“Food is the ingredient that brings us together to share what is essential in life”

Carevan has become an icon, a symbol that community cares, and that a community through a strong volunteer network can work together to ensure all people feel valued and respected regardless of their circumstances.

The Carevan Foundation aims to create a sense of identity, a sense of belonging and a sense of achievement. The Foundation is focused on changing “us” and “them” to become “we”.

Whether you are dealing with poverty, mental health, homelessness, isolation, family breakdowns; Carevan values you and respects your circumstances and forms a non-judgemental environment.

“Sometimes a feeling from the heart becomes a jigsaw puzzle that is meant to be put together”. 

Respect, Care, Connection, Identity, Support, Recognition, Community

Carevan Culture

Our Patron: Father Chris Riley

Who is Father Chris Riley

Father Chris Riley AM, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Youth Off The Streets, has worked with disadvantaged youth for more than 40 years in a variety of roles including teacher, youth worker, probation officer, residential carer, principal and CEO. Father Chris officially founded Youth Off The Streets in 1991.

As CEO of Youth Off The Streets, Father Chris oversees the operation of over 35 programs that employ over 200 staff and involve more than 400 volunteers. He has implemented innovative behaviour modification strategies to help young people deal with a history of trauma, abuse and neglect. He has grown the organisation from a single food van delivering meals to young homeless people on the streets of Kings Cross to a major youth specific agency providing a wide range of services such as crisis accommodation, independent schools, residential treatment programs, centres for youth, Aboriginal programs, and early intervention and prevention programs into troubled suburbs through an outreach service.

Many of these strategies have been adopted by schools across Australia and by Government agencies. Father Chris believes there is no such thing as a “child born bad”, but acknowledges that there are bad environments, circumstances and families that impact negatively on our young. “We must have the courage to demand greatness from our youth.”

Words from Father Chris Riley

Looking at the increase in programs and the comprehensive nature of the programs is a real tribute to Dr. John and his many volunteers. The programs touch the most human of basic needs and delivery of the programs nurture and lift people up. Governments talk about the concept of “social inclusion” however I don’t believe they have any concept of how you articulate this in reality. Carevan have articulated the concept of social inclusion as it offers meals, dental help, care packs, nutritional meals, company, compassion and the many other activities. I believe the greatest human need is the need to belong. This is the fundamental aim of Carevan.

The three hundred volunteers have helped to turned their towns into communities who care. Many would be surprised that so many people volunteer; not me. I know Australians as generous giving people, who just need someone to lead them. Congratulations to Dr. John for being the one who had the dream, to the many volunteers and staff who ensure that dream is delivered every day and to those who attend and utilize the services of Carevan. We admire your courage and strength, we are privileged to be part of your community and family.

Father Chris Riley

Our Kids Cooking & Caring Ambassador : David Kapay – Chef /Owner of Miss Amelie Restaurant

Whilst David started his apprenticeship locally in the Albury/Wodonga, his culinary repertoire flourished after being given the opportunity to work under Jamie Oliver at the world famous Fifteen restaurant in London and also with Gordon Ramsay and Jason Atherton at Michelin-starred Maze restaurant also in London. His fondness for his hometown however, drew him back to the Border to pursue his dream of opening his own restaurant.

David’s dedication to food and cooking is all about connection. He believes that good food brings people together, and in turn makes the world a better place.

While David works tirelessly to create memorable experiences for his guests at Miss Amelie, he strives every day to remember the bigger picture. His vision is to create a stronger community, by giving back to those less fortunate and investing time in empowering younger generations.

David is proud to be an ambassador for the Caravan’s ‘kids cooking and caring program’ committed to building a stronger future for our community.

David Kapay