“I’m tremendously excited to begin working with the Foyer Foundation and young people engaging in education and being supported with housing to break the cycle of disadvantage and service dependence,’’ Hooper said in a statement. “What could be better than working with young people by providing a supportive place to live and access to education so they can thrive and reach independence?”
The Melbourne-based not-for-profit welfare organisation was established in 2008 and connects homeless people between 16 to 25 with education and housing. Hooper carries on the work of Sinead Gibney Hughes, the Foundation’s first CEO, who stepped down from the role in December last year.
Chair of the Foyer Foundation, Keith Bryant, credited Hooper’s “deep understanding of vulnerable communities,” in the same statement, “…particularly youth – and working for change with stakeholders, agencies and with governments made her the ideal candidate to lead the Foyer Foundation and the Youth Foyer movement into its next chapter.”
When asked about her new appointment last week, Hooper said she was most excited about working within the model of the foundation.
“I really believe combining education and housing gives them the best start,” she said. “What I’m going to do is hear from the current Foyers in Victoria about what we can do to support them in this terrific work and also be a hub for information and data so that we have a quality evidence-based response to youth homelessness.”
Hooper has a long history of working in welfare organisations and social justice causes. During high school, she volunteered at children’s hospitals and Canteen for Kids and studied science and social work at university.