At our recent Board Meeting, the Governors considered invited applications from our final funding round for 2016. As this was an invitation only round, fewer grants were under consideration. The Board approved twelve grants totalling $12.9 million. Of these four were major grants.
Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, have been awarded $3 million (over 5 years) towards the establishment of modern health care and research facilities that will provide the base for the Orygen’s national and international leadership of innovative clinical care, cutting edge research, and education and training. The $78 million project will rebuild dilapidated premises currently housing Orygen’s mental health researchers and clinical services in substandard facilities in Parkville, VIC.
Taronga Zoo was granted $1.5 million (over 4 years) to go towards the Taronga Institute of Science and Learning ($30.7 million project) which will bring together the Zoo’s strong science, education and conservation teams together under the one roof. The Institute will be the third facility of its kind in the world and the first in the southern hemisphere. It will allow for University and industry partners to be co-located at the Institute increasing uptake of research opportunities and bring STEM programs to life for students from pre-Kinder to PhD level. The Foundation is pleased to mark the Zoo’s 100th Birthday with this Major grant.
Guide Dogs of Victoria were granted $2.5 million (over 5 years) towards $18.7 million project that will include the refurbishment of administration facilities, a low vision clinic, an auditorium/education centre, a sensory garden/walk, a dog day care, a veterinary hospital, a café and the residential facilities. The Foundation’s grant will directly contribute towards the client support building within the ‘urban village’ providing a significant upgrade to residential facilities and spaces for intensive and directed learning.
The fourth Major grant awarded in this round was to St Vincent’s Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery (ACMD) for $2.5 million over 3 years commencing in 2020. The ACMD will be Australia's first hospital-based bio-engineering research and education hub. It will bring together clinicians, scientists, engineers from hospitals, academia and industry to solve clinical problems. The ACMD will be a centre for collaborative research, education and training focused on bioengineering.
In addition to these four major grants, eight grants were awarded across several of our program areas.
In the Environment & Conservation program area, three grants totalling $2.4 million were approved. Among these, the Australian National University was awarded $2 million towards a five-year project that aims to significantly improve environmental, economic and social outcomes in rural Australia by assisting farmers to better manage their farm's natural assets. The Invasive Species Council received a $250,000 grant in support of their project to identify environmental biosecurity risks and pathways. The Oceans Institute at the University of Western Australia were awarded $123,500 towards the Great West Australian Transect project which seeks to understand ocean wildlife recovery in Commonwealth Marine Reserves..
A $250,000 Community Wellbeing grant was awarded to Good360 to support consolidation of their goods distribution model over the next two years in order for the organisation to reach sustainability by 2020. Rotary Australia was also granted $20,000 to enable Maryborough Rotary to develop a comprehensive strategic business plan including community consultations to develop an outreach project for community led family violence interventions.
In the Science program area, the University of Adelaide’s Faculty of Science was granted $300,000 to identify cost-effective methods for restoring native oyster reefs that are self-sustaining and deliver enduring value for the community.
Finally, Lizard Island Research Foundation was awarded $200,000 towards building a cyclone shelter which will not only ensure valuable research can be saved in the event of a cyclone but will also provide additional air-conditioned shelter for research projects at other times.