Batyr looks forward to a brighter future for young Australians

By Aidan Nuttall, Published 22 November 2017

Waterfield have been working with batyr for 3 years on strategy planning and execution.

batyr was launched in 2011, after founder Sebastian Robertson experienced the frustration and isolation of living silently with mental ill health whilst at university. Sebastian recognised that it was time to have open honest conversations about mental health with young people, and founded the organisation, naming it after batyr (‘hero’), The Talking Elephant From Kazakhstan.

Batyr’s vision is for Australian young people can engage in positive conversations about mental health and are empowered to seek out help when needed. Their strategic focus was around reducing stigma and increasing awareness of the mental health issues faced by young people.

batyr have achieved exceptional results with 100% growth year on year in numbers of young people they have reached with their program. Having now reached 90,000 students of which 40,000 were reached in the last year.

Using an agile approach to strategy allowed them to hit their massive goals by operationalising the strategy from the lowest levels to senior team. It also let them evolve the strategy pivoting like when they weren’t extracting a return on investment with some partners. Again agile has allowed them to keep on mission but grow their thinking to a horizon when stigma has become less of a problem as it is a conversation people have to how do we ensure people take effective action now they are aware.

Over the 3 years, we have worked with batyr there have been several shifts in their strategy. Our agile approach to strategy has worked well for batyr in particular when it comes to fundraising and partnerships.

This quarter alone, the batyr team had set themselves milestones and goals to end the year on a high note. Highlights included:

  • Delivering 101 programs to high school and uni students across NSW, QLD, VIC, ACT and SA

  • Training 53 young people to safely and effectively share their story of mental ill health

  • Sharing the batyr story around the world – At the International Association for Youth Mental Health Conference in Dublin, Ireland & the Social Enterprise World Forum in Christchurch, New Zealand

  • Welcoming our new partners: Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation, APP and the Hong Kong Blue Tie Ball

  • Seeing everyone come together at various events across the country to continue the conversation around mental health, and raise truly appreciated funds for batyr

batyr's executive team are focused on the future and their vision and believe their strategic approach is the perfect vehicle to get them there. 

We find using StrategyConnect instills discipline throughout the whole organisation. The discipline of setting goals, reviewing goals and measuring success. It also helps to gain immediate visibility on what is working versus what isn’t working and allows us to adjust accordingly.
— Sam Refshauge – Executive Director

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