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Stories from the street


Tristan Has A Past

Tristan has a past, a history, but he will not let it define him.

From a violent family, to foster homes, to the streets; Tristan fought for his survival.  With your help, we can protect more teenagers like Tristan.


When we first met Tristan, he was traumatised, anxious and afraid. To save his own life, he had run away from violence at home; only to end up on the streets.

Tristan needs your help.   Please DONATE TODAY to provide life changing support for young people like Tristan who cannot depend on their own family.

Moving house is one of the most stressful things we do in life. Being separated from family, friends and familiar surroundings is tough on anyone. At 15 years of age, Tristan not only moved homes, but fled across the country.

When Tristan was 8, he had been taken away from his violent mother and became a Ward of the State.   Shifting constantly between temporary foster homes; he woke up in new surroundings every few months, not knowing when the rug would be pulled out from under him again.

In 2013, Tristan rebuilt his strenuous relationship with his mother and moved back home. But what started as a happy reunion quickly turned to despair as she returned to inflicting the same abuse upon him that she had before. Tristan’s mother would often neglect to care for him; she would torment Tristan emotionally and psychologically every day, and began withholding food as a favoured punishment.  

If Tristan escaped her clutches during a violent attack, she would run after him with the first item she could grasp as a weapon and beat him until she tired.

There seemed to be no end to the emotional turmoil he would be put through.

We need your help to ensure young people like Tristan do not fall through the cracks. Please donate today before winter’s chill settles in around young people sleeping on the streets.

(Plus, if you give before June 30th you can claim the tax deduction in this financial year.)

Feeling worthless, unwanted, exhausted and unlovable; Tristan ran away from Northern Territory to New South Wales. The move was his last chance to escape an unbearable situation of extreme abuse.

When Tristan arrived in New South Wales he had nowhere to live and no family to turn to.

Tristan met other young people loitering on the streets. They were a bad influence; encouraging excessive drinking behaviour, introducing him to marijuana and petty crime.

So often, the friends that our young people turn to for help, only lead them further off the right path. We need your ongoing support to ensure we can intervene, present positive role models, encourage self-worth and help young people find the courage to choose a better future.

When our Outreach Worker Emily met Tristan; her first priority was to assist him into stable housing, liaise with his legal guardian and clear some court matters related to his time on the streets.

Next, Emily encouraged Tristan to return to education and also be matched with a mentor, both of which have had a positive impact on Tristan’s life and his self-esteem.   Seeing his confidence and self-worth grow every day, surrounded by people that truly value and care for him, has been a heart-warming experience for Emily and Tristan’s mentor.  

Tristan is excelling in our unique learning environment, studying toward TAFE certificates in Maths, Literacy, Horticulture and Civil Construction. He now has hopes of undertaking an Apprenticeship and living independently in the near future.

Every day our Outreach Workers are supporting hundreds of young people like Tristan. Kids who are desperate, feel helpless and abandoned. 

Tristan has a past, a history, but he will not let it define him. He is gaining the courage daily to build a better future and Open Family Australia will continue to stand by Tristan’s side.

With your help, we can be there for young people when they have nowhere else to turn. Please donate now. You can also call us directly on 1300 669 600 or write to Open Family Australia, 155 Roden Street, West Melbourne, VIC 3003.

As an added help to you this tax time, if you give before June 30th you can claim the tax deduction in this financial year.

Thank you.

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Open Family Australia
155 Roden Street
West Melbourne VIC 3003
T. 1300 669 600

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