Health & Disability


This program area is no longer active. Please refer to What We Support.

Round Information

Not Currently Open for Applications

Bushlink team members taking a break from bush regeneration work at Arranounbai School, Allambie Heights


The enormous need and scope for innovation in health service delivery and preventative health and medicine program underlies our Health & Disability funding.  Our grants target programs that help improve quality of life for those in our community living with disability or illness and support programs that focus on the prevention of diseases.  

The sheer number and diversity of organisations working in this sector reflects that demand for specialised solutions to the complex, multi-faceted challenges faced by people living with chronic illness and disability.  We see an important opportunity for new technology and shared learning to deliver new opportunities for organisations working in this sector and better outcomes for patients.

The main priorities of the program are to promote good health for all Australians and improve outcomes for people living with disability.  Research and development in public health and preventative medicine initiatives are an important part of this program.  

Important to know

  • Speak with a Program Manager before preparing an Expression of Interest (EOI).
  • Applications for this program area are considered once a year by the Board of Governors.
  • The Foundation only considers grant applications in excess of $100,000 in this program area.
  • The Ian Potter Foundation prioritises applications with evidence of collaboration. Prior to applying, please ensure that you have additional proposed providers of funding and that your application clearly considers any possible grant from the Foundation in this context. We are unlikely to fund 100% of a project cost.
  • The Foundation will support capacity-building related expenses when related to the main goal of the project (i.e. volunteer coordinator salary for employment project that involves volunteer mentors).
  • Applications must be accompanied by a letter from the requesting organisation's Chief Executive Officer or equivalent person (e.g. Director of Institute, University Vice-Chancellor or Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research) attesting to the value of the application to the organisation. In the case of multiple applications in one or more categories, advice must also be provided as to the priority ranking of all such applications.

Funding Objectives

This program area is currently under review. Revised funding objectives will be published September 2019.

In the past the Foundation has prioritised funding for innovative programs that improve health outcomes for the Australian community through large-scale public health initiatives and/or enhance employment opportunities for people with a disability.

Large-scale multi-year projects are encouraged. 


Most recently, the Foundation has supported projects that seek to:

  • Improve health outcomes for the Australian community through public health initiatives with a particular emphasis on mental health, Indigenous heath and health in rural and remote areas. 
  • Encourage innovative approaches to increasing employment opportunities for individuals with disability.


The Ian Potter Foundation can only make grants to organisations with BOTH Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Item 1 and Tax Concession Charity (TCC) status.

Under the terms of the deed of The Ian Potter Foundation and Australian taxation laws, The Ian Potter Foundation can only make grants to organisations with BOTH Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Item 1 and Tax Concession Charity (TCC) status.

Please make sure you read the funding objectives and specific exclusions for the Health & Disability program area before you apply.


The Foundation will not normally support requests for funds for:

• Salaries of health personnel, research assistants, small items of equipment or programs which are usually substantially funded by government or major public health organisations
• Equipment and services which should properly be provided for in the usual operation of the hospital or health facility.

Please note: within our grant making to Indigenous projects the Foundation is concentrating on major programs with the potential to make a significant difference. Small, one-off projects are not within the Foundation's current ambit.

General Exclusions
Projects that fall into any of the following categories will not be considered for funding:
• Retrospective funding – projects which are already underway or which will commence prior to the date indicated in our online application information are not eligible for consideration
• Recurrent expenditure for which there is no future provision
• Capital or endowment funds established to fund a chair or to provide a corpus for institutions
• Research for undergraduate, masters or doctoral students
• Auspicing* is not permitted – the organisation applying must be the one that will run the program or project
• Applications for public charitable purposes outside the Commonwealth of Australia**
• Applications for projects that have previously been declined by the Foundation cannot be resubmitted
• Applications will not be accepted from organisations that have not successfully acquitted previous grants from the Foundation
• We do not directly support schools

Auspicing refers to the practice of an ineligible organisation (one that does not have DGR and TCC status) applying to the Foundation via an eligible organisation. Auspicing arrangements are excluded under the Foundation's guidelines. The organisation applying to the Foundation must be the organisation that will run the project or program for which a grant is being sought.

** Geographical constraints on grants
The Foundation is limited to providing money, property or benefits for public charitable purposes in the Commonwealth of Australia. However, the Foundation is able to provide a grant for activities outside the Commonwealth if the grant is made for a public charitable purpose in the Commonwealth. For example, a grant might be made to an Australian university to enable it to fund an overseas study tour by an Australian researcher engaged by the university.

