2018 Round 2 Top 3 Finalist

Queensland Youth Services

'Recycle your Dreams' empowers young people in Townsville to become job-ready.

Queensland Youth Services is a non-government, not-for-profit, community based organisation that supports young people throughout many of life’s challenges.

“Recycle Your Dreams” is a unique program run by Queensland Youth Services that addresses the barriers young people face that places them at risk of being long-term welfare dependent through involvement in our Social Enterprise – Chameleon Upcycled Products. These barriers include early disengagement from school, generational welfare dependency, involvement in child safety or youth justice, substance misuse, homelessness and mental health.

The Social Enterprise model is based on the upcycling of goods for re-sale or re-use. Based on the principals of User Design, participants engage in the daily operations of the enterprise, including business planning, product design, product making, and product distribution, developing their entrepreneurial skills while forming the attitudes and behaviours required to succeed in long-term employment. 

Queensland Youth Services “Recycle Your Dreams” program empowers disadvantaged young people to enter the workforce and develops an environmental consciousness by upcycling unwanted goods into affordable products for the community.

Increasing technology has reduced entry level jobs previously performed by low skills workers, making it more difficult for youth to gain their first job. Our Social Enterprise, Chameleon Upcycled Products, provides real life work experience and an opportunity to develop required work habits. The social enterprise provides a supportive work environment with experienced youth workers, enterprise manager and trade mentors. Young people develop strategies to overcome social barriers, participate in on the job training, gain an accredited qualification and work experience with local employers. They learn how to apply their enterprise skills in the workforce and gain an understanding of workplace culture, occupational health and safety procedures, and adapt to normal work hours.

Recycle Your Dreams collects rejected materials that are destined for land fill and up-cycles them into usable and affordable items, such as furniture for the wider community to purchase. 

Spray painting is a skill that our young participants would greatly benefit from and would become an integral part of their skills portfolio – opening up additional job opportunities across industries.

A Sunsuper Dreams for a Better World grant would help us purchase a spray booth to assist with training and to improve the overall quality of the upcycled products, leading to increased sales and improve the sustainability of the program.


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