David Gribble is the CEO of Constable Care Foundation with a 30-year long career in the Not-For-Profit (NFP) sector.
In his decade as CEO, David has driven a major restructure, focussed on innovation and sustainable growth, aimed at delivering innovative and impactful community safety programs to children, teenagers, and families across WA.
Tens of thousands of young people have benefitted from the foundation’s innovative programs, including augmented reality safety education app Arility, which received the Community Programs Award from the Australian Road Safety Foundation in 2019.
He attended Curtin Ignition in 2018, has gone on to be a mentor on the program himself. He has been recognised by the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) as a global business leaders as an industry innovator and inspiration for future leaders.
When starting out, did you specialise in the disability sector?
Accidentally, I started my librarianship in Victoria in a library for the blind.
I stayed in the disability sector when transferring to WA, where I completed Curtin University’s MBA course and worked for Alzheimer’s Australia as General Manager. Then, I applied for this job.
Would you recommend starting out the way you did?
Most people end up in NFP this way.
I think most people end up in the NFP sector in a similar way by changing from a specialist to a generalist, then obtaining management qualifications. The same thing happened to my daughter. I think it’s because NFPs allow you to choose your work and innovate.
How has the sector changed?
Significantly, the Australian Charity National Commission was a big change.
Suddenly, a federal body was responsible for quality control in NFPs. There are standards around transparency, implementation and financial management.
Tell us about Constable Care Foundation.
We provide services to primary, secondary and tertiary students, juvenile detention centres, families and [we] run community services.
For example, we allow young people to talk about life issues and practice effective management strategies safely through theatre. Scenarios are presented, end badly and participants act out a different outcome. We and their friends push back, then have a conversation.
The process runs thousands of times per year, involving students and their families.
What significant issues do young people face today?
Mental health’s pretty significant because it’s connected to bullying and cyber safety. We also train people to recognise domestic and child abuse, and teach road safety.
Our programs prioritise experience over instruction. For example, the after dark program allows secondary and tertiary students to walk through the CBD at night with a police officer. It’s pretty confronting.
There’s a virtual reality interactive film version of the program currently undergoing a randomised control trial study with Edith Cowan University (ECU).
How would you address online radicalisation?
Prevention, if participants feel alienated or avoid communication, we’ll work on those issues.
However, what we are doing is just band-aiding. Currently, we are developing a systemic approach that provides young children critical thinking skills, ethical framing and empathy. Research suggests that these tools improve decision-making skills and life outcomes.
We’ve started a randomised control trial of a program at ECU that involves school children discussing these tools and are currently getting data to prove the program’s effectiveness. Denmark’s social outcomes (ex-second happiest country) suggests it does, as Denmark implemented similar programs since 1993 in all primary schools.
Disclosure: Curtin University is a sponsor of Startup News.