In 1993, Jan Owen AM formed the Australian Association of Children and Young People in Care (AAYPIC), a variety of state and territory groups that aimed to give children and young people in care a say in the decisions that affect them. It was in March 1999 that AAYPIC networks met in Brisbane to form one combined organisation and call it CREATE – not an acronym but an action – meaning to ‘create opportunities with and for children and young people in care.’
Over 20 years, led by the courage, strength and youth advocacy of our Young Consultants, CREATE has contributed to many significant improvements to the care system, including;
CREATE has grown significantly from its humble beginnings at garages and community halls across Australia, and is now a national organisation with offices in each state and territory with almost 50 staff and over 26,000 children and young people with a care experience as clubCREATE members. While we’ve grown, what hasn’t changed is our commitment to our vision that all children and young people with a care experience reach their full potential. Our model of Connect to Empower to Change has helped us play a vital role in the care sector today by ensuring the voices of children and young people are at the centre of decision making and heard loud and clear.
CREATE Foundation’s 2022 – 2027 Strategic Plan will be focusing on mental health and wellbeing, raising the age of criminal responsibility and transitioning from care to adulthood.
CREATE had a humble beginning, starting from our founder Jan Owen in suburban Brisbane trying to provide opportunities for young people with a care experience to have a say in decisions that affected their lives. We now support over 46,000 children and young people who are in care through no fault of their own in Australia today. CREATE is also committed to ensuring that its programs and activities are inclusive and the participation of First Nations Children and Young People is in proportion to their representation in the care population.
Demand for our services and support has never been higher and in this next five-year period we will focus on building our capacity to respond to this ever-growing need and prioritising the engagement and support of young people