For Gold Coast Project for Homeless Youth President Andrew Antonopoulos this year’s series of ‘’I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! became ‘must watch’ television – at least for a little while.
Now, this isn’t necessarily because he particularly likes seeing people bitten by snakes, or someone potentially needing surgery to extract bugs from their ears after undertaking some very arduous physical and mental challenges.
For Andrew, it was more about throwing his support behind Gold Coast star Alli Simpson, who nominated Gold Coast headquartered not-for-profit organisation, Gold Coast Project for Homeless Youth Inc. (GCPHY) as her charity of choice.
Alli, a passionate supporter of the charity and campaigner to bring awareness to breaking the cycle of homelessness is choosing to use her platform while on the program to shine a light on the vital work the organisation does and its holistic approach to aid some of the city’s most vulnerable and ‘at-risk’ youth.
Andrew along with the board will be hosting an official event at Currumbin Sanctuary on Thursday 11th March to thank Alli for her contribution along with announcing her role as 2021 Ambassador. This event will be attended by the young people who are directly impacted by Alli’s drive to shine a light on the vital work of the organisation and its holistic approach to aid some of the Gold Coast’s most vulnerable and ‘at-risk’ youth.
“The GCPHY’s goal is to break the cycle of youth homelessness by supporting them with accommodation, food, case management and life skill programs to achieve this purpose,” said Ms Simpson.
As the President of GCPHY for the past five years and part of its board for close to a decade, Andrew was grateful for the support of a high-profile celebrity such as Alli, who was a contestant in the 2021 series of the Channel 10 reality show. She used this platform to shine a light on a cause Andrew is absolutely passionate about – breaking the cycle of youth homelessness within the Gold Coast region.
In existence for over 37 years, GCPHY supports young people aged between 16-25 years in need of housing assistance and support. It provides assessment, advice and referral support, immediate accommodation for young people 16-18 years and transitional accommodation for young people 16-19 years. This is delivered via key initiatives that includes mobile support, like, skills and education programs and a transition to education program targeting aged 18 through to 25 years old.
Andrew, a native of Vancouver Canada became involved in the organisation after developing a blatant passion for the city after completing his legal education at Bond University, situated on the Gold Coast. After deciding to make the city his permanent home, he wanted to get behind a local organisation that was working to change the Gold Coast for the better and after being introduced to GCPHY via a contact volunteered for a board position, providing strategic advice and legal counsel to its executive team.
Fast forward nearly 10-years he is now its President and is dedicated to helping it achieve its mission to break the cycle of youth homelessness through its holistic approach in aiding some of the city’s most vulnerable and ‘at-risk’ youth. This responsibility combined with his role as the founder of ABA Legal Group and tech company Synnch – that assists innovative Australian companies access government support – makes for a busy schedule.
However, his drive to make the Gold Coast a better place and witnessing first-hand the good done by GCPHY provides ample motivation for him to continue to help push the organisation and its key initiatives forward.
That is why for Andrew, the support from a high-profile figure like Ms Simpson comes at a vital time for the organisation as it continues to on its mission to create a holistic approach to resolving youth homelessness in the Gold Coast region.
“We are extremely grateful that someone with a global presence like Alli, has selected GCPHY as her charity of choice and I thank her on behalf of every single person affiliated with the organisation for not just the financial support but the exposure she is providing through her platform,” Andrew said.
“We rely on Government funding assistance from the Department of Housing and Public Works to meet the cost-of-service delivery in our immediate and transitional accommodation, and through this funding we deliver accommodation projects to meet the demand of housing opportunities for the young people in our care. Any additional funds raised via efforts like this allow us to broaden our scope beyond the immediate nature of the problems facing young people when they don’t have a fixed abode to call home – to a more long-term focus of transforming their lives for the purpose of ultimately breaking what can be a multi-generational cycle of trauma and disadvantage.”