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Commitment to people and place: Operation Flinders joins Smart Cities Council network

Submitted by Robyn Francis on November 10, 2022

At Smart Cities Council we have a clear mission: to create a safer, more beautiful, enabled, sustainable, resilient and equitable world for everyone. By positioning ourselves at the centre of public sector, private sector, academia and education and charity and philanthropy, we are optimally positioned for success.

As we begin the hard work of delivering on our new Global Strategic Plan and “Everyone” initiative, we double down on our commitment to people and place, action and impact, and that “no one is left behind”.

In this context we are extremely proud to welcome “Operation Flinders”, as our first global charity partner.

Founded 30 year ago in Adelaide, Australia, Operation Flinders works to transform young people’s lives through evidence-based remote, outback intervention programs, and through their ‘Next Step’ program, offers support, guidance and a way forward for young people.

“Our program has been delivered by great people over a long time, and it works. We look forward to working with the Smart Cities Council to develop resources that will see those embarking on our experiences past school and into their working lives, as well as enhancing our current offering so that it is more accessible through micro engagements which will prepare young people for what is to come,” said David Wark, CEO of Operation Flinders.

Corey Gray, Global CEO of the Smart Cities Council, added, “Key initiatives of our “Everyone” Task Forces in 2023 include youth task forces, remote and regional community enablement, disadvantaged communities support and future leaders. This is a vital partnership that at one allows Smart Cities Council and out members to live our values, at the same time allowing Operation Flinders to reach and transform the lives of more individuals. Over time this partnership will enable a sustainable, self-perpetuating shift for the better in our society.”

Aligned on mission, vision and core values, the Smart Cities Council and its global network will support the work of Operation Flinders and intricate connection to place and indigenous culture in Australia. The experience-based program has proven successful in Operation Flinders’ work to help young people from challenging backgrounds through a psychological circuit breaker that builds resilience, self esteem and improve attitudes.

We encourage everyone to join us in our support of Operation Finders, either through donations, in kind support or by taking up the corporate team building services offered, that deliver transformational experiences for organisations looking to create shared team experiences on country. For more information, please reach out to the team via

About Operation Flinders

The Foundation works to transform the lives of young people from the age of 13 - 18. The 8-day program is held in the northern Flinders Ranges where young people trek up to 100km, experience abseiling, Indigenous culture, bushcraft and build self-confidence through challenging themselves. These young people come from all across South Australia and are typically referred to us as part of a team of 10 from one school or agency.

Once the young person completes the core program, they are invited to join the Next Step Program. This program opens them up to a world of opportunity and growth to transform their lives!

About Smart Cities Council

The Smart Cities Council, founded in Washington 11 years ago, has been a neutral trusted advisor to public and private sectors, academia, philanthropy and future leaders. The global community is united by the goal of making the world safer, more activated, beautiful, sustainable, equitable and resilient for everyone through the use of technology, data, engineering and science.