What is Fountain for youth?

With a vision of ‘Embracing Humanity by Nurturing Children’, Fountain for youth will focus on advocacy for the needs of ill children. We will build alliances with the corporate sector and general community to raise awareness and funds to bring positive changes to the lives of children by improving health and education. We recognise that education is a crucial pathway to better health.

Ian believes that all children should be given the opportunity to live a healthy and fulfilling life. He understands his position, his ability to bring important issues to the forefront and is passionate about projects that have an impact on the health of children.

Each year Fountain for youth will endeavour to raise the much needed resources to support the programs it is committed to, by holding major fundraising events and activities in conjunction with our corporate and sponsorship partners.

Fountain for youth has supported:

In Australia

  • Indigenous health and education
  • The Rett Syndrome Australian Research Fund
  • Heart Kids Victoria
  • Red Cross Australia Youth Programs
  • Children’s Cancer Institute Australia


  • Yokohama City Japan, Youth Programs
  • Beijing China, Zhiguang Special Education School

Fountain for youth Focus:

Ian Thorpe established Fountain for youth to focus on areas where he knows he can make an impact on improving the health and education of children, particularly those children in greatest need.

There is a health emergency amongst our own people and an urgency to improve the health and education of Indigenous children in this country and through Fountain for youth Ian has taken up a long term commitment to achieve this, giving Indigenous children opportunities afforded to all children in Australia.Our focus began with the Jawoyn children in the remote regions east of Katherine in the Northern Territory.  In 2007 we will continue working with the Jawoyn communities and will expand our projects into other remote communities in Australia.  We have found the facts behind these communities’ living conditions and state of health to be appalling – a human crisis in our own backyard that we desperately need to address:

  • A cluster of chronic illnesses and diseases are decimating our remote Aboriginal communities
  • Aboriginal babies die at three times the rate of the rest of our children
  • Aboriginal adults have a life expectancy 20 years less than the rest of Australians, this is the lowest life expectancy of any indigenous population of a new world country
  • Illiteracy rates as high as 93% can be found in many remote Aboriginal communities
  • For every extra year of education our nation can provide the young mother she may add up to four years to the life expectancy of her child.

How We Are Helping – Working in Partnership


Ian Thorpe’s Fountain for youth in partnership with the Sunrise Health Service Aboriginal Corporation, the Katherine Region Group School NT Department of Education and Djilpin Arts Aboriginal Corporation, is committed to working hand in hand with the community members in remote regions of Katherine East and beyond, to help develop their own programs.  They know with the right resources they can save their babies and ensure that their children have a healthy and happy life.  These are our children and this is our country.

Aboriginal people are absolutely committed to rebuilding their own communities and they need our assistance.  We have listened to what their needs are and our funding will provide and support the ‘Literacy Empowerment Project’. Our partners will work alongside the elders, family members, health workers and teachers of each community to implement these projects to improve; maternal and child health, literacy rates and education outcomes for not only the children but for their families too, leading to the prevention of many diseases that are prevalent in Aboriginal communities today.  These same diseases were eradicated years ago in non-Indigenous Australia.  Education holds the key and will lead to improved health outcomes for the whole community – ‘the crucial pathway to better health’.

Together We Can Help Our Children

The Federal Government has provided a grant for $1million 2005 – 2007 for the ‘Literacy Empowerment Project’.  Ian Thorpe’s Fountain for youth is committed to these important programs and in 2007 will see the Literacy Backpack project expand into other Aboriginal communities in Australia.  It is our responsibility to ensure that we sustain the projects for the long term and Fountain for youth will continue to seek alliances with like minded groups in assisting us to do so.  Already we have strong partnerships with Vodafone Australia, Credit Suisse, Kessler Group, the Bestest Foundation the Norm O’Neill Foundation, David Morawetz Social Justice Fund and the support of many Australians, all who believe like Ian Thorpe that together we can give Aboriginal children the same opportunity for good health as other Australians.

Aboriginal people have asked for a partnership with Ian Thorpe’s Fountain for youth so that we can walk together side by side and build a brighter future for all our children to stand ‘strong and smart’.
Ian Thorpe asks that you walk with us on this most important journey.

Find out about our Programs

At the discretion of the Directors and subject to available funds, Fountain for youth may consider new projects that meet the criteria, on an annual basis.