Community Grants Winners 2016

Here’s to our Community Grants winners of 2016! This was the first year we invited our members, shareholders and staff to vote on their favourite projects.

Follow the winners’ stories throughout the year.


 ‘Plastic Free Oceans’ campaign to protect and preserve wildlife and the environment

Taronga Conservation Society Australia

Since 1984, Taronga’s Wildlife Hospital has treated over 350 marine turtles, many with plastic related illness. This campaign will focus on the plight of marine turtles, discovering more about their distribution and the impact of plastic ingestion.  Our $20,000 grant will help Taronga become a ‘plastic bag free’ community, inspiring over 750,000 annual visitors to take action in their personal lives and commit to ending their use of plastic bags.


green-connect-circleInternships for disadvantaged youth and refugees to grow and distribute fair food in Illawara

Green Connect

Green Connect trains and employs former refugees and at risk youth to grow and distribute local, seasonal and chemical-free food. Our $10,000 grant will be used for an internship project at their farm “Urban Grown” next to Warrawong High School (Illawara region) to develop and plant an additional 2,000 square metres of market garden, increasing their capacity to grow fair food.

 australian-rainforest-foundation-circlePurchasing properties for conservation in QLD

Australian Rainforest Foundation

In 2013, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature identified the Daintree Rainforest as the sixth most irreplaceable area on Earth. However, its conservation status is of significant concern. Our $20,000 grant will provide funding to purchase four privately owned  properties and gift them to the Queensland government for inclusion in the national park estate. The primary benefit will be to create more robust habitat areas for local biodiversity, such as the southern cassowary.

Centre for CompassionatePrevention of localised extinctions of wombats through early mange treatment

Centre for Compassionate Conservation, University of Technology Sydney

Early treatment of mange in wombats in their natural habitat is necessary for the protection of the species. Our $20,000 grant will allow the Centre to identify a study site with a high proportion of infected wombats, and recruit a vet and 40-50 trained citizens to administer the treatment on the wombats. These field trips will prevent localised extinctions and improve the well-being and welfare of these wombats.

enterprise-learning-projects-op-shop-circleEstablishing an op-shop in Kalumburu, WA, to promote cultural enterprise

Enterprise Learning Projects

Enterprise Learning Projects is a social enterprise that supports Aboriginal people from remote areas who want to explore, develop and grow their business ideas. Our  $20,000 grant will be used to establish an op shop which will be run by the local Tramalla Women’s Group. The women will learn how to run a small retail business and handle cash and products.  The profits will be used for healing camps and cultural activities in the community.

black-cockatoo-preservation-society_circleInfrastructure for the critically endangered white-tailed black cockatoo

Black Cockatoo Preservation Society of Australia Inc.

White-tailed black cockatoos are only found in the southwest of Western Australia and their numbers are decreasing rapidly.  Thirty years ago, Carnaby cockatoos numbered over 100,000 birds, but now only 6,000 remain on the swan coastal plain. This $15,000 grant will provide much-needed aviaries to allow the birds bred to be released into the wild. Initially, approximately 500 people and an entire species will benefit from erecting aviaries, planting trees, establishing breeding flocks, and monitoring the species.

days-for-girls-australiaPostpartem and standard hygiene kits for 400 women in Tanzania

Days for Girls

Every girl in the world deserves education, safety, and dignity. Days for Girls furthers this goal by helping girls, who would otherwise go without, have access to quality sustainable feminine hygiene and awareness. Our $5,000 grant will enable four hundred girls and women who give birth at the fistula hospital in Arusha, Tanzania, to receive a reusable menstrual hygiene kit.

the-orangutan-foundation-international-circleReforestation of the Orangutan Legacy Forest in Indonesia

Orangutan Foundation International (Australia) Limited

OFI Australia have purchased and protected more the 6,000 acres of Bornean forest from palm oil plantation, poachers and illegal loggers, intending to transform it into a home for some of the 330 rehabilitated orangutans in their care.  Sadly, last year almost one-third of the forest burnt down. Our $15,000 grant will allow for the employment and training of locals to begin phase one of OFI Australia’s regeneration project to rebuild this forest and transform it into a sanctuary for their orphaned orangutans.

the-humanitarian-group-circleProviding legal assistance for people seeking asylum in WA

The Humanitarian Group

People seeking asylum are disadvantaged in their access to justice.  The Humanitarian Group will apply their $20,000 grant to helping provide asylum seekers in Western Australia with appropriate and accessible information, legal assistance and representation and access to interpreters to enable them to exercise their legal rights.

Installation of a solar system at the Brisbane Animal Care Campus

RSPCA Brisbane

This campus is one of the most significant animal welfare facilities in the southern hemisphere. By installing renewable energy options, RSPCA will be helping not just to offset power costs, but also to support the environment that is home to so many animals in their care. Our $20,000 grant will help to provide 107 days of animal care in their Queensland shelters.

