Once again, around 180 young people who care about social and environmental issues are being given the opportunity to learn hands on about social change and the unsung heroes of our community – the not-for-profit organisations. CEO Dr Catherine Brown welcomes participants to the 2020 YiP Program.
Students at the YiP20 Forum.
These organisations are run by compassionate and thoughtful people who are addressing challenges such as homelessness, food insecurity, disaster relief, unemployment, social cohesion, health challenges and climate change. One of the aims of Youth in Philanthropy is to provide participating students with the opportunity to gain skills to build their community leadership capability.
We heard from David McNamara, CEO of FoodBank Victoria, who has led the bushfire response to getting food quickly to bushfire affected communities. His description of the teams of volunteers who gave food, packed food hampers, and trucked tonnes of fresh and packaged food to bushfire affected communities was inspiring.
David McNamara, CEO of FoodBank Victoria speaks to participants at the YIP20 Forum.
The picture of volunteers loading boxes of food into an Army Black Hawk helicopter has remained with me all week. His explanation of the bushfire recovery phase we are moving in to was worth listening to and an extract is included below so that you can hear from David directly.
You are our future and our aim is to invest in you, so that you can invest back into our society.
David McNamara, CEO of FoodBank Victoria
Recovery will take time and we all need to remain engaged. The Foundation was pleased to provide a grant of $50,000 to FoodBank at the height of the bushfire disaster and will continue to monitor the recovery phase. L-R: CEO Dr Catherine Brown OAM, 2019 YiP alumni guest speaker Aishah Brockhoff, and Chief Marketing & Development Officer, Garry Tanner.
We have also made a grant to VCOSS to work with local community and health services in East Gippsland alongside SEER Data to make sure that the needs of local people, especially those existing clients of health, community or disability services and who require special additional assistance, are supported.
Community resilience is something Australians value. The coronavirus COVID-19 sets another challenge for us. I am proud that the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network has reconceived their annual conference as a virtual conference. The opportunity to hear from Ross Garnaut about the positive path for Australia as we transition to a low carbon economy will not be lost. Creative thinking at this time is wonderful. As we all put our COVID-19 policies and procedures in place, our ability to work together and take a long term view of our shared wellbeing is critical.
There are more than 2,000 young people from 22 schools who have participated in Youth in Philanthropy over the last 18 years who are now ensuring our community takes a thoughtful, considered approach to this new challenge. At the same time, we need to remember the bushfire affected individuals and families, and not forget people already facing tough personal challenges.
We are all in this together.
Dr Catherine Brown OAM
Chief Executive Officer