Friday, 4 December 2020

At a glance

Building community resilience to COVID‑19
As Greater Melbourne’s community foundation, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation has been working hard to identify where our support can make the most difference to organisations treating vulnerable people diagnosed with COVID‑19.
Today we ask you to donate to our COVID‑19 Community Resilience Fund Account so that we can continue supporting critically important charitable and health organisations.
Donate Now
We will continue to respond to the COVID‑19 crisis over the coming months and with your assistance, we can help support the dedicated charity and healthcare professionals who are working tirelessly to support sick and vulnerable people.
We are all in this together and it will take an all of community response to overcome COVID‑19 and its impact on all aspects of our lives.

Not-for-profit organisations as diverse as the Collingwood Children’s Farm, Foodbank Victoria, charities assisting people who are homeless as well as encouraging women into construction are sharing more than $3 million in grants from Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation through this year’s special COVID-19 program.

The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation Chief Executive Officer Dr Catherine Brown OAM said the Foundation has always been committed to assisting the city through tough social times since it was established in 1923.

"But COVID-19 is undoubtedly a unique challenge."

"Many of the grants came as a response to an urgent request for help while others will have long term ramifications for the wider community," she said.

The largest grant of $250,000 was provided to the Alfred Hospital’s Department of Infectious Diseases for research into the effect of COVID-19 on Victoria’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.

Monash University received $100,000 for developing standards to assist frontline medical staff including respiratory specialists and others working in ICU.

Among a diverse range of 31 recipients, Abbotsford Convent, which was one of the first arts and cultural organisations to close because of COVID -19 received $50,000 as rent relief for its 126 tenants while the Collingwood Children’s Farm received a similar amount to assist in its recovery.

Foodbank Victoria received $15,000 for food relief while online organisations such as Gather My Crew, Justice Connect and Infoxchange also received grants to offer housing, employment and wellbeing assistance.

The Foundation is matching donations to Foodbank up to $50,000.

Grants were made to several charitable organisations to address domestic violence while Wise Employment was also funded to assist people with mental illness to build skills and self-confidence to gain employment.

Tradeswomen Australia received a grant of $75,000 to train and assist women to gain employment in the infrastructure and construction sector as the economy recovers.

Dr Brown said the Foundation, which is one of Australia’s leading philanthropic organisations and Australia’s largest independent community foundation, supports the Melbourne community by distributing more than $12 million in grants each year.

"We will open our Innovation grants round in mid-January, and we are currently working with charities on projects which respond to economic and social support and grow opportunities for job creation as we recover from COVID-19.

"This includes affordable housing, clean energy and social enterprise. We are also working on heatwave disaster preparedness projects as we head into summer."

The organisations listed below have received a COVID‑19 response grant from Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation:

Responding to the health impacts of COVID‑19

  • Alfred Health - $250,000
    OrganisationAlfred Health Department of Infectious Diseases
    ProjectUnderstanding the Impact of COVID-19
    Grant$250,000 (April 2020)
    Impact AreaHealthy & Resilient Communities

    In response to COVID-19 Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation provided a $250,000 grant to Alfred Health’s Department of Infectious Diseases.

    The grant supports research to understand the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable people in our community such as older people living in aged residential care and people with compromised immune systems. The research provides evidence and advice that informs how best to look after people with COVID-19 and to improve the public health response to COVID-19.

    The Foundation has provided this grant to ensure the most disadvantaged and vulnerable communities that are at-risk of severe diseases are a priority in the healthcare response during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    As a result, the Department will be able to provide more detailed data to public health units to improve the public health response to COVID-19 and advise how best to deploy interventions such as flu vaccine programs and infection prevention interventions in the community.

  • Monash University - $100,000
    OrganisationMonash University
    ProjectNational COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce
    Grant$100,000 (April 2020)
    Impact AreaHealthy & Resilient Communities
    Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation provided a $100,000 grant to Monash University to support the newly established National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce, which has been developed by Australian Living Evidence Consortium, a new national health research collaboration.

    Using information gathered from across Australia’s healthcare networks, COVID-19 clinical guidelines are being continually updated and made available to clinicians in ICU, respiratory specialists, frontline general practitioners and other health practitioners.

    These guidelines are a world first in evidence-based ‘living guidelines’ for the clinical care of COVID-19.They are being updated with new research in real-time to provide reliable, up-to-the-minute advice to clinicians providing frontline care. This will provide reassurance to medical staff that patients are receiving the best possible care based on the latest research during this health crisis.

    The Taskforce has a ‘whole of population’ approach to inform clinicians. The Alfred Hospital initiative funded by the Foundation focuses specifically on highest-risk and those more vulnerable to serious-infection. The outcomes of the Alfred’s research can inform these new living guidelines.

