50th Anniversary Commemorative Grants

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To celebrate 50 years of making a difference in the Australian community, The Ian Potter Foundation has awarded $5.5 million in a special program of 50th Anniversary Commemorative Grants. These grants will help 11 not-for-profit organisations take a quantum leap, with projects that will deliver enduring benefits for the community.

“Having granted over $200 million to thousands of projects over the past 50 years, it seemed fitting that the Foundation’s 50th Anniversary should be commemorated with catalytic, game-changing grants.  In dollar value these are not the largest grants the Foundation has ever made but they are highly strategic - focused on drawing out areas of particular need in the community, and the best opportunities to make the greatest difference,” said Janet Hirst, Chief Executive Officer of The Ian Potter Foundation.

The Ian Potter Foundation’s 50th Anniversary Commemorative Grants program, which opened in December 2013, attracted over 200 applications.  The grants were offered in two streams: Effective Organisations and Building Communities. Transcending the Foundation’s usual grants streams - such as Arts, Medical Research and Community Wellbeing - these grants were open across all sectors in an effort to find passionate, ambitious people and organisations with transformative ideas in any area of the Australian community.  The criteria were they have the ideas, the opportunity and the people, to deliver practical, sustainable results with long-term impact in an area of particular need.

“We were overwhelmed by the response,” said Janet Hirst.  “Indeed the calibre of the applications was such that we exceeded the original $4 million budget to make grants of $5.5 million. The successful applications are the best of the best: 11 organisations that have what it takes to make a meaningful difference – and now they have the means to make it a reality.”

Find out more about the grants awarded below.


To create a youth training academy at Cromwell House and help scale their enterprise model to self-sufficiency by 2017.

ERMHA (Eastern Region Mental Health Association), VIC

Expand the MadCap Cafe social enterprise to support more people with mental illness

Lifeline Australia, ACT (National)

United Lifeline: Structure Review and Shared Services Program to increase organisational efficiency

Training Opportunities and Options for Learning (TOOL), Tas

To establish the TOOL Timber Recovery social entreprise, training and employment opportunities for youth at risk

SecondBite, VIC

Expansion of fresh food exchange program in regional and rural Victoria

Independent Agency Network, VIC

Model of efficiency: creating a shard client database system across independent community service agencies, Mallee Family Care, Upper Murray Family Care and Oz Child

Social Traders, VIC

To broker social enterprise procurement contracts between small social enterprises and big business

Centennial Parklands Foundation, NSW

Connecting children with the natural environment - establish The Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden in Centennial Park, Sydney

Museum Victoria, VIC

Preserving our biological heritage - establish The Ian Potter Australian Wildlife Biobank

Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation, NSW

To enable intensive research into outbreaks of Crown of Thorns Starfish on the Great Barrier Reef

RMIT University - NanoBioSensing Facility, VIC

Improving biosecurity - establish The Ian Potter NanoBioSensing Facility




50th Anniversary,Commemorative Grants

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