Motivation AustraliaProviding wheelchairs and support for 20 kids in Fiji

Motivation Australia

Motivation Australia works to build long term access to rehabilitation and assistive devices for children and adults with disabilities in developing countries. Our $10,000 grant will be used to provide 20 children with a physical disability living in Fiji with wheelchairs that are fitted and adjusted for them, enhancing their comfort and ability to participate in school and home life.

wildlife-asia-circleDeploying a Sumatran rhino protection team in Sumatra

Wildlife Asia

Facing an ever increasing threat from poaching and habitat destruction, the Sumatran rhino is one of the most critically endangered species on the planet, with recent population estimates as low as 75. With our $15,000 grant, Wildlife Asia will deploy 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.

enterprise-learning-projects-bike-tours-circleEstablishing Speargrass Bike Tours, a social enterprise run by young Indigenous men in Katherine, NT

Enterprise Learning Projects

Enterprise Learning Projects supports Aboriginal people from remote areas who want to explore, develop and grow their business ideas.  Our $20,000 grant will be used to set up Speargrass Bike Tours – a social enterprise offering bike tours co-created by Indigenous youth in the Katherine region and driven by a local Aboriginal man passionate about creating bright futures for young adults in the community.  The young men will be mentored and trained to run the bike tours.

where-pigs-fly-circleConstructing animal shelters at a sanctuary for rescued farm animals in NSW

Where Pigs Fly

Where Pigs Fly is a safe sanctuary for farm animals that have been rescued from horrific instances of abuse, neglect and abandonment. Many animals in dire need of rescue are being turned away due to a limitation of shelters at the sanctuary. Our $10,000 grant will go towards building three additional shelters to provide a safe and secure sanctuary for these vulnerable and desperate animals who have nowhere else to go.

ozgreen-circleClean water and community garden for 2 villages in Timor

OzGREEN Global Rivers Environmental Education Network (Australia)

OzGREEN is building a movement of inspired leaders who are tackling sustainability challenges. Our $10,000 grant will provide household bio-sand filtration units to families in the villages of Bocosse and Bona, consisting of approximately 1,500 people. These systems are a cheap, reliable way to provide clean water to remote communities.

animal-aid-abroad-circleTraining and employing local vets to treat injured, abused and overworked animals in New Delhi, India

Animal Aid Abroad

Animal Aid Abroad provides food, medical supplies and treatment for injured, abused and overworked animals. In New Delhi, working animals are an integral part of a family or community’s livelihood. The animals in these areas are in desperate need of medical treatment, as their wounds are often left untreated and, during peak season, the owners will not rest their animals. Our $10,000 grant will train and employ local vets to service outlying areas as well as educate owners about animal care.

And Free to Shine and The Orangutan Project made such an impact last year, we decided to grant them consecutive funding for another 3 years! Read more.


Installation of street gardens to harvest storm water and cool the streets in Sydney’s CBD

Street Coolers Pty Ltd

Street Coolers aims to design and install 3 – 6 unique urban street gardens in Sydney’s CBD to combat the Urban Heat Island Effect.  The goal is to increase the tree height and canopy, and thereby cool the street. Each garden will harvest 30,000 litres of otherwise wasted storm-water per garden annually and support an existing tree to produce oxygen and cool our streets.  Research will be undertaken to measure improved tree health, the amount of water intake, and the difference in street temperature.

southern-ash-wildlife-shelter-circleBuilding a koala treatment room at a koala rehabilitation shelter in Rawson, VIC

Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter

Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter rescues and rehabilitates injured, displaced or sick koalas, caring for them until they are able to make a successful release back into the wild. Due to increasing habitat loss and bushfire frequency, the shelter is often at capacity. Therefore, they are in desperate need of a larger treatment room to care for our native wildlife. Without it, these injured, sick and displaced koalas have nowhere to go for treatment and have to be euthanized.

lock-the-gate-alliance-circleStudying the health effects of Coal Seam Gas mining

Lock the Gate Alliance

There are 6,000 Coal Seam Gas wells in Queensland, with a further 14,000 approved. Large numbers of families are living in close proximity to them. Funding is needed to conduct a study on measured levels of toxic chemicals emitted from current wells.  The results will be used to call for larger CSG exclusion zones around towns, independent research into health impacts of unconventional gas fields, and for the National Health & Medical Research Council to issue formal health advice on known risks.