Scaling‑up existing services to meet increased demand of support

  • Enable Social Enterprises - $50,000
    OrganisationEnable Social Enterprises
    ProjectCOVID19 Scaling up affordable technology for disadvantaged communities
    Grant$50,000 (August 2020)
    Impact AreaEducation & Employment

    Based in Broadmeadows, Enable Social Enterprises are a small social enterprise that provides employment and training pathways for people with a disability and people facing other disadvantages. During the pandemic, demand for Enable’s recycled and repurposed technology and IT equipment increased dramatically.

    With support from the Foundation Enable will conduct a 12-month pilot to test a ‘hub and spoke model of delivery’ through various Melbourne local government areas to meet the current demand.

    Two new employment positions will be required to support this expansion including an extended referral reach into other local government areas in collaboration with partner service providers. It will also allow Enable to increase capacity to source and then process increased volumes of incoming equipment. The social impact of this work is also significant as it provides people in under-served communities access to technology and decreases the digital divide.


  • The Social Studio - $25,000
    OrganisationThe Social Studio
    ProjectCOVID-19 Survive to Thrive
    Grant$25,000 (August 2020)
    Impact AreaEducation & Employment

    Founded in 2009, The Social Studio (TSS) provides skill development, training and employment for diverse young people from refugee backgrounds through a fashion business which includes a clothing label, retail shop, clothing manufacturer and digital printing studio.

    In July, TSS responded to the Victorian Government’s health advice mandating the use of face masks in public places in Melbourne by quickly developing, sampling and releasing fabric face masks to the public via its online store. Stock sold out immediately and within the first week 5000 units had been sold.

    With support from the Foundation, TSS scaled-up its workforce by hiring additional staff in the Production Studio to increase the number of masks produced. TSS also identified an opportunity to expand its range of face masks by including fashion-focused face masks at higher price points. The support from the Foundation is enabling TSS to thrive as a social enterprise business during the pandemic.


  • Community Housing Industry Association - $40,000
    OrganisationCommunity Housing Industry Association
    ProjectCommunity housing family violence response industry standard
    Grant$40,000 (August 2020)
    Impact AreaHomelessness & Affordable Housing

    Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) is the national peak body representing not-for-profit community housing providers across Australia.

    Community housing workers are often on the frontline assisting people with the impacts of family violence. With the dramatic increase of family violence during the pandemic, CHIA responded by developing and implementing well-designed and evidence-based family violence policies and procedures.

    With the support of the Foundation, CHIA will provide a national, consistent accreditation process, providing the highest standard of education to enable workers to best understand the interconnection between family violence and housing so that more people can remain housed.


  • Justice Connect - $60,000
    OrganisationJustice Connect
    ProjectGetting help to prevent homelessness when affected by COVID-19
    Grant$60,000 (September 2020)
    Impact AreaHomelessness & Affordable Housing

    Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation provided a grant to Justice Connect during the initial onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to quickly respond to the issues faced by people renting homes due to the lockdown measures. During this time, they provided a wide range of legal information online to assist people to navigate through the new government regulations and policies related COVID-19. 178,000 user-sessions accessed resources funded by the Foundation.

    As economic insecurity is predicted to dramatically increase, a further grant from the Foundation is enabling Justice Connect to continue their work supporting people to avoid homelessness by providing both self-help guides and direct support to renters.

    Justice Connect continuing to work on issues for renters and develop accompanying resources related to the impact associated with COVID-19 such as increased debt, unemployment and unstable housing. This grant is enabling Justice Connect to sustain a comprehensive program of online support for Victorians affected by COVID-19 until April 2021.


  • BehaviourWorks Australia - $50,000
    OrganisationMonash University BehaviourWorks Australia
    ProjectDesigning an evidence-based energy and water program for vulnerable communities during COVID-19
    Grant$50,000 (June 2020)
    Impact AreaEnvironment & Sustainability

    As a result of COVID-19, many Victorians have experienced reductions in income and with energy and water prices remaining static, this is placing great pressure on household budgets. With more time now spent at home, increases in usage of energy and water are adding to existing financial pressures especially for vulnerable households.

    There is a critical need to support vulnerable households to reduce energy and water consumption through upgrades of equipment and by switching to more competitive providers. While several schemes and organisations provide these services, there is a need to understand how they can be most effective.

    The Foundation’s grant to BehaviourWorks will develop best practice guidelines for the delivery of energy and water efficiency programs. The Foundation aims to increase the energy efficiency and climate resilience of vulnerable households to reduce the cost of living, reduce emissions and provide protection from temperature related health impacts.

