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The Resident, Vicki Condon

By Kyrenia Blanshard

This month’s Mosman resident, Vicki Condon, is the Founder and CEO of Raise Foundation, a charity which runs mentoring programs in high schools across Australia to help young people navigate challenges, believe in themselves and others, and shape a purposeful life.

Vicki shares her local favourites with us, why she loves living in Mosman and why she started Raise.

How long have you lived here and why did you choose Mosman?
Leon and I got lucky in late 2000 when we were able to buy our home overlooking Sirius Cove. We hoped it would be a warm community with great outdoor spaces to bring up our three kids, and it has been that plus so much more.

Best thing about the area?
Being so close to the beach, being around so many great people and being only an eight minute ferry ride away from the city.

What’s your favourite café/restaurant in Mosman?
I love to eat out and my favourites are Open Circus, The Boathouse, Simple Simon’s, Frenchy’s, Café Mosman, Albion Lane, and Avenue Road Cafe – and of course, we can’t go past Chooka’s (Chargrill Charlie’s)!

Best coffee in the area?
I don’t actually drink coffee, but my Mum visits regularly from Adelaide and the first thing she wants to do when she arrives is to have a coffee at Fourth Village.

Where do you like to have a drink in the area?
The Buena is our favourite for catching up with friends and having a few quiet ones.

Any local hidden gems you’d be kind enough to share with us?
Athol Beach is quiet and lovely for swims and picnics, with beautiful harbour views.

What’s your favourite room at home and why?
The Balcony, where we’ve gathered for many conversations and celebrations with our much-loved friends and family.

What’s your perfect weekend?
Our weekends are filled with morning swims at Balmoral, cheering for the Mosman Whales at Rawson, long lunches, walks out to Bradleys Head, going to the SCG to see the Swans, and Sunday family dinners.

And can you tell us how Raise came about?
Too many young people in Australia are not okay. They are struggling with major challenges and feel they don’t have someone they can really trust to ask for help.

I always wanted to do something worthwhile to support young people through adolescence. After a corporate career in HR and then parenting, I retrained as a Counsellor and volunteered with charities while teaching in Outreach at TAFE. This helped me to develop the business plan for the charity that became Raise, but I was actually sparked into action when our family experienced the death by suicide of a young family friend.

We hoped at the time that we could help even just one young person, but since late 2008 we have provided a Raise Mentor for 6,351 young people across Australia. This year alone, we are mentoring an additional 2,000 young people in 155 high schools, and we are working towards offering the program to every public secondary school in the country.

Raise Foundation’s black-tie gala event, The Sparkle Ball, was booked for 3rd September at The Ivy Ballroom from 6pm however, it will be rescheduled for a date in November. Sparkle is always a fabulous night of dancing, great food and good wine. You can still book your tickets here!

If you would like to find out more about Raise or The Sparkle Ball, please visit www.raise.org.au.

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