The latest funding round saw, 54 grants valuing $13,250,550 across five program areas. These will be the last grants made under the Foundation’s current program areas. From Round 1, 2020 grants will be made under the new funding areas that are aligned with the four elements of the Foundation’s Vision for a Vibrant, Health, Fair and Sustainable Australia. For further information on the new funding areas see What We Support.
Community Resources Ltd has been awarded a $364,000 capacity-building grant over three years to drive full development of the Green Connect farm, relocating and upgrading the farm hub to sustain and increase food production, sales and associated job opportunities on-site. Community Resources will also establish environmental education and eco-tourism opportunities, and a suite of educational and tourism activities. Green Connect is a social enterprise which recovers waste, manages fair food and provides jobs for people facing barriers to employment including refugees/asylum seekers and young people.
Indigenous Employment Partners (IEP) was awarded $290,000 over three years to support and expand the Power to Work project, an Indigenous ex-prisoners reintegration program, providing reformed Indigenous offenders with a culturally safe and supported re-entry to the workforce via re-integration and employment program at Melbourne Parks and Gardens locations. Support for participants includes mentoring, housing, money management and reconnection to family and community.
Zoe Support Australia was awarded $100,000 over two years to support their Little Sprouts Op Shop, a social enterprise providing employment and training pathways through a baby and children’s goods retail store targeting young mothers. Zoe Support is a community-based organisation in Mildura that provides place-based, holistic wrap-around services for young mothers aged 13–25 years old. Through integrated intervention, Zoe Support helps young mothers re-engage in education and participate in programs that promote positive parenting and increase social inclusion. The Little Sprouts social enterprise augments this by providing employment and training opportunities.
Education/The Alec Prentice Sewell Gift
The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) was awarded $100,000 over three years to develop a set of 12 bilingual readers and supporting resources to build literacy skills in early learners. The readers will be based around the Little J & Big Cuz storylines from the award-winning SBS television series and will assist the development of oral language, word recognition, phonics and other essential literacy skills. Importantly, the readers will be uniquely designed to incorporate a translation of a local Indigenous language (or LOTE) allowing them to be tailored to communities, classrooms and children across Australian whose first language is other than English.
Monash University’s Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health (Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences) was awarded $200,000 over two years to develop and test an evidence-based high-quality game designed to support the development of critical cognitive skills in early childhood, such as the ability to concentrate, switch attention, inhibit impulsive responses, and mentally hold information necessary for learning. These skills, known as ‘executive functions’ provide the building blocks that support school readiness and social functioning. Approximately 43,000 young children in Australia struggle to master executive functions making them at risk of poor academic outcomes from the start of the school years.
Noah’s Ark Inc was awarded $120,000 over three years to expand and continue their ‘Let’s Chat’ program design to improve emerging oral literacy skills of pre-school aged children in the Northern Peninsula area of Melbourne. In a child’s early life, the caregiver is responsible for most, if not all, social stimulation including language and communication development. How parents interact with their children impacts significantly on how children process information many years into the future.
AEDC data gathered by Noah’s Ark in the Frankston North area showed significant disadvantage compared to the rest of Victoria and Australia with most children starting school two years behind the average oral literacy score for the country leading to students leaving primary school at grade six around 18 months to two years behind in this domain.
Beyond the Bell Great South Coast Ltd was awarded $450,00 over three years from the Alec Prentice Sewell Gift. Beyond the Bell will use this grant to build the capacity of the Stepping Stones – Positive Transitions to School Project, which aims to reduce the barriers to school readiness for all children in the Great South Coast. The project will work directly with vulnerable families expanding on a proven model which has already achieved outstanding results in a pilot undertaken in one of the six the South West shires.
Environment & Conservation
The East Gippsland Landcare Network (EGLN) was awarded $840,000 over three years towards the Lungs of the Lake project, a partnership between EGLN, Greening Australia, Trust for nature and the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority. The project is based on a successful pilot project and will work with rural communities to increase the protection of riparian vegetation along 352 km of tributaries on the Gippsland Plains.
Gondwana Link Ltd was awarded $1 million over three years for a joint capacity-building project with Great Eastern Ranges. Gondwana Link and Great Eastern Ranges (GER) are both landscape-scale Connectivity Conservation initiatives acting as facilitators and brokers, connecting groups and individuals who can provide targeted support and advice on best practice land restoration and protection. They also assist with securing grants, provide leadership and a connection to the big-picture landscape conservation movement. Connectivity Conservation describes the four layers of conservation efforts in Australia, including on-ground local Landcare and volunteer groups, regional alliances and E-NGOs, Gondwana Link and GER (providing overarching support to smaller groups) and national and international research and strategy bodies such as the Center for Large Landscape Conservation.
Soil C Quest 2031 Limited was awarded $125,000 over two years to develop technologies to use a specific fungus (melanised endophytic fundus’ MEF) that can be inoculated into the roots of crops leading to rapid sequestration of significant quantities of recalcitrant (resistant to decomposition) organic carbon into the root zone of the soil. This technology represents a practical and scalable method that has the potential to enable crops farmers (national and globally) to improve their soil carbon levels, no matter what they grow, how they grow it and where they grow their food crops.
The Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery (GRIDD) is one of Griffith University’s world-class research facilities and houses Compounds Australia, Australia’s only dedicated company management and logistics facility. This grant of $150,000 will support Compounds Australia to implement a cutting-edge acoustic compound management system to facilitate the search for more effective drugs to treat major diseases. Compounds Australia stores and manages sample libraries submitted by Australian-based chemists, researchers and companies. Compounds Australia will be the first academic group worldwide to bring the new acoustic tube technology into action. Learn more here.
The Queensland University of Technology was awarded $200,000 towards the purchase of a Nanostring GeoMx Digital Spatial Profiler, a new technology capable of identifying DNA sequences bar barcoding and localising in tissue samples in real-time. This will be the first time this technology is available outside the US, allowing Australian researchers, for the first time, to fully investigate different tissue regions and predict the response ‘path’ of highly targetable clinical therapies.
The University of South Australia was awarded $100,000 to support the purchase of a flow cytometer fundamental research into microfluid-based transfection technology to develop a method a gene transfection which is more efficient and safer than current methods of personalised cancer treatment.
Charles Darwin University was awarded $123,500 over two years to introduce integrated reporting for Darwin Harbour to compare environmental, social, cultural, recreational and economic information against predefined goals chosen by stakeholders. The resulting Darwin Harbour Report Card will provide performance-driven numeric grades that reflect the health of the harbour and assist multiple sectors in ensuring their efforts are integrated and effective.
The University of Technology Sydney was awarded $283,000 over three years to assess toxin levels in water bodies in NSW which have regular algal blooms for two emerging toxins (BMAA and DAB) that are suspected of causing harm to the environment and affect human health. The data gathered will also assess whether mussels can be a useful bioindicator of BMAA and DAB concentrations and occurrence.