  • Domestic Violence Victoria - $30,000
    OrganisationDomestic Violence Victoria
    ProjectCOVID-19 and Family Violence Crisis Response – New Pathways to Support
    Grant$30,000 (June 2020)
    Impact AreaHomelessness & Affordable Housing

    The COVID-19 lockdown, economic hardship, social isolation and the restriction to movement has contributed to increased rates of family violence. World Health Organisation statistics have already report a significant increase in family violence brought about by the restrictions used to minimise the impact of COVID-19.

    The Foundation has provided a grant to Domestic Violence Victoria and the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV) to lead the establishment of new pathways for victim survivors to access family violence support, the production of resources, and the establishment of new industry partnerships.

    This project includes the research needed to publish and distribute family violence information at new access points. The Foundation’s funding focuses on women with disability. Women with Disabilities Victoria will produce disability inclusive and accessible family violence resources for the community.

  • Foodbank - $15,000
    ProjectEmergency Food Relief
    Grant$15,000 (April 2020)
    Impact AreaEnvironment & Sustainability

    COVID-19 is having a major impact on the availability of everyday grocery store items and as a consequence, Foodbank Victoria’s (Foodbank) supply chain of donated food has decreased.

    As stock levels have become alarmingly low, Foodbank has been faced with the prospect of having to buy food items and goods to meet the unprecedented demand. Foodbank has found itself in the unusual situation of competing with supermarkets to access produce, especially fresh and chilled items for people in need in Melbourne. To assist meeting this urgent need, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation provided a $15,000 grant to help Foodbank increase their stock levels with these critical goods for the most vulnerable people in our community.

  • Gather My Crew - $150,000
    OrganisationGather My Crew
    ProjectCOVID‑19 Gather My Crew initiatives
    Grant$150,000 (April 2020)
    Impact AreaHealthy & Resilient Communities

    Gather My Crew is an online tool that enables people facing tough times or a crisis such as the Black Summer bushfires to reach out to their family and friend networks and develop a schedule of care and support.

    Since the bushfires and now COVID-19, Gather My Crew has been working with emergency response organisations and community sector partners to create tailored technology solutions that activate and coordinate online ‘support crews’ around vulnerable and isolated Victorians during this challenging time.

    A grant from Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation will support three new initiatives to create communities of care for the most vulnerable people in our local areas as well as to support the dedicated healthcare professionals who are working through the pandemic.

    Three types of crews have been developed: street crews for local neighbourhoods to help one another, volunteer crews in local government areas to support the most vulnerable and isolated within communities, and kindness crews to support healthcare professionals who are working to support Australia during the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Infoxchange - $120,000
    ProjectScaling-up Ask Izzy for COVID‑19
    Grant$120,000 (April 2020)
    Impact AreaHomelessness & Affordable Housing

    For the past 30 years, social enterprise Infoxchange has supported Australia’s social justice sector by providing online technology services. They launched ‘Ask Izzy’ a website resource for people seeking information and requiring assistance from not-for-profit organisations.

    A grant from Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation has enabled Infoxchange to increase Ask Izzy’s capacity to provide timely, accurate and location-specific information to help people in urgent need connect to critical housing, legal, family violence support and emergency relief specific to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Over recent months individual searches on Ask Izzy increased from 10,000 to 30,000 per month, highlighting the critical need to help those newly vulnerable. Infoxchange is improving search results by providing critical guidance not only about where to find help, but how to approach that help, and other helpful considerations. Ask Izzy is working with Justice Connect and other expert agencies collaboratively to provide this information and prevent people from entering a cycle of poverty.

  • Justice Connect - $120,102
    OrganisationJustice Connect
    ProjectGetting help to prevent homelessness when affected by COVID‑19
    Grant$120,102 (April 2020)
    Impact AreaHomelessness & Affordable Housing

    Thousands of Victorians working in retail, travel, hospitality and customer service have become unemployed due to the public health requirements and economic downturn of COVID-19.

    These newly unemployed Victorians now face the prospect of becoming homeless, however, most have a high level of digital and web experience and are looking online for support and assistance.

    Justice Connect is a leading community legal centre that specialises in a variety of legal areas, including Homeless Law, a program which provides online resources and tools to help people find information and advice to remain housed.

    Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation provided a grant to Justice Connect that will enable them to increase their capacity to provide a series of tailored legal information and advice for their online self-help hub that directly respond to issues as a result of external factors caused by COVID-19.

    The self-help hub specifically aims to keep those who have recently been made unemployed remain housed by providing up-to-date information on tenancy. The project will also provide other related legal information, such as employment law, social security law and domestic violence and translates COVID-19 related government policy and assistance into plain, easy to understand language.

  • STREAT - $100,000
    ProjectCOVID‑19 A Moving Feast
    Grant$100,000 (April 2020)
    Impact AreaEducation & Employment

    As a social enterprise STREAT provides hospitality training to young people experiencing homelessness or who are at-risk of being homeless.

