Bisinella Developments - The key to your community

Bisinella makes waves for youth mental health

Published: 17/03/2022

Bisinella Developments has donated $15,000 to a local charity helping youth in our community overcome mental health challenges, through innovative surf programs.

Ocean Mind is a Geelong and Surf Coast-based not-for-profit organisation providing therapeutic surf programs for disadvantaged youth in the Geelong region, who are experiencing mental health challenges, social isolation, and disabilities.

The demand for the local charity’s services has increased significantly in the past two years, on the back of COVID-19.

Through a mix of surfing, mentoring and fun, Ocean Mind creates a therapeutic environment for young people to challenge themselves, learn new skills and flourish.

Ocean Mind Founder and CEO Rachael Parker said the donation from Bisinella was a huge help for the company, allowing it to fund an additional two, six-week programs, providing 360 hours of therapeutic interventions for young people.

“Ocean Mind is a non-government funded local charity created by the local community to service the local community,” she explained.

“We rely heavily on donations, grants and sponsors from the community to deliver these life changing experiences for kids.”

Over the past two years there has been a steady increase in young people reaching out for support, with many young people experiencing social isolation, anxiety and generally being disengaged from social activities, due to COVID.

“Our waiting list has grown from 30 young people to 79,” Ms Parker said.

In November 2016, Ocean Mind piloted an evidence-based therapeutic surfing model from the UK organisation, The Wave Project.

Encouraged by positive results, Ocean Mind Inc. was established as a not-for-profit charity in Australia. The charity has been working with young people from across the Surf Coast, Greater Geelong and Greater Melbourne regions of Victoria for the past four and a half years.

The community surf movement uses an evidence-based model which has proven to improve the health and wellbeing of young people and demonstrated an improved outlook on life and sense of achievement, whilst having fun.

The program, which is committed to empowering younger generations also helps with the development of social skills, communication, confidence building, goal setting and improving relationships.

“Over the last five years we have supported 394 young people and have trained 243 community mentors to support local young people,” Ms Parker explained.

Bisinella Director, Richard Bisinella said he was delighted to support the charity and the critical services it is offering youth in the Geelong region.

“Ocean Mind provides important assistance to young people who are experiencing mental health challenges, social isolation and disabilities. Through their innovative programs they are helping equip youth with important life skills, reduce anxiety and improve their emotional wellbeing.”

For more details about donating or volunteering with Ocean Mind, visit

Photo credit to Peter Bongiorono Photography