Bruce Fink with Oasis: How Philanthropists are needed to Reduce Youth Homelessness

The problem of youth homelessness is Australia has received relatively little media attention despite their being approximately 44,000 homeless young people across the country today. While coverage of the beginning of the school year is repeated annually, only a few, often underfunded organisations address the needs of disadvantaged students in gaining an education. The importance of having socially disadvantaged children complete their education is well known, but for this to be achieved specialist facilities require assistance from both the government and philanthropists.


About Oasis

As stated by Mr Bruce Fink, the Executive Chairman of Executive Channel Network and a long-term benefactor of the Salvation Army’s Oasis Youth Support Network, “Education is key to young people carving out a future for a better life. I can think of very few causes that are more important than this”.

Oasis is one organization providing professional support to disadvantaged and homeless children who are not part of mainstream schools in Sydney. Oasis aims to better the lives of young people through a range of services including emergency accommodation and employment training. They have been assisting marginalizing young people in Sydney’s inner city since 1992.

Bruce Fink has supported the organisation’s Education Centre for the past five years by providing textbooks, technology and stationary. The Education Centre provides an alternative means for children unable to attend school to complete their education up to the Higher School Certificate. It has been found that many young people that are homeless face a number of difficulties in attending school. Many are unable to attend due to mental health difficulties, family-related issues or because of the financial burden attending school encumbers. At Oasis, young people can get the tools needed to complete their coursework and are able to seek guidance through their courses from professionals.

In the past year, Oasis’ services have assisted approximately 1,550 young people. This assistance greatly helps in reducing the number of people that experience chronic homelessness as well as unemployment. According to Oasis’ 2015 report ‘The Costs of Youth Homelessness’, only 31% of homeless young people over the age of 18 completed their education through to Year 12 and the unemployment rate of homeless youth in a sample study was at 84%. By ensuring young people complete their education Oasis increases individual’s employment prospects so they may become self-sufficient members of their communities.

“Many of the kids come from unbelievably difficult background”, Bruce Fink said. “It is just extraordinary how transformative the experience of Oasis has been to them. It gives them a real chance at a satisfying and meaningful future.”


Individual donations are still a primary source of funding for specialist homelessness services across Australia, though there has recently been a boost in Government funding. In 2015 the Federal Government signed a two year funding deal with the Baird Government of New South Wales. The Federal Government would contribute $60 million over the next two years while the Baird Government contributes $70 million to improve services provided to homeless youth and domestic violence vistims.

At the time of writing it is unknown how this funding would impact on services such as Oasis. Carol Cavuoti, a representative of Oasis said that it was still too early to determine the impact of increased funding across the state but that “this is not really a significant amount of money for such a significant problem.

“Individual donations can be vital to some of Oasis’ many programs, allowing some programs to continue to exist, some to have the resources they need…and others to provide additional brokerage funds to clients.”

Oasis currently has an operating budget of approximately $7 million. Half of this is funded by the Federal and State Governments while the other half is acquired through charity events and individual donations. Oasis has had to previously cut programs that reached out to disadvantaged young people in rural areas.

In order to ensure that Oasis can continue to assist young people a greater numbers of philanthropists and donations are required. Bruce Fink, who is involved in multiple philanthropic projects in Sydney, expressed this sentiment in saying “I feel we are privileged to live in this country and believe we all need to contribute to make things better for the next generation and the generations to come.”

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Bringing Innovative Digital Advertising to Life: Bruce Fink with Executive Channel Network

With the rise of digital technologies and the internet gaining the attention of a target audience and maintaining it long enough to establish brand messages has become more difficult for advertisers. In modern cities people are exposed to hundreds if not thousands of brand messages every week in both print and through digital media. To grab someone’s eye in this environment advertisers require highly targeted and engaging platforms.

Executive Channel is an example of an organization that has gained international success by creating a platform that speaks to a niche audience of executive office workers. The company was founded by Bruce Fink, Charles Parry-Okeden and Craig Cohen in 2005 and has since established a presence in Australia, the United Kingdom, France and Holland.

To quickly explain the structure of Executive Channel: Executive Channel International (ECI) is the parent company of Executive Channel Network (ECN). Bruce Fink’s privately held Bickham Court Group (BCG) has a controlling interest in ECI. Bruce Fink currently serves as ECI’s Executive Chairman.

Mr Bruce Fink – Executive Chairman and co-founder of Executive Channel Network

In 2014 Bruce Fink announced that Mr Kim Williams AM and Dr Frank Wolf OAM had joined ECI as non-executive directors. Mr Williams AM is the former CEO of News Limited and Dr Frank Wolf OAM is a co-founder of the Abacus Property Group. At the same time, Media i Managing Director Chris Winterburn became an executive director of ECI. These appointments marked the continued expansion of ECI internationally.

Executive Channel is now a world leader in office media, providing communications solutions tailored to the office environment. The company operates a network of digital screens installed throughout major office buildings. A wide range of digital screens integrate with office spaces, including premium high definition video walls, large format digital screens in office foyers, in-lift screens, brand interactions and corporate car park displays. On these screens a combination of real-time news, industry information and full-motion display advertising is shown. This network and the content displayed connects executive office workers to relevant content and provides brands with a highly targeted advertising network.

One of Executive Channel Network Australia’s latest campaigns has been for Taylors Wine. This campaign incorporates ECN’s smart schedular technology to show the correct temperatures to drink different wines at. The concept arose from Taylor’s Wine research which showed that Australian wine drinkers were drinking their wines at the wrong temperatures, which meant they weren’t experiencing the optimal flavours. ECN’s campaign compares current weather and optimal drinking temperatures for different Taylor’s Wines.

Richard Carr, Managing Partner of Mr Wolf commented, “When we conceived the Optimum Drinking Temperature concept for Taylors, we knew that the ECN would not only be a hugely relevant channel in terms of reach but also that they’d be a great technology partner to bring the concept to life.

“The ability to serve tailored messaging triggered by the current temperature is a hugely relevant way to educate consumers about the importance of drinking wine at the right temperature. We’re thrilled with the end result”.

Executive Channel’s success must be attributed to multiple factors. Their strategic positioning means ECN is continually present in the lives of a niche audience. However this does not automatically lead to audience engagement. ECN continues to research their executive audience in terms of their lifestyle, purchasing decisions and interests so that they create meaningful connections between executives and advertisers. It has been found, for example, that 70% of Australia’s CBD office workers identify as wine drinkers.

Other facts about their audience that ECN has found is that 89% of Australian executives conduct personal transactions online at work, 45% book leisure travel online at work, 37% research new cars at work and 70% of ECN’s audience are between the ages of 25 and 49 years old. Executive people are found to be positively interested in various product categories including premium food and wine, new gadgets, automotive, finance, fashion, the arts and destination retail. This information helps ECN identify the information their audience is searching for and to match this with relevant advertisers.

ECN is also at the forefront of digital display. As shown in the Taylor’s Wine campaign, ECN’s smart technology draws meaningful connections between the executive’s context and brand messages. Not only are the installations made to integrate with the design of a property, digital displays are both visually stunning and responsive to the environment (such as showing executives the outside temperature). These properties engage executives and make brand messages more relevant.

Executive Channel Network’s international footprint now incorporates over 1,000 installations in iconic office buildings. Over one million office executives engage with the brand messages displayed across the network each week. The company is only expected to continue to grow internationally as it fills a gap in advertisers needs: engaging an affluent and elusive audience in their place of work with an understanding of their interests and the way they make purchasing decisions.


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