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Whitelion began in 1999 with the vision to ‘stop the revolving door’ for young people leaving the justice system. In their work with young offenders, Co-founders Mark Watt and Glenn Manton believed that by linking a young person with a mentor upon release, their ability to re-integrate into the community would be improved. For the next 10 years, Whitelion’s focus on youth justice became a core strength recognised by governments, the youth sector, corporates and the general community as making a real difference to young people’s lives. 

Whitelion started exploring social enterprise in 2015 to understand different models for providing work experience and work placements for at-risk young people who would otherwise struggle to access mainstream employment. If It Wasn’t For This Coffee provides hands on work experience in a supportive environment.

If It Wasn’t For This Coffee exists because training and work experience, two of the best indicators for future work, are hard to access for young people in the Mt Druitt area.


If It Wasn’t For This Coffee is a café in Mt Druitt that supports training, work experience and job placement support for at-risk young people. Sales from the café and philanthropic support fund a comprehensive model that allows participants to graduate with accredited training, work experience and a support worker to help them find work.


In 2019, If It Wasn't For This Coffee was the proud winner of the Mt. Druitt/St. Marys local business awards (pictured above). We were honoured to win this award and have reconfirmed the positive impact we make in our community. In addition to our cafe, we created this website in the hope of growing online support and providing the opportunity for coffee lovers to buy our much loved coffee/tea based products.

Our Story AS FEATURED on the morning show
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