07 May 2018
3 min read

At Australian Ethical, we’re driven by a bigger purpose than just making a profit. We believe business can and should make a positive impact on the world. That’s why each year we support organisations that make the world a better place through our Community Grants program.

The Australian Ethical Community Grants program has given away almost $2.5 million since it began in 2000 to charitable organisations in Australia and around the world having a positive impact on the planet, people and animals.

“We’re proud to have one of the highest rates of corporate giving in Australia,” says Australian Ethical’s managing director, Phil Vernon. “We give away 10% of our annual profits* each year through our Community Grants program.”

Fighting to protect Asia’s Rhinos from extinction with Wildlife Asia

This year the world witnessed the tragic passing of Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino in Kenya. It was a confronting reminder of the vulnerability of our endangered species and the implications of inaction.

“I was lucky to have visited Sudan when we were in Africa last year,” says Phil. “I met the rangers and learnt about their program. Seeing a species disappear before your eyes makes the degradation we’re causing the planet very real. We’ll never get them back.”


Phil Vernon with Sudan 2017

The sad news really brought home for us the important work of Wildlife Asia. A recipient of our 2017 Community Grants, Wildlife Asia works to protect the critically endangered rhinos in Sumatra from extinction. There is an estimated population of 75 remaining Sumatran rhinos in the wild. They are poached for their horns and their habitat is rapidly disappearing.

Through a grant from Australian Ethical, Wildlife Asia has deployed a dedicated rhino protection team to patrol the forests, dismantle snares, facilitate law enforcement and train members of the local community to help protect rhinos.

“Australian Ethical Community grants are helping to protect one of the last remaining populations of Sumatran rhino,” says Claire Campbell. “Precariously close to extinction, every effort is being made to protect these animals from poaching and to ensure their habitat remains intact. Together we can win the fight against extinction.”

We’re proud of the work they’re doing and so pleased to have been able to support them.


Sumatran rhino

Refugees share their food and stories at Free to Feed cooking school

Arriving in Australia as an asylum seeker, refugee or new migrant is a lonely and isolating experience. For many, they struggle to find employment and connect with the local community. Free to Feed is a social enterprise based in Melbourne working to support these new community members by bringing together the culinary talents and entrepreneurial spirit of their diverse backgrounds through food.

The program provides training and employment for chefs and cooks arriving in Australia through the cooking school and business incubator.


Manel teaching a workshop

“It’s great to see a lot of cooks build their confidence,” says Loretta Bolotin, co-founder of Free to Feed. “Many of the cooks we started working with through the cooking school 12-18 months ago are ready to move into the business incubator. Out of this incubator, we have had different business ventures develop from food trucks to Iranian travel company. These are people who couldn’t even get employment as a kitchen-hand are now transitioning to becoming business owners.”

Manel has progressed through the cooking school after coming to Australia as an asylum seeker from Malaysia.

“Free to Feed has done very good things for me. I waited so long for someone to hire me for cooking in Australia to use my experience.  Free to Feed has given me a gift and I want to say thank you as I am more happy and all my good memories of cooking are coming back to me.”

Free to Feed also run workshops where asylum seekers, refugees and new migrants teach local Australians to cook a new dish, connecting people from diverse backgrounds who wouldn’t normally interact, often challenging their views on these new Australians.

“The grant from Australian Ethical has provided amazing, invaluable support. It has allowed us to train women in the cooking school,” says Loretta. “We’ll work with 10 women over the next year to train them as cooks along with professional development sessions. We love being able to focus on women because in some situations they often come second and seek employment only after their husbands are employed.”

“We’re super pumped that this grant comes from our super company. Oh, and that you don’t invest in detention centres!”

Register your interest for 2019

Interested in applying for a grant in 2019? Register on our interest list and we will let you know when applications open.

*after tax and before bonuses