News & Events

Boost is off and running!

September 1, 2022

ACSO is excited to announce the launch of our new Boost program in the Illawarra region of NSW. Boost is a unique mentoring program designed for young people between the ages of 14-17 years who have breached or are considered ‘at risk’ of breaching an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO). Through pro-social activities and intensive intervention over 6 months, Boost participants will have the opportunity to learn and practice new skills in a safe and supportive environment.

The idea for the Boost program was initially conceived through a collaboration between Lake Illawarra and Wollongong Police Districts, Youth Justice Wollongong, the University of Wollongong and ACSO. Beginning on 1  September, the program will be piloted over 12 months and service up to 65 young people.

“At ACSO, our vision is for a community where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and prison truly is the last resort,’ says Larissa Daniel, ACSO’s Chief Strategy Officer. “We are excited to be able to pilot and evaluate an innovative, collaborative program with such committed partners in the Illawarra. This mentoring program will lead to better outcomes not only for individual young people but for the whole community.”


  • The program will help young people to identify the thoughts, feelings, triggers and stressors that may lead to breaches of AVOs.
  • It will link young people and their families and significant support networks with mentors who will support them in finding strategies to reduce the likelihood of AVO breaches. The participants will practise these through experiential learning activities.
  • The Boost program is a safe place where young people will feel supported by their mentor to make meaningful changes in their behaviour and their relationships. 
  • In the spirit of piloting, ACSO will continue to collaborate with NSW Police and Youth Justice, NSW Children’s Courts and other relevant stakeholders to build cohesion between ACSO and these government services.
  • Six mentors and one program facilitator supported by the program manager will work intensively (up to 15 hours per week) with individuals at high risk of breaching an AVO.

For more information go to Youth | ACSO.