The Ian Potter Foundation manages several sub-funds which award grants based on particular criteria.
The Foundation’s commitment to the arts is also expressed through The Ian Potter Cultural Trust, a separate charitable trust (registered with the ACNC and endorsed as DGR1).
The Cultural Trust awards grants to exceptionally talented early-career Australian artists to help them to undertake professional development opportunities, usually overseas.
Grants made through The Alec Prentice Sewell Gift aim to improve the opportunities available for disadvantaged children and lay the foundations for future positive health, social and educational outcomes.
The common thread of the grants is that they support education and encourage an interest in the environment, or the arts and literature, to create opportunities for personal development and assist children to overcome barriers that may limit their achievement.
Since The Alec Prentice Sewell Gift was set up in 2003, grants valued at $5.9 million have been awarded to 58 organisations around Australia.
The largest grant made through The Alec Prentice Sewell Gift to date is $500,000 over three years to Centennial Parklands Foundation to build The Ian Potter Children’s Wild Play Garden in Centennial Park in 2015. The purpose of this garden is to encourage children to engage with the environment through nature play.
Recent grants awarded through The Alec Prentice Sewell Gift include funding to support the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, Cool Australia and 100 Story Building.
The Cynthia Banham Burn Injury Research Fellowship is a joint initiative between the Foundation and Cynthia Banham, to support clinical research by an early-career researcher under the guidance of renowned burns specialist, Dr Fiona Wood at Royal Perth Hospital.
Cynthia Banham, the Sydney Morning Herald’s foreign affairs and defence journalist, was critically injured in the Yogyakarta air disaster in March 2007, when she was part of a delegation travelling with the then Foreign Minister, the Hon Alexander Downer MP.
Cynthia received burns to 60 per cent of her body and subsequently had both legs amputated. Her survival and recovery, made possible by the life-saving treatment she received from Dr Fiona Wood and the burns unit at Royal Perth Hospital, is inspirational.
Cynthia’s experience is a poignant reminder of the vital importance of burn injury research and ongoing investment into treatments to further improve patient outcomes.
Burn injury is one of the top three causes of accidental death in children under five years of age and is one of the three most common injuries suffered by an Australian each year, so this is an area that has relevance for us all.
The Ian Potter Foundation is proud to be working with Cynthia to offer this biennial Fellowship of $40,000 to support an early career researcher to undertake research that has direct clinical applicability to improving patient care and outcomes in burn injury.
The Cynthia Banham Burn Injury Research Fellowship is offered through the Fiona Wood Foundation and is our shared commitment to supporting Fiona Wood’s world-leading work and encouraging the next generation of burn research expertise in Australia. We hope that this initiative will inspire others to give and lend their support to ensuring even better outcomes for burn injury sufferers in the future.
In Cynthia's own words, "I am very honoured to be supporting this burn injury research fellowship. Having received emergency lifesaving treatment from Dr Fiona Wood and her team, I know first-hand the high level of expertise and talent we have in Australia in this most challenging field of medical practice. Even so, burn injury treatment remains a discipline in which much more knowledge is needed, particularly to improve the quality of life of survivors of severe burns trauma”.