islPAL - International Society for Leadership in Pedagogy and Learning

Pedagogies and Learning

Father Chris Riley – Profile

Father Chris Riley, founder and CEO of Youth Off The Streets, has worked with disadvantaged youth for more than 30 years in a variety of roles including teacher, youth worker, probation officer, residential carer and principal.

Father Chris Riley was inspired by the 1931 movie “Boys’ Town”, and at the age of 15 was determined to become a priest to take care of those kids who had no one else. He worked for the charity Boys’ Town in a variety of roles and finally as Principal. In 1991, he left Boys’ Town and began to set up a variety of programs for troubled youth.

The programs are always responsive to need and are designed to help them develop the skills and qualities that will enable each young person to regain control of their own lives. Father Riley has implemented innovative behaviour modification strategies to help young people deal with a history of trauma, abuse and neglect including the Values Education Service Learning curriculum which is now available to schools across Australia as part of the YOUth Making a Difference teachers resource.

In 1997, Father Riley opened Key College independent High School and pioneered flexible education delivery model to help young people living on the streets and in temporary accommodation return to school.

As CEO of Youth Off The Streets, Father Riley oversees the operation of 20 programs that employ 150 people and involve more than 800 volunteers.