As part of the AFL Football season, The SAP, Melbourne branch team, run an AFL tipping competition to raise funds for a chosen charity each year. This year the SAP team have chosen Ladder.

With the AFL 2023 men’s season kick starting on Thursday March 16th Ladder was invited to participate in SAPS footy tipping launch, and share with the team more about who Ladder are and what we do. Ladders National Program Manager, Tara Hazel, Case Worker, Marie Bryant and one of our incredible young people, Hannah journeyed down to St Kilda Road, St Kilda and made their way to Level 15 where they met the SAP team.

As people began entering the room and the number of staff began to grow, Hannah shared that she was feeling nervous about presenting to a room full of strangers. Marie was right there to remind Hannah on how far she has come since joining the program and how many milestones she had already achieved in such a short time.

Hannah has not only obtained her learners permit, but she has also applied, interviewed and received a job and is now working with Marie to explore university courses, with the aim of beginning in the second half of the year. Marie’s reflection on all of Hannah’s achievements enabled Hannah to take stock of everything that she has already overcome and identify that this was another opportunity to grow (and build her self-efficacy.)

When Hannah began speaking, Hannah acknowledged to the SAP team that she was feeling nervous. In that moment every single person in that room became Hannahs biggest cheerleaders, giving Hannah an encouraging clap and everyone voicing their appreciation for Hannah being there, and they shared that they were excited to hear what Hannah had to say. In that moment the SAP team not only created a safe and inclusive space, but they also enabled Hannah to shine, be all of who she is and gave her a voice to share her story.

That propelled Hannah to be present in the moment and speak from her heart about her Ladder experience. Hannah had everyone in the room captivated and after she had finished, Hannah received a roaring round of applause and had a majority of the team come up and congratulate her on a job well done. Hannah later shared with Marie and Tara that ‘I am pretty proud of myself’.

Very powerful and extremely privileged to hear Hannah tell her story. Incredible work that Ladder are doing for the community - Ted, SAP employee

After Hannah’s speech this sparked conversations amongst us all on other ways SAP can be involved and support the young people in the Ladder programs. There were a lot of ideas and enthusiasm coming from all parties and we are thrilled to continue these conversations and partner with SAP to provide positive experiences for the young people we are lucky to work with.

It was a wonderful afternoon that began with an organisation fundraising for a charity, ending with a group of people wanting to pull up their sleeves and voicing the very same question that our founders asked themselves 16 years ago, what can we do?

With that simple question and with the support of the AFL Players Association and the AFL, Ladder has impacted the lives of thousands of young people nationally. This could not have been done without the support of all the incredible organsations that we have the privilege to work with.

A big shout out and thank you to the SAP Australia team!

Click the image below to watch Hannah's video describing her story-telling experience.