    STREAT’s response to COVID-19 brought together food social enterprises to create Moving Feast with the aim of continuing employment for people working in social enterprises but also to provide good, wholesome nutritious food to vulnerable communities across Melbourne.

    This collective of social enterprises includes chefs in kitchens, delivery drivers, staff at a distribution centre and depot who pack and deliver food. They also have gardeners planting seeds and seedlings to grow vegetables to stock the collective’s kitchens for future meals.

    Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation has funded social enterprises since 2009 and has provided grants to many of the social enterprises in the Moving Feast collective. The Foundation’s grant to STREAT will support and enable Moving Feast to provide food for vulnerable communities and assist in creating and maintaining employment within the social enterprise sector during the pandemic.

  • Uniting Victoria and Tasmania - $50,000
    OrganisationUniting Victoria and Tasmania
    ProjectData collection phase of ‘Uniting and Connected’- an integrated mental health response to COVID-19
    Grant$50,000 (June 2020)
    Impact AreaHealthy & Resilient Communities

    Uniting is developing an integrated mental health program titled ‘United and Connected’ in response to the current and emerging community stressors of COVID-19.

    COVID-19 and the Black Summer Bushfires have led to a dramatic increase in demand for front-line mental health services. Uniting (Vic/Tas) delivers the Lifeline services for Greater Melbourne which has experienced a 40 per cent increase in demand.

    ‘United and Connected’ will transform the way Uniting works with individuals and families to reduce the risk of mental illness associated with social isolation, financial vulnerability, poverty, family violence, drug and alcohol misuse, homelessness, housing insecurity as well as the compounding impacts of the Victorian bushfires. The new service model aims to connect vulnerable people to multi-disciplinary services for support.

    The Foundation’s grant will fund a project co-ordinator to gather data to understand the impacts of COVID19 and research the support that is required. Data will be used to inform the design of the newly integrated program and contribute to sector understanding of emerging community needs.

  • White Box Enterprises - $100,000
    OrganisationWhite Box Enterprises
    ProjectCOVID-19 Rapid relief jobs vehicle
    Grant$100,000 (June 2020)
    Impact AreaEducation & Employment

    White Box Enterprises (WBE) assists social enterprises employing people facing disadvantage to scale-up their enterprise and grow employment opportunities. Social enterprises have been flagged as an important contributor to the post-COVID-19 recovery in boosting employment opportunities particularly for young people.

    One of the most vulnerable groups affected by COVID-19 are disadvantaged young people, particularly young women, who have been significantly impacted by the severe economic downturn created by the current pandemic.

    The Foundation has provided a grant to WBE to establish the COVID-19 Jobs Creation Vehicle to create more jobs for disadvantaged young people using social enterprise as the tool. As an intermediary, WBE will provide low interest loans through the COVID-19 Jobs Creation Vehicle Fund to scale-up employment focused social enterprises.

  • WISE Employment - $110,000
    OrganisationWISE Employment
    ProjectWISE Work Connections: Staying Ahead of the Curve
    Grant$110,000 (June 2020)
    Impact AreaEducation & Employment

    WISE Ways to Work (WWtW) helps people with mental illness to achieve their vocational goals by building key employment skills and personal confidence, and assists organisations to build workforce skills in mental health literacy and responsive work opportunities.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that WISE is now moving WWtW to an online delivery model.

    With the support of the Foundation’s grant, WISE will adapt existing vocational rehabilitation and employment support materials into online e-learning modules and adapt previous face-to-face one-on-one and group sessions with vocational coaches for delivery via video conferencing.

    This grant will enable WISE to fully develop the online service and properly pilot the efficacy of online delivery. If successful, the pilot has the potential to inform mental health support in the disability and wider employment services sector.

  • Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) - $278,238
    OrganisationYouth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic)
    ProjectCOVID-19 Support for Increased Capacity Needs
    Grant$278,238 over three years (June 2020)
    Impact AreaEducation & Employment

    The COVID-19 is severely affecting the health and wellbeing of young people due to major disruptions to their education and employment. Many young people are also facing existing issues such as family violence, discrimination and housing shortages.

    The current crisis has significantly increased the workload of Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) as the peak body for the youth sector and young people in Victoria. Its Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS) is also facing overwhelming demand. There is great concern that this generation of young people will face huge economic and mental health challenges.

    The Foundation’s grant to YACVic will support and increase its advocacy for the Victorian youth sector and specifically young people with a disability. Three new positions will be created including a research and policy officer to coordinate a sector-wide COVID-19 response to focus on employment, mental health and education responses; a disability advocate team leader to coordinate the enormous increase in demand for services; and a digital communications officer to manage the increase in demand for online services, particularly from young people with a disability.

