TOYS CHANGE LIVES is a workshop with a difference.

Our Mission: Reduce Recidivism in Indigenous Youth

The overrepresentation of Indigenous Youth in the criminal justice system is one of Australia’s most significant social problems. Indigenous Youth make up only 5% of Australia’s youth population, yet they account for over 52% of 10 to 17-year-olds in juvenile detention across Australia. TCL’s main mission is to reduce this rate.

A circuit breaker to the cycle of re-offending

By employing ‘at-risk’ indigenous mentors and youths, TCL has created a culturally meaningful employment pathway that is successfully reducing recidivism. Re-offending is a massive problem in our community, with around 75% of youth released from regional juvenile justice centres re-offending at least once in their future.

That’s where TCL comes in. We’re here providing practical, proven, grass-roots solutions to give Indigenous youth a fresh track to take. A life put on the right track means one less youth in detention, one more youth being a healthy role-model to his peers, one more youth contributing their craft back to their culture and community.

Employment Pathways

After being released from juvenile detention, it’s difficult for young offenders to re-enter their community without prejudice, and very easy to fall back into negative behaviours & peer groups. TCL solves both these issues by providing a first step into unprejudiced employment and a peer group who are on their way to a self-empowered future.

Youth Leadership

Who better to lead than someone who has already walked the path you’re on? TCL graduates become true leaders and positive role models for their peers. With a level of rapport & credibility that can only be gained from ‘living it’, TCL graduates are able to present at-risk youth with an alternative future.

Housing Stability

A stable home greatly increases the chance of TCL Youth graduating from the program and maintaining their new future. TCL is working with the community and local business to secure Team Homes for TCL Youth.

Become a Volunteer

We sure could do with a hand…woodwork mentoring, market stall staffing, shop assistant on Saturday mornings, sewing our ‘Luby Cuddlies’….room for everyone to help close the gap!


Because TCL has youth aged 16 and under, we require all our Volunteers and Staff to have a Working With Children Check. It’s free and easy to apply for online or at your local NSW Service Centre.

The Working With Children Check (WWCC) is a requirement for anyone who works or volunteers in child-related work in NSW. It involves a National Police Check (criminal history record check) and a review of reportable workplace misconduct.

The outcome of a check is either a clearance to work with children or a bar against working with children. If cleared, the check will be valid for 5 years, however applicants are continuously monitored.

Joining Process

After you have obtained your WWC, then it’s simply a matter of identifying what skills you’d like to share and we can begin to find you a task and a time-slot that suits both you and the TCL Team.

Some skill sets that we’re always in need of are:

  • Woodworking Tuition
  • Sewing Tuition
  • Sewing Assistance with our ‘Lubly Cuddlies’ dribble cloths
  • ‘Shop Attendant’ assistance on Saturday Mornings from 9am-12pm.
  • Market Stall Attendants on Sunday mornings from 6am-10am.

Contact [email protected] to start the process to becoming a TCL volunteer.

Meet Our Team

Peter Boughey

Founder of Toys Change Lives

‘Pastor’ Pete has been a Chaplain at Grafton’s Juvenile Detention Centre (ACMENA) for over 14 years, and in that time saw the same youth come back through the Centre time-and-again. In 2014 Pete took it upon himself to offer these youths a project when they got out of ACMENA – building wooden toys in his garage.

Jai ‘Darby’ Walker

TCL Artistic Mentor

I come from West of the range, Mallanganee – my grandmother & my fathers’ country. I was born stomping my feet and with a paint brush in my hand. Nature and culture inspire me. My dreams really inspire me- things I see in my head visions. I’m always picturing stories in my mind. All of my pictures have a story that goes with them – everyone. I like to paint Aboriginal people, things from our culture, because I have a real longing for culture and knowledge – to learn and to share. I’d like to see more people notice Bundjalung talent. Actually, art from all over Australia, not just the Northern Territory.

Donations Welcomed

TCL is not government funded. We are completely self-funded, through sales from the toys the team make, and through the generosity of people like you who want to help close the gap. Sponsor a couple of new paint brushes, an entire place in the TCL Program. Either way, you can change a life forever.

Online donations coming soon. To donate now please email [email protected] or call Peter Boughey on 0428 662 517