Conservation and Environmental Education 4 Life_300Providing facilities, food and medical care for tigers in Thailand

Conservation and Environmental Education 4 Life

Over 150 tigers have been placed into the care of the Thailand Department of National Parks (DNP) after the systematic abuse and illegal wildlife trade of the Tiger Temple was revealed. This mass rescue has put the DNP under strain and funding is urgently needed to build essential facilities for these animals, as well as to provide for their food and medical care.

awarePurchasing equipment to rescue and care for orphaned and injured animals

A.W.A.R.E. (Australian Wildlife Assistance, Rescue and Education) Inc.

AWARE is a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre whose main objective is to release native wildlife back into their natural habitat. AWARE are facing increasing demand for their services and are in need of funding to obtain essential equipment for the rescue and care of these orphaned and injured animals.

norromine-community-solar-circleEnergy audit of 100 homes and installation of energy efficient appliances for low income families in Central NSW

Narromine Community Solar Pty Ltd

Funding is needed to perform energy audits on 100 homes of low income families and replace existing items such as lights and appliances with energy-efficient products.  Through energy efficiency and education programs, they aim to deliver tenants of low income housing savings of up to 20% on their electricity costs per year, as well as reducing their reliance on fossil fuels significantly.

with-compassion-soul-circleConstructing a veterinary clinic and rescued animal retreat in Borneo

With Compassion & Soul

Partnering with the Centre for Orangutan Protection in Borneo, With Compassion & Soul have built a rescue and rehabilitation centre for injured, ill or captive orangutans, sun bears and gibbons. Funding is needed to construct a much needed veterinary clinic and socialization block, benefiting both the animals and the local communities who are hired for their labour.

maggies-rescue-circleMicrochipping, desexing and finding homes for homeless cats in Sydney’s Inner West

Maggie’s Rescue

Maggie’s Rescue is an animal welfare charity, a co-operative of carers that support animals in need of homes. This project aims to identify two cat colonies within the Inner West Council area, then trap, microchip, desex and register all breeding adults. Studies on the effectiveness of desexing cat populations found Trap Neuter Return reduces cat populations, protects local wildlife, improves cats’ physical health and improves the relationship between cats and residents as colonies become quieter and healthier.

free-the-bears-fund-circleBuilding a new sanctuary for Sun and Moon bears in Laos

Free the Bears

Free the Bears’ mission is to provide a safe sanctuary for Sun and Moon bears rescued from the illegal wildlife trade in Laos. They are Laos’ only dedicated centre for the placement of rescued bears and are in desperate need of expansion as the sanctuary is overcrowded. Funding is needed to purchase new land and begin construction of this new sanctuary.

tomorrow-foundation-circleStarting a social enterprise café for migrant and refugee youth in Melbourne

Tomorrow Foundation

The Tomorrow Foundation provides services for migrant and refugee children.  The Foundation needs funding to set up a social enterprise café in Melbourne’s west.  The initiative seeks to provide hands-on training, work experience and support to more than 50 refugee, asylum seeker and migrant youth each year.  The profits of the café will be reinvested into their other programs, which will assist another 300 refugee and migrant children each year.

top-blokes-foundation-circleProviding mental health and resilience workshops for boys in Illawarra, NSW

Top Blokes Foundation

The Junior Top Blokes Mentoring Program strengthens the mental health and emotional resilience of teenage boys while improving their engagement within the wider community. The foundation is seeking funding to put towards the delivery of this program for 12 months to 8 groups at Kanahooka High School and Illawarra Sports High School, two schools that fall under the median of the Index for Community Socio-Educational Advantage.

yarraville-community-centre-circleDelivering english lessons and practical workshops for refugees in Yarraville, VIC

Yarraville Community Centre

The Yarraville Community Centre is a vibrant community hub that provides education, training and support to more than 2000 people each week. The Center is seeking funding to go towards classes for refugees where they will learn English, go on group excursions to learn more about their community, engage in cooking lessons to develop healthy eating habits and nutritional knowledge and build community connections and the confidence to engage with others.

aboriginal-literacy-foundation-circleTutoring and mentoring indigenous people in VIC

Aboriginal Literacy Foundation

The Aboriginal Literacy Foundation works in collaboration with local communities and partners to develop literacy skills with Indigenous children so that they can succeed in school and beyond. The Foundation is seeking funding for mentors and tutors to work with approximately 200 primary and secondary students, and a further 100 post school students (including youth in remote areas) to build their literacy skills to improve educational and employment outcomes.

good360Distribution of unused goods from businesses to charities, providing jobs to work-for-the-dole participants

Good360 Australia

Before Good360 businesses were unable to donate their brand new, unsold goods to charities and Australians in need. Funding is needed for warehouse equipment for Good360, which is essential for effective use of their donated warehouse space. The equipment is also necessary for the ongoing development of skills and experience in the work-for-the-dole participants they employ.

