The latest funding round (Round 3, 2017) is the Foundation’s annual 'by invitation' round that concentrates on Major Grants, accompanied by a number of other applications in several program areas. A total of $12.8m was awarded to 14 grantees.
Five major grants were awarded multi-year funding totalling $9.8m. Each of these successful grants were the result of working with invited organisations over the previous 12 months, and included extensive due diligence, site visits, meetings with management, clients and relevant third parties, all designed to ensure worthy applications were presented for the Board’s consideration.
A feature of a number of these major grants is the Board’s support of organisational capacity building designed to either scale existing models or prove exciting concepts.
The successful major grants reflect the focus of the Major Grants stream as decided at the October 2016 Board planning meeting, addressing available and affordable housing for the homeless and projects designed to benefit Indigenous Australians.
Homes for Homes (H4H) is an independent, not-for profit, community led solution to Australia’s affordable housing crisis. This innovative initiative aims to raise a new source of funding to invest in community housing providers and thereby increase the supply of social and affordable housing.
The $1.25m grant payable over four years will support H4H to build its capacity during the establishment phase. H4H is an excellent example of an innovative model seeking to provide scalability and sustainability in addressing Australia’s housing crisis.
Similarly, HammondCare has been awarded $2.5m over five years towards the construction of a permanent accommodation facility in Darlinghurst for older people with complex health needs who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This facility will be the first of its kind in NSW and will be located in the area of greatest need, close to St Vincent’s Hospital and Kings Cross. With strong financial support from HammondCare and also The City of Sydney, it is hoped that this successful project will provide an evidence base that leverages future funding for similar projects from the NSW State Government.
Hope Street Youth and Family Services Inc have been awarded $1.8m over five years to establish the First Response Youth Service in the City of Melton, a homeless youth outreach service that will be based at a newly purpose-built youth crisis accommodation service. This new service will complement other existing Hope Street specialist youth homelessness programs in Melton. Currently, the nearest crisis support or accommodation service for the youth of Melton is 35km away in Melbourne’s CBD. The grant made by the Foundation complements funding from the Victorian State Government, other philanthropic organisations, and community pro bono support.
In line with the new funding objectives of the Major Grants stream, the Seed Foundation has been awarded $1.75m over five years to enable the expansion of wraparound support to Indigenous students. The Seed Foundation runs the First Peoples Health Program (FPHP) which provides a 40-week training program for Certificate II and III qualifications in Indigenous Health and Community Services. FPHP addresses areas of critical need – Indigenous health and employment – in three ways:
- Promotes an understanding of the importance on health with Indigenous youth
- Builds an Indigenous workforce in the health space, an expected growth sector for future employment, and
- Builds that workforce on the ground in communities where it is needed avoiding the need for FIFO health workers which can be extremely costly for remote indigenous communities.
These services are designed to simultaneously incubate student development and strengthen the sector’s ability to provide career pathways for aspiring young Indigenous health and social service professionals. This is a capacity building grant, supporting an existing program to expand from 14 schools to over 100 schools by 2022.
The Clontarf Foundation has been awarded $2.5m over five years to expand its successful Clontarf Academy program to six schools in Cairns, QLD. Currently, Clontarf deliver programs in 92 partner schools across WA, NT, QLD, NSW and Victoria involving 5,500 students in full-time mentoring and support. The Clontarf academy program is successful in working with Indigenous youth that could otherwise disengage from the education system, through intensive wrap-around support delivered within the school context with football (AFL and NRL codes) as the initial means of engagement.
The new programs in Cairns will include 26 full-time staff within six schools, with two additional employment officers working closely with Academy teachers to assist Clontarf students in transition to the workforce or further study/training.
This funding round also saw select ‘by invitation’ grants made in several other program areas. These grants reflect the Foundation’s focus on both capacity building of existing programs run by organisations with proven track records as well as more project-specific funding for outstanding organisations.
