generate it from fundraising and consultancy work etcetera so it would be nice to get a bit more funding. There is always room for further extension of our work,” Mr Brauer said.

“At the conference, Juanita Wheeler (from Full & Frank) spoke about promotion which was one particular segment that really brought home to us that it is something we need to improve on.

“We have been pretty quiet achievers but it is important as we phase over to fundraising that we build awareness and make a connection between what we do and the prevention of youth crime.”

The conference theme of ‘Everything is possible’ struck a chord with Mr Brauer, who is used to breaking new ground through his organisation’s work.

“It was great to hear the different perspectives from other people at the conference, but it was also good to be able to share what ‘New Beginnings’ is doing,” he said.

“Our youth programs use quite a novel approach that nobody else has cottoned onto so it was valuable to be able put what we do out there.

“We are all facing similar problems and making contacts is essential.

“The QCOSS conference isn’t something we would normally be able to participate in, so the scholarship was a great opportunity.”

 ‘New Beginnings’ was commended for innovation at an Investment in Youth Prevention Conference held in Sweden in 2010, and has been selected as a finalist for a number of honours, including the Queensland Regional Achievement and Community Awards.

QCOSS always offers scholarships to its annual conference, as well as other events. Keep an eye out for your chance to apply.