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From humble beginnings as a small volunteer-driven group CREATE Foundation has evolved to become a national organisation with offices in every state and territory in Australia.
CREATE Foundation, originally called the Australian Association of Young People in Care (AAYPIC), was founded in 1993 by Jan Owen. AAYPIC was established because children and young people in care needed a voice in the decisions being made about their lives. A variety of groups focussing on promoting the voices of children and young people were operating in each state and territory by a range of organisations and in 1999 they amalgamated and took one name instead of eight variations. The name CREATE Foundation was chosen by young people who were heavily involved in promoting and advancing the needs of children and young people under the one banner.
As a national organisation CREATE is better able to increase its reach to children and young people in care through its programs and events. As an advocate for children and young people in care CREATE ensures that their voices are heard by key decision makers in government and out-of-home care sector stakeholders.
Jan first started working with disadvantaged youths in her early 20s, when she was studying social welfare at university and working part time as a drug and alcohol educator for children in inner Brisbane. Jan is currently CEO of Foundation for Young Australians and between 2002 and 2010 she was an Executive Director of Social Ventures Australia (SVA). She serves on the Boards of Inspire Foundation, Social Firms of Australia, International Women’s Development Agency and Enterprise Melbourne. Jan continues her close connection with CREATE and served on the Board between 2007 and 2010.