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our story

Our History

Teen Challenge was established by David Wilkerson in 1958 in New York City. Many people have read about David Wilkerson’s pioneering work amongst infamous inner-city gangs in the best-selling book, The Cross and the Switchblade.

Adult Teen Challenge | Western Australia

Since then, Teen Challenge, now called Adult & Teen
Challenge in many parts of the world, has grown to over 1,400 centres in more than 135 countries.

Adult & Teen Challenge WA Inc began as Teen Challenge in 1985 under the leadership of Pastor Malcolm Smith. Malcolm faithfully served as Executive Director for over 36 years, retiring in 2021.

Malcolm captivated the hearts and minds of thousands of generous donors, who contributed towards the
establishment of the residential rehabilitation centre, Grace Academy, set on 250 acres in Esperance and our head office building in Warwick, in Perth’s northern

Malcolm, and the pioneering work of David Wilkerson all those decades ago in New York City, have left an indelible mark on the Western Australian community. Over the
decades thousands of people have been set free from the crippling bondage of addiction. The positive impact of those set free from the addiction is multiplied through
thousands of family, friends and workplaces.

Today Adult & Teen Challenge is led by Executive Director, Pastor Steve Hall. Steve is moved by the same vision that motivated David Wilkerson in the late 1950s and Malcolm Smith in the mid 1980s. Steve wants to see people set free from addiction to go on to live a life of significance.


About the ATC Foundation

The Adult & Teen Challenge Foundation reaches into the Western Australian business community for its support. Combined with the Adult & Teen Challenge’s own fundraising efforts in Western Australia’s Christian communities, the two entities combined ensure we have the operating funds to keep setting people free from the bondage of