Film & TV

Grant Stevens shares his story on upcoming 60 Minutes episode, champions Operation Flinders youth adventure programs

In an emotional 60 Minutes interview, SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens and his wife reveal their son’s tragedy and how his memory is fueling a mission to help youth through Operation Flinders.

In an upcoming episode of 60 Minutes Australia, this Sunday on Channel 9, South Australian Police Commissioner Grant Stevens and his wife Emma will share the heartbreaking story of their son Charlie. Charlie, an 18-year-old, tragically passed away after suffering a severe brain injury from a hit-and-run incident during the schoolies celebrations in November on South Australia’s south coast.

During the commemoration of Charlie’s life, the Stevens family asked for donations to be made to the Operation Flinders Foundation instead of sending flowers. At the time, many South Australians may not have realised Grant Stevens’ involvement with the Foundation, where he serves as a board member. Operation Flinders is dedicated to providing unique developmental opportunities for at-risk youth through outdoor therapeutic programs.

Operation Flinders is known for its impactful programs that enhance the personal development of young adults, aged 13-18. One of its core initiatives is an eight-day program in the Northern Flinders Ranges, where participants embark on a 100km trek, learning bushcraft, abseiling, and experiencing Indigenous culture. The mission is to build connection, purpose and resilience among the youth.

The upcoming 60 Minutes episode will follow Grant and Emma Stevens to the Flinders Ranges, showcasing their involvement with the Foundation. The program will highlight the profound impact of Operation Flinders on young participants, focusing on how it instills optimism, belonging, hope, and emotional well-being through challenging yet supportive experiences.

Since its inception, Operation Flinders has helped over 10,000 youths. Its key program is conducted at Yankaninna Station in the remote Northern Flinders Ranges. Here, groups of ten youths from various schools or agencies face the wilderness, carrying their supplies as they navigate through the challenging terrain.

Operation Flinders thrives on the support of over 300 volunteers who work alongside fewer than 20 staff members. According to the latest Social Impact Report, 90% of participants acquired new skills, 92% felt connected to an adult during the program, and 75% returned home with intentions to make positive changes in their lives.

Referrals to Operation Flinders typically come through schools or agencies, but for those not in school or where schools are not involved, the Step Out program offers an alternative entry, albeit with a fee. While not a crisis response service, Operation Flinders focuses on preventative adventure-based therapy, holding five camps annually from May to October. Each camp costs $4,700 per participant, funded through donations and partnerships, with no fee charged to participants for the eight-day program. Scholarships are also available for the Step Out program.

To support Operation Flinders and its mission to transform the lives of young South Australians, donations can be made through their official website. The upcoming episode of 60 Minutes will provide a deep and moving insight into the life-changing experiences facilitated by the Foundation, framed by the personal story of a family turning their loss into a legacy for others.

Find out more on their website here.

Contact Operation Flinders here.

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