Outcomes & Metrics

It is the aim of the Foundation that the projects that it funds will have long-term impact beyond immediate key performance indicators and outputs. In your Health and Disability application, you will be asked to select up to three long-term outcomes. 

The Ian Potter Foundation also recognises that we all can play a small part in broader global movements and adopts a collaborative approach, both in our grant-making and our outcomes measurement. As such, we are beginning to offer relevant indicators from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as options for outcomes measurement. 

Technical long-term outcomes are:

  • Increased financial security/economic participation
  • Improved health and wellbeing

Strategic long-term outcomes are:

  • Promotion/dissemination of best practice/new knowledge
  • Improved operational capacity/capability (e.g. geographic coverage)
  • Increased skill base
  • Improved quality of policy dialogue and development
  • Improved service delivery/quality
  • Improved service system/sector collaboration

In your final report, you will be asked how you progressed on your long-term outcomes. It’s helpful to select your metrics early on, so you can begin to collect information about your success as soon as your project begins. Some suggested metrics can be found in our Health and Disability Outcomes & Metrics guide.

Application Process

Ready to begin?

Grant requests in Health & Disability are considered via a two-step Expression of Interest process. You can preview the EoI information you will be required to submit.

To improve your chance of success, check out : Tips & Hints, FAQs, Grants Database.

The online application can only be accessed when a funding round is open.

Application Process

All applicants are required to speak with a Program Manager before preparing an Expression of Interest (EOI).

Step 1: Read ALL the information on this program area page to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria and program area objectives before you begin.

Step 2: Select 'Apply for a Grant' tab below. This tab will only appear when applications are open.

Step 3: You will then need to login by entering your username and password or create an account by clicking New Applicant?.

Step 4: Complete the Eligibility Quiz. If you meet eligibility requirements, you will proceed to the Expression of Interest online form.

After you save and close you can re-access your Expression of Interest via the My Account Icon minilink using your username and password. 

Step 5: If your Expression of Interest is approved by the Program Manager, you will be invited to submit a full application.

Step 6: Complete your application (Stage 2). Ensure your application is submitted by 5pm EST on the closing date.

We require a hard copy including all supporting documents as well as the online application. Both must be received by the 5.00pm EST deadline on the closing date.  Applications may be sent by courier or hand-delivered. Applications postmarked with the closing date will not be accepted.

What happens next?

All grant applications are considered by the Board of Governors at the Foundation’s board meetings, which are held three times a year in April, August & December.

You will be advised of the outcome of your application by phone or email.

Not Currently Open for Applications

Feature Case Studies

  • Closing the Gap for Vision

    The National Indigenous Eye Health Program is addressing the significant disparities in eye health between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians. 

    Indigenous Eye Health (IEH), University of Melbourne
    National Indigenous Eye Health Program: Closing the Gap for Vision
    May 2013 - May 2018

    Read more

    ‘The wonderful and timely support from The Ian Potter Foundation has been critical in enabling us to develop the recommendations for the policy changes that are needed to close the gap for vision.’

  • D.A.D.s Initiative

    When a child is diagnosed with a disability, the mother usually becomes the primary carer. Often fathers are relied upon to maintain the practical concrete structure of the family while still adapting to new and often difficult circumstances. Fathers can find it uncomfortable and difficult to talk about their concerns and feelings and can feel alone, left out and often lose contact with friends and colleagues.

    E.W. Tipping Foundation, Vic
    D.A.D.s Initiative
    June 2010 - June 2012

    Read more

    ‘The D.A.D.s Initiative objectives were to provide information and opportunities that assist fathers of children with a disability to better support their children and to provide opportunities to meet other fathers in similar circumstances.’

  • The Forgotten Cancers Project

    A suite of epidemiological family case-control studies, investigating the genetic and behavioural dimensions of rare under-researched cancers.

    Cancer Council Victoria
    The Forgotten Cancers Project
    April 2010 - 2013

    Read more

    ‘Every year, almost 28,000 Victorians are diagnosed with cancer and 11,000 die from it. Less common cancers currently account for over half of all cancer deaths in Victoria - a pattern replicated across the country.’


Support Australia's most innovative projects through a donation to The Ian Potter Foundation. Your donation will support projects that address areas of particular need or opportunity, managed by credible organisations with solid track records in their particular fields.

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