We are delighted to present the grant finalists for 2016

We are delighted to announce our five grant finalists and shortly open the voting for our members to decide the 2016 grant recipients.

From the 58 expressions of interest we received earlier in the year, 19 were asked to submit full grant applications. Following rigorous evaluation by the Grants Subcommittee, five finalists have emerged. Details of the inspiring projects, based in Vietnam, Cambodia, Queensland and two in Western Australia, were presented to members and guests at an event on 24 November.

Voting will open in early December for all members to have their say and to choose their preferred projects. If you aren’t already a member, it’s not too late to join us; it also means we’ll be able to provide even more valuable funding for the selected projects.

We are delighted to present the grant finalists for 2016:

Eastern Region Employment & Community Services trading as Ausum, has requested $29,095 for a program working with female inmates at Bandyup Prison, Perth WA. Inside Out Designs will connect with women currently involved in textiles in the prison to provide them with an opportunity to continue the same type of work when released. The women will be involved in artist workshops or a sewing program, and upon release they will be able to continue working on their designs or product manufacture. Participants are able to move to a microbusiness model (with training provided), allowing them to continue the work in their own home, with the benefits of running a home-based business. It is very difficult for ex-prisoners to gain employment. This program will provide an immediate source of income for 20 women and build a cooperative of micro-businesses in design and garment production. The items produced will be sold through established retail outlets and online.

Girls from Oz, is seeking $28,000 to engage 55 Aboriginal girls and young women, five elders and a number of local teachers in an intensive four week performing arts program in Halls Creek WA. The program involves instructors visiting Halls Creek to assist the participants in learning songs in their local Kija and Jaru languages and to develop skills in dance and storytelling.

Prospects for girls in this area are poor; fewer than 13% complete Year 11. While many local activities are provided for Aboriginal boys, there are few to increase the engagement of Aboriginal girls in school and community life. During its seven year history the program has been embraced by the Hall Creek community, with significant results. Girls have been more engaged at school, four young women are in bridging programs for university in Perth, two have trained to be teacher aides and are now working in the Halls Creek School. The local community has also benefited with the construction of a dedicated performing arts centre and a full-time music teacher being employed by the school.

Raise Foundation, has submitted an application for $25,560 to bring their Bump program for young pregnant and parenting mums (13 – 23 years) to communities on the Gold Coat and South East Brisbane. Through weekly mentoring sessions by an older experienced mother (who has also undertaken accredited training), the girls are given the confidence to flourish as vulnerable individuals; as mothers responsible for dependent children and as contributing members of their community. Further, Bump includes workshops that awards participants with a TAFE Certificate 1, providing opportunity for further study or employment.

The project empowers young at-risk mums providing healthy, safer and thriving lives. The ripple effect is that these girls are confident, informed and well equipped to care for themselves and their children. Life outcomes are improved for themselves and the next generation. The broader community also benefits as Bump graduates transition from welfare to work and out of abusive relationships.

The Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation, operating in Vietnam, has requested $29,000 to screen 5,000 women living in the rural Hau Giang province for cervical cancer and to provide treatment for those who test positive. Cervical cancer is the second most common cause of death for women in Vietnam. The program includes delivering workshops to community stakeholders and local health workers who will implement the program, as well as providing communications and promotional activities to the communities (including schools) about cervical cancer awareness, prevention and the screening program. The screening clinics will also be promoted by local health workers. In the longer term, the program aims to remove the stigma associated with cervical cancer and other health issues affecting women, and to encourage women to identify issues before they develop into something more serious.

The Human and Hope Association, in Cambodia, would like $9,836 to give an opportunity to 24 marginalised women to undertake a sewing program giving them the sewing skills to learn how to design and make traditional tops, handicrafts and toys. Along with members of their families, they will also receive support to develop life skills associated with preventing domestic violence, financial and family planning, and goal setting. After three months the women can take out a microloan to buy a sewing machine to use at home to start a small business. Repayments do not start until after six months and the women will be supported in growing their enterprises. They will be able to develop networks and become respected role models within their community; challenging stereotypes and creating a safer environment for girls. Previous participants in the program have also gone on to become sewing teachers themselves.

Members will receive detailed briefings on the five high calibre projects to read ahead of casting their vote.

If you aren’t already a member, you are very welcome to join us and help change the lives for the women and girls involved in these projects. Make your tax deductible donation now with 100% of the money funding the selected recipients!


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