The recent meeting of the Foundation’s Board of Governors saw 127 new grants approved, totalling $9.2 million. A further three grants valued at $5.65 million were approved subject to conditions and will be announced at a later date. Grants were made in all program areas except Science.
In terms of numbers, the lion’s share of grants was awarded in the Travel program area, with 44 grants totalling $100,000 made to assist academics and researchers to travel overseas to participate in conferences and seminars. Fourteen grants totalling $120,000 were awarded in the Conference program, which will bring experts in fields such as philosophy and molecular psychiatry to Australia as keynote speakers for major conferences in their sectors.
Medical Research was considered this round, with 18 grants totalling $2,062,000 awarded. Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute received $200,000 for an echocardiography machine to facilitate a new disease prevention program that aims to reduce the incidence of heart failure and related hospital admission costs in Central Australia, a region characterised by a significant Indigenous Australian and remote population. A grant of $139,000 will help the Charles Perkins Centre at The University of Sydney purchase a state-of-the art nano-flow ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) system. This will be the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere, and will be coupled to a state of the art mass spectrometer at the centre. The system will significantly advance analysis of a multi-ethnic cohort and intervention trial to identify early biomarkers for type 2 diabetes.
In Health & Disability 24 grants got up, with a total value of $2,187,000. Spinal Research Institute will receive $150,000 for an Online Researchers' Hub to unite Spinal Cord Injury researchers in Australia and internationally to enable the research collaborations needed to develop single research group pilot studies into multi-centred studies in order to produce scientifically valid outcomes. The hub will also help to connect researchers and clinicians and improve translation of research outcomes into daily clinical practice and improved treatment. A smaller grant of $47,000 will assist Mental Health First Aid International to pilot 'Teen Mental Health First Aid' for students in Years 7 - 9, which teaches adolescents how to support a peer who may be developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Four instructors will take the program into local schools and evaluate the program to ensure it is safe, effective and enjoyable for students. An executive grant of $20,000 will assist The Jodi Lee Foundation to boost their Love Your Gut campaign raising awareness about the possible causes of a number of bowel symptoms, when to seek medical advice, and how to improve overall wellbeing .
We are looking forward to hearing about the experiences of the first International Learning & Development grant recipient, the Corporate Communications Manager from Suicide Prevention Australia, whose grant of $12,000 will allow her to travel and learn from international successes in suicide prevention communication strategies.
Over $2 million will be shared by 11 Community Wellbeing grant recipients, including $210,000 to Women and Mentoring to assist the expansion of their successful program helping disadvantaged women to navigate the criminal justice system, avoid prison, stop re-offending and get their lives back on track. Good Shepherd Microfinance received $220,000 to expand the reach of their excellent No Interest Loans scheme, continuing a relationship that now spans 20 years.
Four Environment & Conservation grantees will share in $1.8 million. The largest single grant was $1 million to Greening Australia for their Restoration of Great Barrier Reef (GBR) Wetlands and Coastal Ecosystems project which will develop and test cost-effective wetland and coastal systems repair techniques in a priority location, to serve as a 'proof of concept' for other degraded areas in the GBR catchment in preparation for much larger scale, long term program. This project aligns with the Reef 2050 recommendations and the 2014 Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report reef health assessments. The project will reduce sediment run-off into the GBR, enhance wetland and coastal birdlife (particularly migratory species), improve inter-tidal fish breeding grounds and restore degraded sites.
In the Arts, three new grants totalling $314,000 were approved. Darwin Symphony Orchestra received $120,000 to help resource key capacity building activities contributing to artistic excellence, audience development, sustainability and musician support, while Tantrum Youth Arts got $68,000 for their Trajectory: Emerging Artists Initiative which will provide young and emerging artists in the Hunter region of NSW with access to high-quality, structured professional development in contemporary theatre-making practice. .
Finally, a single grant was awarded in Education: $250,000 to the University of Tasmania’s Faculty of Education to support the Peter Underwood Centre to deliver capacity-building regional workshops and mentoring for school leaders to facilitate more school-parent-community partnerships in Tasmania to increase parental engagement in schools and children's educational attainment.
Details of all the grants made this round can be found on our Grants Database.