Building back better as part of the COVID-19 recovery

  • Australian Council of Social Service - $50,000
    OrganisationAustralian Council of Social Service
    ProjectEconomic analysis of the coronavirus supplement
    Grant$50,000 (August 2020)
    Impact AreaEducation & Employment

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Government increased and decreased the Newstart payment with a coronavirus supplement known as JobSeeker. As the current temporary rate is set to end on 31 December 2020, the Australian Council of Social Service and partners are working to advocate for a permanent increase.

    With support from the Foundation, and other philanthropic funders, ACOSS is commissioning an economic modelling report to be conducted by Deloitte Access Economics and AlphaBeta to assess the economic impact of cutting the JobSeeker payment and what this will mean for people throughout Australia. It is assessing the effect of the payment reduction in September and the impact on households if payments are reverted to $40 a day.

    The Foundation’s grant is funding this much needed research that will provide up to date economic analysis of the coronavirus supplement. This will be important information for the Raise the Rate campaign and critical to the economic recovery work that ACOSS have been undertaking to support this effort.


  • Council to Homeless Persons - $25,000
    OrganisationCouncil to Homeless Persons
    ProjectEverybody’s Home
    Grant$25,000 (August 2020)
    Impact AreaHomelessness & Affordable Housing

    Everybody’s Home is a campaign to make sure every person has a safe and secure place to call home. The recent announcement by the Victorian Government of the $5.3 billion Big Housing Build for social housing is a great outcome for this campaign.

    Everybody’s Home increased existing efforts to raise public awareness of the issues of homelessness and housing in, and significantly increasing sector engagement with state and federal governments to find opportunities to increase the supply of affordable housing and create jobs as part of our COVID-19 recovery. Everybody’s Home is a collaboration between Council for Homeless Persons, and 300 community partners.


  • Global Village School - $15,000
    OrganisationGlobal Village School
    ProjectFuture Proof! Student-led education innovation for a post-pandemic world
    Grant$15,000 (August 2020)
    Impact AreaHomelessness & Affordable Housing

    Students have had a challenging year moving between classroom and online learning. Global Village School (GSV) is making its young people Future Proof! GSV plan to work with 30 students who are encouraged and empowered to tell their stories, to predict the future of learning and to contribute their voice to the discussion about what they need to thrive in a post-pandemic future. The project is working towards in a digital storytelling exhibition in collaboration with digital artists.

    With further support from the Foundation, GVS is running the program in a mixed online and face to face environment in December 2020 or January 2021 depending on current restrictions. This current project will also add further evidence for the GVS model and contribute to the larger plan for an independent school to open in 2022.


  • Launch Housing Ltd - $65,000
    OrganisationLaunch Housing Ltd
    ProjectImproving emergency accommodation in a post-COVID environment
    Grant$65,000  (September 2020)
    Impact AreaHomelessness & Affordable Housing

    Launch Housing is the largest provider of homelessness entry point services in Melbourne and has been pivotal in delivering the emergency accommodation response during the COVID-19 crisis for people who are homeless in the CBD. They have coordinated mental health and community health services, food services, and access to COVID-19 mobile testing for vulnerable people who are homeless.

    A grant from the Foundation is enabling Launch to undertake a research project to investigate and model how homeless services will secure emergency accommodation into the future. The project will review various models including the bulk purchasing of accommodation, alternative uses of Housing Establishment Funds (HEF) and flexible brokerage, other models used interstate and overseas, including community run motels and other types of rooming house accommodation as well as contemporary crisis and respite options.

    Once completed Launch will provide a report for the not-for-profit sector on the range of options available and clear recommendations for the purchase and provision of emergency accommodation post pandemic.


  • Tradeswomen Australia Community Foundation - $75,000
    OrganisationTradeswomen Australia Community Foundation
    ProjectCOVID-19 – Building futures a workforce recovery strategy for vulnerable women
    Grant$75,000  (October 2020)
    Impact AreaEducation & Employment

    Tradeswomen Australia Community Foundation has identified opportunities to increase employment for young women to work in the infrastructure and construction industries as the economy recovers from the impacts of COVID-19. However, even with a renewed employment focus on infrastructure and construction from the Commonwealth Government, women are likely to miss out.

    To address this, and with support from the Foundation, Tradeswomen Australia is conducting a pilot project to identify girls and women in need of employment, support them through resilience training to grow confidence and increase their understanding of employment opportunities in tradespeople. TACF will then assist women to access jobs with employer partners and enter employment with ongoing mentoring support. The pilot is focusing on two 30-women cohorts, drawn from the Wyndham area in Melbourne’s western suburbs, who will work with existing employer relationships in that area.

    The project is being formally evaluated and will be developed as a ‘to-scale’ project proposal, which will be to multiple Commonwealth and State government departments and local government areas in order to help bring about transformation in engaging women in jobs within infrastructure and construction.


