The Foundation has been working on the big challenges of the day since we were formed in 1923 to tackle the need for medical and rehabilitation services for service men and women who had returned home to Melbourne after World War 1.
Melbourne faces some big challenges today including homelessness, youth unemployment and climate change. Melbourne is fortunate to have outstanding universities and not-for-profit organisations bringing fresh thinking to finding solutions to these challenges.
This year we are delighted to welcome Rob Gell AM as the ambassador for our Changing Melbourne for Good campaign who is also on Monash University’s weather presenters Project Advisory Board. Rob has been a prominent voice in advocating for environment and sustainability issues and is a champion for positive change.
As we transition to a low-carbon city, philanthropy has a role to play in supporting research and innovative solutions and in ensuring that we “leave no one behind.” This quote is from the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, a set of shared goals for the community, not-for-profits, business, cities and other levels of government.
For this year’s campaign, we are featuring recent grants made in our Environment & Sustainability Impact Area. These projects sit alongside other important sustainability projects including the FoodPrint program by The University of Melbourne, which mapped Melbourne’s foodbowl.
The Foundation has had a partnership with Alternative Technology Association (ATA) for some years now, beginning with funding the Sunulator, an online tool which enables people to assess their site’s suitability for solar panels. Last year ATA piloted a project with not-for-profit organisations that enabled nine sites to undergo energy efficiency assessment – leading to reduced costs for charities and reduced carbon emissions. This project has been scaled up to 50 sites this year. We are also concerned about the wellbeing of our more disadvantaged communities and are supporting a small number of projects that support energy efficiency in low-income rental households. We anticipate doing more in this area.
Farmers are trusted members of our community and we were pleased to provide a grant to Farmers for Climate Action. It is important that we listen to their experiences and advice as we find solutions to reduce climate change and at the same time adapt to a changing climate. Melbourne can be part of leading the way to a sustainable future. There are many important initiatives underway. We believe that philanthropy has an important role to play in this transition.
Chief Executive Officer