Father James Grant Foundation Luncheon w Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove on Youth Unemployment

Father James Grant Foundation Youth Unemployment Luncheon with Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove

The Father James Grant Foundation held a lunchtime gathering focused on youth unemployment with our strongest attendance drawn to hear Guest Speaker Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove.

Sir Peter gave a wonderful overview of the importance of conduct in society and how general values are the starting point for youth unemployment to improve, highlighting the substantial improvements in acceptance, inclusion, education and employment being achieved.

It’s these values that Sir Peter Cosgrove outlined as being important in progressing society and including those to contribute that we at The Father James Grant Foundation teach through our course work with disengaged youth in Australia in order to reduce youth unemployment and more importantly, begin enjoying life to its fullest.


Many young Australians leave secondary education without any academic aspirations and no clear vision or understanding of a career path. These youth can be law abiding, living harmoniously with their family, and engaged in other social and community activities, but lacking the motivation or the skills required to gain meaningful employment. Without a clear direction, youth can become disengaged, often leading to low-self esteem, isolation, drug and alcohol abuse, crime, and long-term unemployment.

What is initially a single issue – such as unemployment after completing school – becomes multi-faceted, and this can have negative consequences for the young person, their family and friends, and the wider community.

The Father James Grant Foundation’s ‘Mission Engage’ program was developed to encourage and engage at risk youth, and provide them with the necessary skills, training and confidence to find employment. Most commonly, the program works with 18-22 year old Australians without a clear vision for their future and whose school, sporting and social experiences have failed to inspire confidence or a strong sense of self.

We work in partnership with businesses to provide real employment pathways for young people otherwise at risk of long-term unemployment and disadvantage. Tailored to the participating business, the Mission Engage program provides disengaged youth with the necessary skills, training and confidence to improve their employability, their lives and supercharges the positive impact they have on the business.

Sir Peter Cosgrove’s Great Story

Peter Cosgrove was born in Sydney in 1947.  The son of a soldier, he attended Waverley College in Sydney and graduated in 1968 from the Royal Military College, Duntroon.

Early in his military career, he fought in Vietnam, commanding a rifle platoon.  He was awarded the Military Cross in 1971 for his performance and leadership during an assault on enemy positions.

Peter Cosgrove came to national attention in 1999 when, as Commander of the International Task Force East Timor (INTERFET), he was responsible for overseeing that country’s transition to independence.  For his leadership in this role he was promoted to Companion in the Military Division of the Order of Australia (AC).

Promoted to Lieutenant General, he was appointed Chief of Army in 2000.  After further promotion to General, he served as Chief of the Defence Force from 2002-2005.  He retired from the Australian Defence Force in 2005.

Subsequently, he accepted positions on several boards, including QANTAS, Cardno and the Australian Rugby Union.  He was appointed by the Queensland Government to lead the taskforce rebuilding communities in the Innisfail region following the devastation caused by Cyclone Larry in 2006.  From 2007 to 2012, he chaired the Council of the Australian War Memorial, and served as Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University from 2010 until early 2014.

The Father James Grant Foundation works with businesses to train and provide real-life employment skills for youth seeking to enter the workforce, which in turn offers a fulfilling and cost-effective human resource solution increasing staff retention and loyalty. To discover more about how we can work with your business to improve your retention and the outlook for local youth, click here.


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