  • Road to Refuge - $20,000
    OrganisationRoad to Refuge
    ProjectCentring refugees for an inclusive COVID-19 response
    Grant$20,000  (October 2020)
    Impact AreaHealthy & Resilient Communities

    Road to Refuge is a refugee-led charitable organisation with a mission to change the national conversation on seeking refuge and asylum and to enable people with refugee backgrounds to lead this conversation.

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, Road to Refuge has been working hard to address the conversation and policy gaps when it comes to the circumstances of refugees and asylum seekers including those in precarious employment, those who do not have access to government supports and services, and those who have been in detention.

    With the support from the Foundation Road to Refuge is building the capacity of 28 refugee storytellers impacted by COVID-19 to build a more inclusive response to the pandemic. The project has three goals for the project, to build the creative capacity of refugee storytellers to shift the narrative, to build the advocacy capacity of refugee storytellers and to create a platform for refugee storytellers to influence public discourse.

    This project aligns with the Foundation’s focus to support community led initiatives and interventions that counteract widespread discrimination.


  • Sustain - The Australian Food Network - $6,500
    OrganisationA Wish for Tomorrow – Findings and recommendations from the national pandemic gardening survey 2020
    ProjectCentring refugees for an inclusive COVID-19 response
    Grant$6,500  (October 2020)
    Impact AreaEnvironment & Sustainability

    Sustain, along with eight partner organisations, are part of the National Urban Agriculture Forum who held their inaugural national 'Pandemic Gardening' survey. The survey was completed by 9140 people, including over 3600 people from Victoria. The results showed that thousands of Australians have found solace, satisfaction, produce and connection to nature by growing their own food under the duress of COVID-19.

    Over 70 per cent of respondents said growing food had significantly or greatly improved their mental health, while over 80 percent said gardening during the COVID-19 period had been very important to them. Respondents also said edible gardening was important to food security during the increasingly tough economic conditions, providing access to fresh fruit and vegetables without the need to go to the shops.

    With the support of a grant from the Foundation, this research project is designing, delivering and widely disseminating a professional report that will capture these key findings and accompany them with clear and practical recommendations for policy makers and stakeholders at all levels, to take necessary and appropriate action to support the further expansion and adoption of edible gardening and urban agriculture across Victoria and nationally.


  • Centre for Australian Progress - $68,000
    OrganisationCentre for Australian Progress
    ProjectCOVID-19 Amplifying voices for community-led solutions
    Grant$68,000 (June 2020)
    Impact AreaEducation & Employment

    There is now a lot of discussion and debate about how Australia will recover and ‘build back better’ post the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centre for Australian Progress is working to make sure that people with lived experience of disadvantage and minority groups will participate in these conversations to encourage a fairer and more economically inclusive Australia.

    The Foundation’s grant will enable Centre for Australian Progress to train, build and nurture a new generation of well informed and articulate community spokespeople to influence key policy decisions that affect their lives during the pandemic. The Centre’s participant selection will prioritise changemakers and young people with lived experience on issues of social security, housing, racial equality and economic justice.


  • Climate Action Network Australia - $14,500
    OrganisationClimate Action Network Australia
    ProjectThe Technology Roadmap: critical information for best path for Australia
    Grant$14,500 (June 2020)
    Impact AreaEnvironment & Sustainability

    The Australian Government has recently released its Technology Roadmap and National COVID-19 Coordination Commission with proposed stimulus measures and options for economic recovery. The initial preference is for a gas dominated recovery, however there is substantial evidence that renewables along with other mitigation and adaptation measures can produce improved economic, social and environmental outcomes.

    The Foundation has provided a grant to the Climate Action Network Australia (CANA), the country’s leading network of climate change advocacy organisations, to gather the latest data on the costs and benefits of renewables, including employment and economic factors and opportunities, and compare these to gas. This project supports the Foundation’s commitment to a clean energy future.

    CANA will compare and contrast the Technology Roadmap options including the financial, social and environmental costs and benefits of scenarios, especially the renewable energy versus a gas dominated option.

  • Council to Homeless Persons - $25,000
    OrganisationCouncil to Homeless Persons
    ProjectHousing Australians After COVID-19
    Grant$25,000 (June 2020)
    Impact AreaHomelessness & Affordable Housing

    The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about some of the most significant policy reforms in housing and homelessness in the last 50 years including the rapid rehousing of rough sleepers, doubling of the JobSeeker payment and introduction of the JobKeeper payment.

    In 2018, Council to Homeless Persons launched Everybody’s Home to bring cohesion and coordination to the community sector’s voice advocating for better homelessness and housing policies. The Everybody’s Home collaboration has now grown to include over 300 organisational members across the housing and homelessness sectors, local government, and other industries.

