Empowering young people, teaching them life skills, promoting regular school attendance and keeping them connected and engaged through sports and after-school activities can have a profound and multifaceted impact on a community.

Life skills play a fundamental role in fostering personal growth, well-being, self-reliance and successful navigation of life's challenges and opportunities.

Regular school attendance is essential for a child's overall development, providing them with the necessary skills, knowledge, and social experiences to thrive in both academic and personal aspects of life.

After-school sports programs encourage teamwork, collaboration and a sense of belonging. They also contribute to improved physical health and overall well-being

It also offers opportunities for young people to develop leadership skills and become active contributors and agents of positive change in their community.

The Purple Hands Foundation programs aim to support at-risk and disadvantaged youth, particularly those coming from low socio-economic backgrounds and living in regional and remote communities.

Through the mechanism of sport, we are able to engage and connect with young people, break down barriers and provide non-conventional learning that is adapted to suit learning ability.

Some of the key social issues Purple Hands Foundation programs aim to address are;

  • Physical and mental health
  • School absenteeism and lower education levels
  • Anti-social behaviour and youth crime
  • Restricted access to opportunities
  • Social integration and isolation
  • Cultural identity

The facts

Physical health
25% of Australian children aged 5 to 17 years are overweight or obese. (Ref)

It is estimated that illness from being overweight or obese will cost the WA government $610M per year by 2026. (Ref)

The consumption of alcohol at risky levels remains high for 3 in 10 (29%) Australian school students. (Ref)

One in six (15.6%) Western Australians aged 14 years and older reported using illicit drugs in the previous 12 months. (Ref)

Mental health
Youth mental health issues are rising at an alarming rate in Australia. One in seven young Australians aged 4 to 17 years experience a mental health condition in any given year.
Ref: Lawrence, D., Johnson, S., Hafekost, J., et al. (2015). The Mental Health of Children and Adolescents. Report on the second Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Department of Health, Canberra.

 For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth, significantly higher rates of suicide are experienced compared to non-Indigenous youth. (Ref)

One in ten young Australians aged 12-17 years will self-harm, one in 13 will seriously consider a suicide attempt, and one in 40 will attempt suicide. (Ref)

WA has the second highest rate of youth suicide in the country. (Ref)

Social isolation and loneliness can be harmful to both mental and physical health. Disconnection from community is a risk factor to developing loneliness. (Ref 1) (Ref 2)

One in five children born in Fitzroy Crossing in WA has Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), one of the highest prevalence rates in the world. (Ref)

Low education levels lead to poor lifelong health and wellbeing outcomes, particularly for at-risk groups such as those from low socio-economic backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and those living in rural and remote communities. (Ref 1) (Ref 2)

School attendance rates for Indigenous students have not improved over the past five years. Attendance rates for Indigenous students remain lower than for non‑Indigenous students (around 82% compared to 92% in 2019). The attendance gap widens during secondary school. In 2019, the attendance rate for Indigenous primary school students was 85% - a gap of around 9 percentage points. By Year 10, Indigenous students attend school 72% of the time on average - a gap of around 17 percentage points. (Ref)

WA has the second highest level of First Nations incarceration in Australia. (Ref)

36% of young people in a detention centre in WA were diagnosed with FASD. Given the challenges with a FASD diagnosis, this is likely to be an underestimate. (Ref)

Rural and Remote
The lack of accessible, effective and comprehensive service delivery to rural and remote WA leads to poor outcomes and cycles of disadvantage. (Ref)