The Foundation’s recent funding round focused on Major grants and invited applications. Four Major grants totaling just over $9 million* were awarded. An additional three program grants were awarded totaling $660,000.
Two Major grants awarded were to community-led programs that are focused on strengthening Indigenous communities through embracing both-ways learning to develop new skills and provide employment opportunities.
World Vision Australia (WVA) was awarded $2,237,500 over five years towards the Derby Region Aboriginal Early Childhood Care and Development Program. This program is an expansion of the Early Childhood Care and Development to three remote communities in the Derby region of Western Australia (Looma, Noonkanbah and Jarlmadanhagh Burru). With six centres already in place, this expansion will bring early childhood services to all major communities in the Derby region, supporting over 500 children aged 0–4 and their parents.
WVA has successfully implemented this regional model of community led, Aboriginal operated and managed early childhood service in another two locations: Warlpiri region of the Northern Territory and the Pilbara region in WA.
There is a clear need for early childhood services for these communities as Indigenous children living in remote areas are some of the most educational disadvantaged children in Australia.
The WVA program integrates learnings from over 60 countries, as well as the first program iteration and evaluation in Central Australia. In the Pilbara region, the program has contributed to a significant increase in the number of children developmentally on-track over a three-year period.
This grant will assist WVA to employ local Aboriginal early childhood community development facilitators, establish early childhood reference groups which will be responsible for championing and driving the early childhood agendas in their communities, and establish supported playgroups for parents and caregivers and their young children. The program will also develop a local early childhood workforce through a broader community-based mix of informal and formal early childhood education and training and join with the six other communities in the network to engage in regional forums and learning events.
A Major grant of $1,770,000 over five years (commencing FY2020) was awarded to Karrkad Kandji Trust towards the Warddeken Indigenous Rangers: protecting country and cultural heritage program.
There are an estimated 30,000 sites of world heritage quality rock art in the Warddeken Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) of west Arnhem Land that face tangible threats from feral animals, uncontrolled fire and vegetation overgrowth; and intangible threats such as the loss of customary knowledge and Indigenous connection to place.
The Karrkad Kanjdji Trust, in partnership with Warddeken Land Management Ltd, will employ Indigenous Rangers to systematically record and conserve cultural heritage, particularly rock art, in West Arnhem Land - recording and protecting what is arguably the largest collection of undocumented, and threatened, rock art galleries in the world. This project will be entirely Indigenous owned and led, with a strong emphasis on conserving the cultural heritage of the rock art.
Building on two years of community consultation, this project is designed to assist Indigenous land owners to position themselves at the forefront of cultural heritage management, ensuring that the documentation and management of their environment and culture is at all times Indigenous controlled.
Having completed a successful pilot, the Karrkad Kanjdji Trust is embarking on a five-year scale-up project that will systematically survey key rock art sites, record near-lost traditional knowledge, and take action to manage country and protect rock art from damage and decay.
This project will directly impact the livelihoods and wellbeing of 125 Indigenous rangers and their families who live and work on country. The pilot program has proven this meaningful employment has flow-on benefits in enhanced self-esteem, empowerment, and pride as well as improved health outcomes throughout the community.
Wintringham’s Shepparton housing for the elderly homeless project was awarded a Major grant of $2.5 million over five years.
The grant will enable Wintringham to realise a $10 million capital project to provide an additional and much needed 32 social housing units in Shepparton, at a site that is co-located with an existing Wintringham housing development and support services office. The new units will be purpose designed to support elderly residents with limited mobility, and provide permanent housing that will be exclusively available to members of the local community (Goulburn Valley region) who are over 50, homeless or at risk of homelessness and assessed as needing priority housing.
The fourth Major grant of $2.5 million over five years was awarded to The Nature Conservancy Australia. This grant is towards the purchase* of 34ha of land in the Great Cumbung Swap in the Riverina in NSW, to ensure its conservation and mitigate future unsustainable development. The purchase (now completed) will complement an adjacent land purchase is part of the Nimmie-Caira Project which aims to balance environmental and Aboriginal cultural heritage protection with commercial use so as to create an asset for the local community and the Murray Darling Basin.
A further three grants were awarded to invited applications within the Community Wellbeing program.
Good360 Australia were awarded a capacity building grant of $375,000 over three years to support the next stage of Good360's development and scale-up. Good360 now has three years of key learnings they are utilising to guide their growth, and ultimately increase their impact to Australians in need while diverting even more goods from landfill in a way that is operationally efficient and sustainable.
This scaling up will drastically improve Good 360’s Social Return on Investment from $11 of brand new goods to charities for every $1 of funding in FY18 to $30.6 of brand new goods to charities for every $1 of funding in FY21.
Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network Ltd (ICAN) were awarded $260,000 over three years towards Yarnin' Business, Yarnin' Jobs, which builds on the successful Yarnin’ Money training program. Yarnin’ Business, Yarnin’ Jobs is an early intervention program aiming to increase Indigenous incomes and reduce long-term unemployment by developing culture-centre financial capability training programs which empower Indigenous people to build financial capability and resilience. This grant will enable ICAN to build its internal capacity by learning from the Canadian Community Economic Development model, design financial capacity training programs and then deliver and evaluate those programs.
Lastly, a $25,000 impact enhancement grant was awarded to Deakin University to build a coalition of leaders in the reintegration after prison space. The coalition – which will include leaders with lived experience of prison – will work together to identify and document key systemic barriers to effective reintegration of prisoners and best practice reintegration policies and programs. The coalition will also develop strategies to share this information nationally, so that relevant stakeholders can use the information to advocate for nationally consistent reintegration policies to counteract the current rates of recidivism (44.5% of individuals return to prison with two years).
*Details of the Major grant of $2.5 million to The Nature Conservancy were added to this post on 24 January 2019 after the announcement of the purchase was made by The Nature Conservancy on 23 January 2019. Formal settlement on the property acquisitions will take place in mid-February 2019.