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Pathfinders at work, advocating and supporting disadvantaged communities

Updated: Jan 7

At any given moment of any day, a Pathfinders staff member is at work, providing emergency accommodation, helping women and children escaping from domestic violence, or supporting a young person struggling with their mental wellbeing.

Pathfinders expand their reach to the Mid North Coast

Thousands of people in New South Wales who are living with disadvantage, or who are at risk, rely, trust and depend on the Pathfinders team to deliver a high level of services to improve their circumstances.

Pathfinders is an organisation at the forefront of providing advocacy, support and services for disadvantaged communities. They have operated in the North-West and Northern Tablelands regions of NSW for over 30 years and have recently expanded their reach to the Mid North Coast.

Pathfinders' mission is to empower people to live with hope and equal opportunity to reach their potential by providing hope through purpose and passion; generously sharing their expertise, knowledge and resources to make a transformative difference.

Pathfinders leave no one behind

Pathfinders understood that communities' needs have changed over the years, so in 2020, a strategic plan was mapped out to focus on:

  • A deeper commitment to grow and engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Culture Diverse staff and community by introducing programs like Pathfinders National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Birth Certificate; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment.

  • Homelessness for individuals and families seeking alternative accommodation for a host of reasons including family violence, financial insecurity and shortages of affordable housing. Keep Them Safe action plan improves the safety and well-being of children in NSW.

  • Mental and physical health with circumstances impacting communities economically and socially.

Pathfinders and UNICEF Australia partnership is paving the way towards universal birth certificates
Pathfinders and UNICEF Australia partnership is paving the way towards universal birth certificates

Pathfinders have facilitated foster care, out-of-home care, homelessness services, family referral services and support independent living for young people.

Ultimately, Pathfinders hope to develop thriving communities in which all people can fully participate and develop freely through mutual trust and acceptance. This is being achieved through collaborative strategies and best practices, a strong and respectful workforce, and advancing bold and progressive ideas and policies.

In doing so, equal opportunity is created by facilitating access to education, employment and safe housing; breaking down barriers that are obstacles to growth and independence.

A deserving award

Pathfinders is fortunate to have a robust frontline staff network, backed by an experienced board and strong leadership team. Together, they have an unwavering commitment to being the agents of change and improving the lives of people they work with.

This success has been recognised on many levels and has resulted in numerous awards for excellence, including the Mid North Coast Business Award, Outstanding Community Organisation.

Pathfinders proud recipients of Outstanding Community Organisation at the MNC Business Awards
Accepting the award for Outstanding Community Organisation at the MNC Business Awards
“We are proud of the work we do, the partnerships we have created and the results we achieve for people within our care," said Pathfinders CEO. "We are stronger because of our collaborations and our willingness to challenge the status quo through action."

Key services and programs

A wide range of services are offered from Foster care and out-of-home care, specialist homelessness advocacy, including a women and children’s refuge and supported accommodation services for young people to ensure people are safe and well.

Child protection and family referral services, parenting and family strengthening workshops, family preservation services, supervised contact, therapeutic activities and after care services the support is all encompassing. NDIS support services, such as “Support Your Path”, the Pathfinders’ National Aboriginal Birth Certificate Program and Aboriginal Early Years Program are all delivered in a thoughtful and compassionate manner.

The Marie Delaine Training Centre in Armidale provides vocational skills development, education and accreditation as well as field placements and training for TAFE and university students.

Family Connect and Support

Through an initial consultation, the team gets to know the clients and their individual circumstances, needs and builds on their strengths, identifying the support the family needs to make positive change in their lives.

Clients are provided with information and advice and help to connect them to the services in their area. The service is free. FCS is funded by the NSW Government, as a part of the Keep Them Safe action plan to improve the safety and well-being of children in NSW.

Pathfinders FCS operates Monday to Friday during business hours. Phone 1800 327 679.

Foster Care

In Australia there are currently 46,000 children living in foster care. With carers working to provide loving homes for short and long-term stays, respite, and emergency care to children and young people who are unable to live with their own families.

But more carers are needed to provide loving homes to children in need.

If you have considered becoming a foster carer, now is the time to give it a go, even if you are only able to provide a night every few months, it takes the pressure off the full-time carers or providing temporary emergency accommodation to keep a child from spending the night in a motel room.

For more information and to enquire about being a foster carer, visit Pathfinders or call 1800 314 199.

National Aboriginal Birth Certificate Program

An estimated 200,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples do not have a birth certificate. As a consequence, they struggle to fully participate in Australian society without this simple but vital document. They experience difficulty enrolling in schools and in accessing mainstream services, such as opening bank accounts, joining sporting clubs, voting, and applying for a job, a driver’s licence or a passport. They cannot be selected for jury duty or open their own business.

The Pathfinders Program aims to redress this issue by conducting sign-up days in towns and areas where there are significant numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who don’t have birth certificates. Since the program’s inception more than 13,000 people have gained access to their birth certificates.

For Pathfinders to continue providing this service to communities they have launched a campaign to crowdfund the Pathfinders National Aboriginal Birth Certificate Program. If you would like to provide your support you can find out more and donate HERE to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people get their birth certificates.

Pathfinders Ltd is a not-for-profit company operating across the New England North West and Mid North Coast regions of New South Wales.

Pathfinders Ltd is a not-for-profit organisation operating across the New England North West and Mid North Coast regions of New South Wales.


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