The completion of the last funding round has seen 71 grants approved totaling $7,368,221. Grants were approved across several program areas including Community Wellbeing, Medical Research, Education, Science, Environment & Conservation, Travel and Conference. This round also included grantees from every state and territory in Australia.
In Community Wellbeing, nine grants totaling $1,815,100 were awarded including $300,000 over three years to Back Track Youth Works, a rural-based organisation focusing on helping disadvantaged youth. This grant will support the scaling up of the Back Track Youth Works program which provides rural and regional youth with professional skills, work experience and resilience to maintain meaningful employment.
A grant for $160,000 (over three years) will assist the Youthworx media production social enterprise to consolidate by creating a business development role to capitalise on the Social Procurement landscape developing in Victoria and nationally. Based in Tasmania, Geeveston Community Centre Inc have been awarded $140,000 (over two years) to support Get Picking, a program designed to address the gap between primary producers looking for seasonal workers and local unemployed people. Children’s Ground have been awarded $450,000 over three years to establish permanent inter-generational hubs in Alice Springs, a town camp and in a cluster of outstations 50km north of Alice Springs on Arrernte land. The program will include early childhood and school-age education, health promotion, and employment and training for community members. The Children’s Ground System (CGS) has worked for over 25 years to achieve systemic and enduring change in Aboriginal communities.
Under Medical Research, 10 grants totaling $1,500,000 have been awarded. These included $200,000 to The Westmead Institute for Medical Research towards two new Transmission Electron Microscopes (TEM) and refitting of a third TEM to serve the Westmead Institute of Medical Research and seven other organisational users of the Westmead Research Hub.
The University of Adelaide has been granted $200,000 towards the purchase of a Vevo 2100 ultrasound biomicroscope for Adelaide BioMed City precinct to provide ready access for researchers across the University, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute and the University of South Australia.
The Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Perth, WA has been awarded $100,000 towards a BioRad automated liquid chromatography system which will be used by leading medical researchers working on cancer, cardiovascular disease and mental health.
The Menzies Institute for Medical Research (MIMR) at the University of Tasmania was awarded $150,000 towards the purchase of a high-end confocal microscope to increase imaging capacity at the MIMR which has several large research groups conducting research into the causes of dementia and other neurological diseases.
A grant of $150,000 was also awarded to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance towards the development of key software infrastructure to facilitate data and knowledge sharing among researchers, bioinformaticians and clinicians interested in cerebral palsy and its associated co-morbidities. This infrastructure will be non-specific and built upon commonly used open source tools in biomedical research making it infinitely scaleable to handle future growth.
Five Science grants totaling $2,137,000 were awarded this round, including a $650,000 capacity building grant over five years to the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists to enable the group to work with regional communities and leaders in business and industry to create a mandate for the sustainable management of Australian natural resources.
Deakin University was awarded $580,000 over three years towards a multi-disciplinary project to develop a framework for future-proofing the sustainability of regional communities in Australia. James Cook University (JCU) was awarded $500,000 over five years towards a project which will enable the collection and safeguarding of up to 20 species of climate-threatened tropical mountaintop flora, to protect them from disappearing. A $300,000 grant was awarded to the Royal Botanic Garden in NSW (RGB NSW) to support a three-year research project for Australian PlantBank scientists to develop innovative, globally applicable techniques to accelerate the conservation of rainforest plant species. The projects at JCU and RBG NSW are interrelated.
The Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network (AEGN) was also awarded a further $200,000 through the Environment & Conservation program to extend a previous capacity building grant from three to five years.
The Education program awarded three grants totaling $1,185,000. The Mitchell Institute at Victoria University [see note] was awarded $270,000 (over two years) to improve the quality of the incoming early childhood workforce in Australia, through more coordinated and evidence-based early childhood training and qualifications. This grant covers Stage One of the project which will review what best practice looks like in early childhood courses both internationally and in Australia, resulting in a strategic report. Stage Two will involve working with government, peak bodies and partners to implement findings and recommendations.
Ngroo Education Inc. [see note] was awarded $300,000 over two years to extend their Walking Together program which seeks to improve access and opportunities for Aboriginal children in mainstream early childhood centres. Ngroo Education Inc. currently works with 364 preschools in NSW and this grant will enable them to build on these partnerships focusing on student engagement and school readiness while forming stronger relationships with the local Aboriginal community.
A $285,000 grant over three years was awarded to ARACY to work with the National Early Language and Literacy Coalition to develop a national early language and literacy strategy for Australia.
The Alec Prentice Sewell Gift awarded $300,000 over three years to 100 Story Building to pilot a new outreach model of satellite creative spaces for children and young people called Story Hubs. This will be a replicable model that will build the capacity of communities to manage their own imaginative spaces within existing facilities, providing targeted creative literacy programs for children and young people in those areas.
In the Knowledge & Learning program, 22 Travel grants (totaling $37,850) and 15 Conference grants (totaling $67,950) were awarded. As explained in the CEO’s report, these will be the last Conference grants awarded by the Foundation. The Travel program will be suspended through 2019 while a review of this program is undertaken.
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.