Compass is a registered not-for-profit Charity providing further education, skills based training and vocational pathways to young people with intellectual and physical disabilities. Since its inception it has rewritten the rule book about what a Disability Service looks like and what it can achieve. In 2018 Compass was inducted into the Sunshine Coast Business Hall of Fame and was runner up in the Queensland Community Organisation of the Year. It has garnered incredible community and corporate support and is the fastest growing service of its kind in Queensland. Uniquely it has developed a wide range of social enterprises that provide flexible vocational opportunities for its trainees. Above everything else it has helped young people with disabilities and their families to dream… and then to achieve those dreams.
Commencing in 1991 the organisation provided Alternative Education programmes to youth at risk in local secondary and primary schools with over 7,000 school students benefiting from an evergrowing range of specialist programmes. The Compass Education & Training Service commenced in 2003 with 3 trainees and one staff member. The service has experienced approximately 35% per annum growth and now supports over 180 trainees through 80 staff across five centres and 12 social enterprises – micro businesses that include the 20-acre Compass Farm, Connections Cafe, Harvest Kitchen, Wabi Sabi, The Garden Cafe, Rakes and Panes and Earth & Wood.
In 2016 Compass commenced its Assistance Dogs Programme, purchasing and training pups to support children with autism and/or intellectual disabilities. The programme engages with corporate sponsors who support the costs of raising and training a pup for 2 years (approximately $25,000) and in return have naming rights for the pup along with significant co-branded media and promotional opportunities across the working life of the dog – up to ten years. This support allows Compass to essentially gift the dog to the child in need. The programme has been so successful that Compass is now launching this life changing programme nationally.