    Everybody’s Home has developed a new plan to ensure housing and homelessness issues related to COVID-19 continue to receive funding to ensure Australians remain housed. This plan involves raising public awareness about the issues of homelessness and housing in the current context, and significantly increasing sector engagement with state and federal governments.

    With the support of a grant from the Foundation Everybody’s Home will also advocate for 500,000 new social and affordable homes as part of the post- pandemic stimulus package.

  • Monash Sustainable Development Institute - $50,000
    OrganisationMonash University Monash Sustainable Development Institute
    ProjectTransforming Australia Update 2020
    Grant$50,000 (June 2020)
    Impact AreaInspiring Philanthropy

    Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI) has led the way in Australia in supporting the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals across sectors to chart Australia’s progress.

    In 2018, MSDI, with support from Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and in cooperation with National Sustainable Development Council, prepared and published, Transforming Australia, a baseline report of Australia’s performance against United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    Redoing this work at this critical time for Australia’s future will inform post COVID-19 recovery priorities and potential targets. The Foundation’s grant supports this further research. The data will be selected and grouped in a way that tells a story about Australia’s progress to date and what is needed to meet the targets and respond to COVID-19 and bushfire recovery. This data will assist in guiding further debate and decision-making for the future direction of Australia and its contribution to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Supporting organisational and sector resilience

  • Centre for Australian Progress Ltd - $80,000
    OrganisationCentre for Australian Progress Ltd
    ProjectCapacity building hub - strengthening the resilience of grassroots organisations
    Grant$80,000 (September 2020)
    Impact AreaMulti Impact Areas

    The Centre for Australian Progress works with leaders from small charities and non-profits to increase their effectiveness and financial stability.

    The Centre’s newly launched Capacity Building Hub program is being supported by a grant from the Foundation that is supporting 200 small non-profits and their leaders to develop and build organisational resilience in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Organisations include those working to support and advocate for affordable housing, intergenerational economic equality, Indigenous services, disability services, domestic violence support, and a climate-led recovery.

    Fifty organisations are participating in intensive, capacity building workshops, and a further 150 organisations will get access to webinars, resources and scholarships to sector-wide events.


  • Infoxchange - $400,000
    ProjectDigital Transformation Hub
    Grant$400,000 over two years (October 2020)
    Impact AreaMulti Impact Areas

    The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the ongoing technology challenges faced by not-for-profit organisations as they have attempted to deliver services online and support their staff and volunteers to work remotely. There has been increased pressure for smaller, less resourced organisations to also make fast digital transformations to enable remote service delivery, remote working, and to better data management of client services.

    In collaboration with the Foundation through a significant founding grant over two years, Infoxchange is developing a digital transformation hub to support the not-for-profit sector to address these challenges, as well as assisting the sector on a broader transformation journey which will build capability and resilience for a post COVID-19 work environment.

    The focus of the hub is on digital technology as an enabler to support service transformation and new ways of working, addressing key barriers identified by the sector which can include access to affordable and fit for-for-purpose technology solutions, skilled technical resources to advise on digital technology as well as resources and funding to assist with the implementation of digital transformation initiatives.

    The hub will be delivered as an integrated set of web-based resources, capacity building programs and tailored advice for organisations.

    Digital technology enables greater impact for not-for-profit organisations – supporting them to deliver services more effectively, improve staff productivity and better serve communities in need.


  • Justice Connect - $270,000
    OrganisationJustice Connect
    ProjectBuilding the charitable sector back better – legal and governance help for resilient not-for-profits
    Grant$270,000 over two years (October 2020)
    Impact AreaMulti Impact Areas

    Justice Connect’s not-for-profit law service provides Australia’s only specialist legal help for not-for-profits. The service model leverages the pro bono resources of Justice Connect’s 50+ member law firms, delivering an economic benefit that exceeds investment by 14 to 1 (Deloitte Access Economics, 2018).

    As part of the Foundation’s commitment to building the resilience of the not-for-profit sector, a grant has been provided to Justice Connect to scale-up their not-for-profit law service to ensure the not-for-sector has access to their legal services they require.

    This will be achieved through the Build Back Better program and will include online consumer legal outreach to understand and better respond to the needs of charities in key areas such as homelessness, family violence and education; new digital infrastructure to support organisations to self-help on key legal issues including significantly improved website functionality, new/updated tools on priority issues such as volunteers, mergers, partnerships, service contracts, governance, and social enterprise structuring; and tailored legal assistance and new legal help pathways for small charities working in priority areas.


