September 22 2021

Fair grants, September 2021

By The Ian Potter Foundation

3 young people on a couch
HoMie staff, and sometime models, Cali, Ash, and Darrel, enjoying a moment between lockdowns. Image: Laura Carrick.

In the latest funding round, within the Fair pillar, nine Community Wellbeing grants (totalling $1,110,000), three Early Childhood Development grants (totalling $1,710,000) and one $20,000  grant from The Alec Prentice Sewell Gift were awarded.

Fair – Community Wellbeing
Free To Feed
Commercial Cooking Employment Pathway for People Seeking Asylum and Refugees
$225,000 over three years

Free to Feed is a non-profit catering and food experiences (workshops, cooking classes) social enterprise founded in late 2015 out of concern for the barriers facing newly arrived people to social and economic inclusion as they seek to resettle here in Australia.

The Commercial Cooking Training and Employment (CCTE) project engages new migrants, people seeking asylum and refugees who aspire to work in any commercial kitchen in Australia but who are experiencing barriers to accessing secure, non-exploitative, properly remunerated employment.

The program has two overall goals which fit well with the priorities of the Foundation's Community Wellbeing program:

  • Empowering vulnerable migrants to overcome barriers to social and economic inclusion in Australia by improving access to training and employment in commercial cooking and being part of a network of hospitality, events and catering organisations that offer non-exploitative, stable and properly remunerated employment.
  • Promoting social inclusion with customers of the catering enterprise and within the hospitality, events and catering labour forces.

Interestingly, an opportunity to nurture and support new talent from diverse backgrounds has emerged due to the impacts of COVID-19, which have created labour shortages (because of restricted international travel). CCTE participants will be well placed to fill these positions reshaping these workplaces to be more inclusive and diverse.

Conscious Creative Limited
HoMie Capacity Building
$105,000 over two years

HoMie is a Melbourne-based streetwear clothing brand, founded in 2015, that applies 100% of its profits towards achieving its mission in supporting young people affected by homelessness or hardship to equip them with the skills, confidence, and experiences to be more work-ready and better prepared for their future. A dynamic social enterprise, HoMie supports young homeless people (16–25 year-olds) to achieve employment through an eight-month paid Retail Certificate III training course and paid employment with trained partners including major retailers such as Hanes Brands (Bonds, Champion), Nike and Disney.

The program is successful because HoMie works in close partnership with homelessness agencies such as Foyer, Launch Housing, The Salvation Army which support the participants with their non-employment needs (housing, substance abuse, mental health, etc). HoMie's approach has several benefits:

  • It allows vulnerable youth to train and work because they are supported with their most pressing needs by specialist services.
  • It exposes young people to mainstream employment, providing disadvantaged youth with real wages which allow them to exit supported accommodation and enter the private rental market
  • It builds social inclusion and diversity in the mainstream workforce.
Anglicare Victoria
Home Stretch – Bringing it home in New South Wales and Queensland

Anglicare Victoria (AV) is the largest provider of out-of-home care in the state and a leading provider of services to individuals, families, youth and children. Operating independently of other Anglicare organisations nationally, AV programs operate from 93 locations state-wide and cover preventative services that aim to strengthen individuals, families, youth and children.

The Home Stretch campaign aims to achieve historic legislative reform to Australia's child welfare system by extending the age at which young people leave out-of-home care from 18 to 21 years. While this option is available in the USA, Europe, Canada and New Zealand, Australia lags these countries. Home Stretch advocates that leaving care at 18 years is too young and is responsible for the poor outcomes achieved by these young people, suffering homelessness, jail and unemployment that represents more than 50% care-leavers nationally. Worldwide evidence shows that homelessness can be halved, and education and employment outcomes doubled by extending care to 21 years of age.

Home Stretch campaign efforts since 2016 have led to six of eight Australian states and territories implementing formal and guaranteed extended care arrangements until 21 years ­– Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, Western Australia, and South Australia – with the Northern Territory currently implementing reform. This boost to campaign funding from The Ian Potter Foundation will help bring New South Wales and Queensland jurisdictions in line with the rest of the country.

Habitat for Humanity Australia SA

ReStore is a social enterprise, which aims to raise funds, promote the sustainable reuse of construction waste, reduce landfills, and build community awareness of programs. ReStore receives and sells new and used construction materials, hardware, garden and landscape items, household furniture and white goods. ReStore applies a proven business model, currently used by Habitat for Humanity in the USA, New Zealand, and Victoria.