In Environment & Conservation, Griffith University’s Australian Rivers Institute was awarded $1m over four years towards the development of a digital modelling tool designed to support decisions for those investing in catchment restoration. Targeting governments, industry bodies, water utilities and land managers, the tool will allow users to input their local data and generate spatial maps, modelling scenarios for the different combinations of on-ground works or land management actions, in order to visualise the potential benefits and trade-offs of different on-ground actions.
The Conversation was awarded a $300,000 Science grant over three years to support the role of a Science Communications Editor in order to commission more articles from early and mid-career scientists and at the same time provide workshops and training to researchers to improve their science communication skills. The declining number of scientific journalists in Australia has shown the need to up-skill academics to communicate effectively to the public about cutting edge research, and how this research can lead to solving a range of environmental, medical and social problems now and in the future.
A $100,000 Medical Research grant (with a further $100,000 contingent on additional fundraising) will enable Veritas Health Innovation Ltd (Veritas) to consolidate the Covidence platform and scale up the impact of this invaluable resource by supporting product development, operational capacity, and investment in marketing and sales.
Veritas’ mission is to promote health and wellbeing by improving the use of research evidence in decision-making by medical practitioners. To do this, Veritas has developed Covidence, an innovative platform that accelerates research into action by streamlining systematic review. Specifically, Covidence helps users collaborate and work together to identify relevant research, appraise its quality, extract relevant data and prepare data ready for analysis. Established in 2014 by an outstanding medical scientist based at the Alfred Hospital, Covidence is already the most widely used platform for systematic review in the world.
Vanguard Laundry Services (VLS) is a social enterprise commercial laundry operating in Toowoomba, QLD. It is purpose-built to provide jobs and career opportunities for people experiencing mental illness and who struggle to secure work. This round, Vanguard has been awarded a Health & Disability grant of $100,000 for capacity building, specifically to build on a previous grant to allow continued employment of a career development manager to oversee the successful employment of individuals who are long term unemployed and have experienced mental illness. This funding will also assist the development of a new work placement program to provide partner employers with a staff member for a two-week period in areas of alternative career choices identified by the participants.
The Alec Prentice Sewell Gift has awarded The Song Room (TSR) $240,000 over three years to support development of art-based resources for early childhood centres. TSR’s The Arts: Live program is already delivered in 8,000 primary and secondary schools across Australia reaching over one million students. Previous evaluations show TSR’s arts programs improve students’ social and emotional wellbeing as well as academic achievement and school attendance. Resources for early childhood will be developed, tested and then marketed to early learning providers, providing a sustainable revenue source to support ongoing program maintenance and development.
Lastly, a Community Wellbeing grant was awarded to Tomorrow Today Foundation (TTF). This $750,000 grant over four years to TTF marks 10 years of support by The Ian Potter Foundation towards this innovative whole-of-community approach to improving the lives of young people in Benalla. TTF was formed and is run by the local people of Benalla to address issues of chronic decline in the area. TTF was established to respond to high level socio-economic disadvantage in Benalla (Benalla ranks in the top 5% disadvantaged postcodes in Victoria, DOTE2015).
This grant specifically continues the work undertaken by the Education Benalla Program which has worked with families to improve school readiness for pre-schoolers, improve literacy and numeracy levels at school age through a range of in-school and in-community activities supported by community volunteers, and retention of high school students through Hands On Learning.
Now, with support from this grant, TTF will build on seven years of experience in community, business and government collaboration to establish a series of community activities aimed at improving employment readiness and life outcomes for Benalla’s young people.
The Foundation congratulates all grant recipients in this funding round. Details of all grants awarded (and not subject to conditions) can be found in our Grants Database.
Image: (L-R) Alberto Furlan (Senior Program Manager, The Ian Potter Foundation); Ken Bertalli (The Dick and Vera Educational Program); Jeremy Kirkwood (Trustee, The RE Ross Trust); Sally Gamble (Chair TTF) and Nick Taylor (Director TTF); Geoff Nicholson (Trustee, The RE Ross Trust); Bill Dobson, Liz Chapman and Adrian Aldous, (Directors TTF); Sylvia Admans (CEO, The RE Ross Trust); Louise Pearce (Director TTF).