Last week, Ladder continued our end of year celebrations alongside our community partner, the GWS GIANTS, to thank and celebrate the achievements of our NSW young people and stakeholders.

We were joined by both our Alumni program and current program participants from across NSW, alongside supporters of our programs including SecondBite, Share the dignity, National colleges and GWS GIANTS players and staff.

The day began with Acting CEO Giselle Pinto formally welcoming guests and sharing successful outcomes from the Ladder programs to date. Ladder has seen incredible outcomes from our young people across all our programs and we are proud of our continued work in our current programming areas and expansions into new regions in 2023, including Southern NSW.

During lunch Ladder Development Coaches made some special presentations to our recent graduates, sharing each young person’s journey through the Ladder program. They highlighted their phenomenal achievements and reaching their self-identified goals, whilst also overcoming many barriers.  In addition, three young people were awarded the following Ladder awards: Best on Ground, Coaches Award and Most Consistent.

"Ladder has not only helped me get a job but motivated me to keep my job too" – Program participant

"The Ladder program has helped me come out of my shell and be comfortable in groups. I used to be really shy and still am, but I have learnt to enjoy meeting new people thanks to Ladder" –Alumni program member

Young people then assisted the Ladder team in handing out gifts which they had made for our wonderful supporters and stakeholders. Over the last month our young people have consistently been attending group sessions where they have been learning how to make candles and fudge and gave these a sign of gratitude for their support in making the Ladder program possible.

The GWS GIANTS have been a proud community partner of Ladder since the inception of our Step Up Sydney Program in 2017. We were joined by GIANTS staff and players Lachlan Keefee, Harry Perryman, Connor Idun and Wade Derksen and the young people enjoyed being able to have a chat with them and take photos together. The young people also received personalised gifts from the GWS GIANTS staff and players, with one young person sharing

"I did not expect to get a gift and it is pretty awesome as I don’t usually get gifts from anyone." - Program Participant

"Thank you to the GIANTS players for my present and the amazing things I got to see and experience today." – Alumni program member

The day ended with a kick-to-kick on the ground and a VIP Club tour. It was a wonderful end to a fabulous celebration. 

We would again like to thank the GWS GIANTS for their ongoing support of Ladder and for hosting another fabulous end-of-year celebration. We would like to thank Amanda Matthews, Nici Andronicus and Omar Elrayes for making this event possible.