From Farm to Future: LeaderLife's New Chapter in Dubbo Gets a Funding Boost

LeaderLife Website


Action on Society | Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Australia

The lives of marginalised young people in Dubbo are set for positive change, following the successful purchase of a tractor by LeaderLife, made possible through a generous grant from the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation.

LeaderLife was selected to receive a $25,000 grant, following a nomination by Andrew Gordon, the State Business Manager for Queensland at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) for the purchase of an industrial tractor. This crucial equipment will facilitate the development and management of LeaderLife's sustainable syntropic farm, engaging Dubbo's youth in sustainable agricultural practices.

LeaderLife is one of 38 charities to receive funding as part of the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation’s 2023 Employee Connected Grants program, sharing in more than $568,000. The volume of charities receiving an Employee Connected Grant this year is the biggest pool yet for the Foundation.

Andrew said, "Johanna Leader, the founder of LeaderLife, is a lifelong friend and an inspiration. Her unparalleled ability to empower and instil a sense of purpose has enabled LeaderLife to create programs that profoundly change and save young people's lives. This funding will ensure LeaderLife continues to forge a bright and secure future where young Australians can flourish in challenging environments."

Since 2010, LeaderLife in Dubbo has dedicated itself to “loving kids back to life,” actively transforming the lives of marginalised young people. The organisation tackles social issues including early school-leaving, unemployment, and youth incarceration by offering training, mentoring and paid employment for at-risk youth.

The CCAF grant will help fund the purchase of a tractor essential for establishing a sustainable syntropic agroforest. This initiative merges traditional farming with aquaponics, animal husbandry, and beekeeping, aiming to grow fish, yabbies, and fresh organic produce. More than farming, the project provides at-risk youth holistic support, hands-on training, and paid employment, combatting the challenges they face in mainstream education and work environments.

Malcolm Hudson, Chair of the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation, said: “Every day, dedicated individuals show up with passion and ambition to make a difference, so it's a privilege for the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation to support charities that resonate deeply with the Coca-Cola workforce through our Employee Connected Grants program.” 

The Coca-Cola Australia Foundation is committed to supporting charitable initiatives that brighten Australia's future. The 2023 grants will fund a diverse array of programs, from disaster preparedness to citizen science projects. 

“The initiatives funded by these grants reflect the diverse needs of our communities. Through collective effort, we aim to make a lasting impact, building a more resilient and sustainable future for all Australians.” Mr Hudson said.   


About LeaderLife

LeaderLife is dedicated to transforming the lives of marginalised young people in Dubbo. With a mission of keeping kids alive, out of jail, and on the path to their best life, LeaderLife has pioneered a holistic approach to counter early school-leaving, unemployment, and youth incarceration. Through various hands-on skills development and mentoring programs, they provide support to over 300 children and young adults each year, with over 95% of those being Indigenous. With support from the Dubbo community, LeaderLife operates a community centre, an after-school initiative, a diversionary program for at-risk youth, and a social enterprise that offers employment to young individuals otherwise deemed unemployable through a farming and landscaping business.