This grant supports the establishment of a ReStore shop in South Australia, with the multi-year funding used to fund staff salaries over the first three years, for this ReStore to have a direct bottom-line impact and, ultimately, allows Habitat for Humanity to use surplus funds to build additional houses for South Australians in need.

Also awarded:

The Christie Centre
GrowAbility Nursery – The Next Growth Phase
$150,000 over two years

Zoe Support Australia
Little Sprouts Op Shop

Australian Neighbourhood Houses Association – Social Enterprise
Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre – Social Enterprise Skills and Training for Jobs
$150,000 over three years
Impact Enhancement

Just Home Margaret River Inc
Community Development Program

Capacity building
Fair – Early Childhood Development

University of Melbourne (REEaCH)
Educational and Developmental Gains in Early Childhood (EDGE): Evaluation of Universal 3-year-old Kindergarten in Victoria
$1 million over five years

Established in 2019, the Research in Effective Education in Early Childhood (REEaCh) Hub at the University of Melbourne prioritises quality, equity and leadership in early childhood education and is committed to translating high-quality research into real-life solutions so that all children can realise their potential.

The REEaCh Hub, in partnership with The Front Project (TFP) and with support from the Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET), will evaluate the impact and effectiveness of Victoria's implementation of universal three-year-old kindergarten and whether it reduces the developmental gap between advantaged and disadvantaged children at school entry. The evaluation includes interconnected domains: impact on children; policy design; economic analysis of the costs and benefits; and understanding changes in pedagogy and learning.

There is a hypothesis that providing universal access to two years of kindergarten will improve outcomes for all children, and particularly for children experiencing disadvantage. Currently, there is insufficient Australian evidence to convince policymakers and the broader community of this. This project directly addresses this question by researching the impact of Victoria's rollout of three-year-old kindergarten on children's learning and development and disseminating the findings to government, the early childhood education sector, and the community more broadly.

The University of Western Australia – School of Population and Global Health (SPGH)
Developing and implementing the WA Child Development Atlas (Phase 2)
$604,200 over three years

The Child Development Atlas (CDA) is an interactive tool that geographically maps data on children and young people across WA. The Atlas was developed with funding from The Ian Potter Foundation and launched in December 2020. The Atlas contains over 100 health, development, and service-related indicators to enable the creation of health and wellbeing profiles across communities.  

The aim of the CDA is to map multiple datasets relating to children to inform policy, service delivery and community development to enhance the wellbeing of children and families in WA and nationally.  A coordinated, efficient system of data sharing by geographical areas can enable common systems for reporting, improve the quality of the data, increase effectiveness through shared learning, document the progress of interventions and monitor changes over time enabling service providers and communities to determine what is/isn’t working.

A short video about the CDA featuring Ian Potter Foundation Governor Professor Fiona Stanley and the project lead Dr Rebecca Glauert.

The CDA already has 550 registered users and has been demonstrated to numerous local government communities, service providers, NGOs, and government agencies.  These demonstrations have facilitated the gathering of information and feedback on what further improvements are required to ensure the Atlas's relevance, usability, and sustainability. This grant provides another 3 years of support for the Atlas so that this feedback can be implemented, and the functionality of the CDA is improved ensuring that it becomes a valuable tool for WA communities. 

The Australian National Child Health and Development Atlas (ANCHDA) currently in development is based on the CDA and any lessons learned from Phase 2 will be transferred to this national project.

Impact Enhancement
Core support (relocation)
$110,000 over three years

This grant provides rental assistance and relocation support for SNAICC who are currently in the process of securing new office premises. This support allows them to focus on their core business advocating for and improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. SNAICC is a current grantee of the Foundation, delivering a pilot project that seeks to develop a robust and responsive support system for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled early learning sector.

The Alec Prentice Sewell Gift

RAISE Foundation
Phase 1 – Scoping work for T4Y collaboration

The Together for Youth Collective (T4Y) is a collaboration of like-minded, charitable organisations that share the collective vision for improving the lives of young people in secondary schools across Australia. The collective of 11 charitable organisations has sought initial funding for 12 months of planning, research, and development work to prepare the collective to implement a credible collaborative pilot initiative in 2022.

Full details of Community Wellbeing and Early Childhood Development grants awarded in this round can be found in the grants database.

Please note: Some multi-year grants awarded by the Foundation may be subject to certain conditions being met prior to a pending grant payment being released.