  • Monash University - $15,000
    OrganisationMonash University
    ProjectImpact of COVID-19 on food security status in inner metropolitan Melbourne and identification of possible responses
    Grant$15,000 (October 2020)
    Impact AreaEnvironment & Sustainability

    The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically increased the number of people in Melbourne facing food insecurity. Despite substantial government emergency relief significant deficiencies exist in food supply and distribution, relating to inadequate data about need, communication between relief agencies and social policies.

    With support from the Foundation, this project will enhance the ability of the food charity sector to respond to food insecurity by providing detailed data about the extent and nature of need and organisational and logistic challenges. Drawing on extant data, and the experiences of food relief workers and those encountering insecurity, it will provide a detailed picture of who seeks access to food and how they do so, the changing nature of need, and demands on food relief services. Once completed the research will contribute to an understanding of the nature and extent of unmet needs and assist with the development of effective strategies to respond to them.


  • The University of Melbourne - $75,000
    OrganisationThe University of Melbourne - Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute
    ProjectDevelop clean economies for COVID-19 recovery - Glasgow 2021 Conference for Paris Agreement implementation
    Grant$75,000 (October 2020)
    Impact AreaEnvironment & Sustainability - Clean Tech Powerhouse Initiative

    This project will provide a trusted and successful neutral platform for State Governments and the cities of Melbourne and Sydney to convene and identify opportunities to accelerate the growth of clean economies tracking towards achieving the Paris climate Agreement goals. Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute has a strong track record on translating climate research into policy and community action.

    With support from the Foundation this project will focus on encouraging mainstream economic agencies at the state level as they explore how to accelerate clean economies as part of COVID-19 recovery strategies and for ‘subnational’ implementation of the Paris Agreement. It will work with willing state governments and cities to encourage them to submit subnational plans for 2030 and 2050 (net zero by 2050) to the Paris Agreement at Glasgow.


  • Abbotsford Convent - $50,000
    OrganisationAbbotsford Convent
    ProjectSustain the Convent Initiative
    Grant$50,000 (June 2020)
    Impact AreaInspiring Philanthropy

    Abbotsford Convent is an arts and cultural organisation which was one of the first industries to close as a result of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

    The Foundation has provided a grant to support the capacity of Abbotsford Convent to cover the additional, necessary costs associated with COVID-19. These costs include rent relief to the majority of their 126 tenants and the additional cleaning required.

    The funding from the Foundation will significantly bolster their ability to withstand this period and in-turn benefit their tenants who are mostly small arts and community organisations.

    The Convent plans to use this grant to leverage further support from the Victorian and Australian Governments, who they are actively working with to ensure the Convent withstands this significant financial impact in the longer-term.

  • Bangarra Dance Theatre - $15,000
    OrganisationBangarra Dance Theatre
    ProjectKeep Our Songline Strong
    Grant$15,000 (June 2020)
    Impact AreaInspiring Philanthropy

    Bangarra is the only Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander major performing arts company in Australia. For three decades, they have worked with urban and traditional cultural communities who entrust them with their stories to tell in a contemporary space. They carry culture and heritage which is shared through the medium of dance.

    Like other arts companies, Bangarra has experienced the disruptive effects and financial impacts of COVID-19. Bangarra has lost almost all of its expected box office income for the year and they are sought the support of Australia’s philanthropic sector. The Foundation has provided a grant to help ensure Bangarra supports their performers during the pandemic.

  • Collingwood Children’s Farm - $15,000
    OrganisationCollingwood Children’s Farm
    ProjectCOVID-19 Resilience through community skills-based
    Grant$15,000 (June 2020)
    Impact AreaEducation & Employment
    Collingwood Children’s Farm (CCF) is an iconic Melbourne cultural and education organisation offering urban farm education opportunities to the whole community including students from disadvantaged backgrounds and students requiring disability support. Because of restrictions and social distancing requirements, the education programs and community activities that fund the Farm have not been able to operate.

    With funding from the Foundation, CCF will purchase woodworking tools, machinery and safety equipment to enable experienced CCF staff to facilitate workshops with individual volunteers, school groups, adult disability support services and community groups.
  • Contemporary Arts Precincts - $50,000
    OrganisationContemporary Arts Precincts
    ProjectCOVID‑19 Collingwood Yards Emergency Appeal
    Grant$50,000 (April 2020)
    Impact AreaEducation & Employment

    For the past three years, the former derelict Collingwood Technical College site has been redeveloped into Contemporary Arts Precinct (CAP) as an important cultural asset to support Melbourne’s inner-north arts community.

    CAP’s newly opened Collingwood Yards is now unable to become fully operational and open to the public as a retail, hospitality and arts community due COVID-19.

    Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, along with other philanthropic organisations, are providing grants to CAP’s emergency fund that will support arts organisations, Indigenous organisations, community not-for-profits and social enterprises with rent relief so that they are able to remain operational and maintain paid staff during the pandemic.