the-carers-foundation-circleProgram to provide much needed breaks for carers in QLD 

The Carers Foundation Australia

Due to the intense stress and anxiety of caring, carer mental health is at a high risk, with one in eight carers considering suicide. As such, the Carers Foundation aims to prevent mental and physical health crisis breakdowns. THe Foundation is seeking funding to allow up to 50 unpaid, disadvantaged carers to attend rejuvenation and education programs, which include counselling, grief support, stress management, healing natural therapies, educational workshops on self-care, nutrition and time management.

assisi-aid-projects-circleEnhancing opportunities for single women headed families in Tamil Nadu, India

Assisi Aid Projects

In rural Tamil Nadu, India, a traditionally male-led society, families headed by widows are frequently subjected to discrimination, isolation and poverty. The Assisi program provides counseling, education, business and livelihood training for single women through skill training in tailoring, organic farming, animal raising, savings clubs and financial literacy. Assisi is seeking to extend their program to an additional 1150 single mothers and their children in 35 rural villages.

enable-social-enterprises-circlePurchasing equipment for an e-cycling employability program in VIC

Enable Social Enterprises

Non-working IT equipment is channelled through this social enterprise to directly support work skills activities for local disadvantaged jobseekers (aged 16-65) and students with a disability from special schools (aged 14-17). Funding is needed to go towards the purchase of equipment including work stations and specialist tools to facilitate a safe working environment for so that more participants can engage in this important work skills program.

Australia Nuclear Free Alliance conference as hosted by The Conservation Council of WA

Australia Nuclear Free Alliance

Funding is sought to cover costs for The Conservation Council of WA to hold the Nuclear Free Alliance Conference. The conference is aimed at providing credible information about the nuclear industry and its environmental and health impacts, as well as to increase the capacity for those concerned to engage in Government and corporate decision-making processes. In the past, ANFA has been successful in stopping proposed radioactive waste dumps throughout the country.


Wetland protection and employment of 20 indigenous people in WA

FTLA – Derby Landcare Group

Munkayarra Wetland in WA is one of the few in the region that remains wet throughout the year. For this reason, it is an important watering point for wildlife and birds. It has been degraded by cattle and needs protection from cattle and fire, and revegetating.  Funding is needed to provide direct employment of 20 indigenous people via the Aboriginal Resource Corporations, while restoring the land and enhancing the local economy by allowing continued tourism to the area.

rspca-waBuilding a mum and pup enclosure in WA

RSPCA – Western Australia

The number of litters of puppies and mothers who enter the care of RSPCA WA grows each year and is estimated to include more than 80 puppies next year. Funding is required to build a series of dedicated ‘mum and puppy’ enclosures, which have a warm, quiet indoor area for safe raising of young puppies. It will be separate from other dog areas to assist with disease control and stress, and will provide the ability to properly care for the animals.

one-girl-australia-circleExtending a female hygiene project in Sierra Leone

One Girl Australia

The LaunchPad project gives women and girls access to affordable, hygienic sanitary products, as well as educating women and girls on menstrual health and hygiene. Not only does it improve health and hygiene in the community, but girls don’t have to miss out on going to school each month.  Funding is required to employ 8 women to educate another 75 women on menstrual hygiene.

loddon-malle-housing-services-circleEducation, training and employment programs for people experiencing homelessness in VIC

Loddon Malle Housing Services

Loddon Malle Housing Services provides shelter and support to people who are homeless or in a housing crisis. Funding is needed for the delivery of better education, training and employment programs for people to address the underlying issues leading to their disadvantage. This includes programs that are not available through ‘traditional’ employment support services.

cowboys-community-foundation-circleEstablishing a bush tucker garden for indigenous boys from remote communities in Townsville, QLD

Cowboys Community Foundation

NRL Cowboys House offers an accommodation solution for Indigenous young men from remote communities to make it possible to for them to attend secondary school in Townsville. The Foundation is seeking funding for the creation of bush tucker gardens on the housing grounds, which will provide a cultural link to the student’s heritage as well as providing them fresh food. Local Traditional Owners and elders will assist the young men in researching, sourcing, preparing for and maintaining the gardens.

dogapalooza-by-oscars-law-circleSponsoring a dog-friendly music festival to fundraise money for animal charities

Dogapalooza by Oscar’s Law

Dogapalooza is a community-led charity event in Melbourne featuring a number of emerging local artists. One hundred percent of the revenue raised will go towards various companion animal charities, with half of the proceeds going towards Oscar’s Law, a leading advocate for animal welfare. Funding is required to support the infrastructure for this year’s event, which will donate all profits of the day to local charities that work towards preventing and relieving the suffering of animals.

Keen to apply for a grant yourself? Stay informed about Community Grants 2017 if you have a project we should know about.