The calibre of applications to our 2018 Grant Round has been extremely high, and we would like to thank all of the organisations who applied. Each of the eight semi-finalists below is doing exceptional work in the community - congratulations to all.

If you are a member and would like to be involved in the next stage of the grant process, attending site visits and selecting our finalists, please contact Nicole Shore, Grants Committee Chair.

Our 2018 Semi-Finalists

The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation


The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation (ALNF) is dedicated to raising language, literacy and numeracy standards in Australia. ALNF develops, implements and sustains innovative programs with tangible results in over 300 sites across the country – specifically targeting Indigenous, refugee and disadvantaged Australians.

ALNF is seeking funds for its Refugee Action Support (RAS) program, which supports the development of English literacy among refugee children and youth, increasing their ability to have positive educational experiences and develop the communication skills necessary for full participation and inclusion in society. The program recruits, trains and places pre-service teachers in schools with high numbers of refugee students across Western and South-West Sydney to provide face-to-face learning support for refugee students who are grappling with the demands of the classroom. The program aims to create safe spaces in which young refugees receive support from enthusiastic mentors who can listen, support, encourage and inspire.

Find out more:


Asylum Seekers Centre

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Asylum Seekers Centre (ASC) is a place of welcome for people who have fled persecution in their home country. Established in 1993, ASC provides practical support for over 2500 people from 80 countries as they await the outcome of their application for protection in Australia.

ASC addresses many complex needs by offering a range of services under one roof. These include casework, health care, legal advice, emergency housing, financial relief, food, social support, employment and training.

ASC is seeking funds to support its Nutrition, Education and Social Support (NESS) Manager. This is an unfunded position which assists people seeking asylum to get back on their feet and be strong enough to build independent lives in the community. NESS provides food, supports friendships and social connections, and aids development of practical skills for life in Australia.

Find out more:



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batyr provides programs that train young people to speak about their personal experience with mental ill health and start a conversation in their community, helping to break down the stigma surrounding mental ill health. batyr then takes these young people into schools and universities to share their story in structured and dynamic programs that empower other young people to reach out for support from a wide range of mental health services around them. Since its inception in 2011 batyr has reached over 72,000 young people.

batyr is seeking funds to create a speaker mentor program to help expand the batyr speaker group and provide a greater support network for new speakers, enabling them to remain engaged with the organisation for a longer period of time. By training speakers to become mentors when they finish sharing their story they will have a profound impact assisting new speakers joining batyr.

Find out more:


Diversity Arts Australia

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Diversity Arts Australia (DARTS) is Australia’s key organisation promoting cultural diversity in the arts. They seek to build a creative sector that reflects Australia's true cultural diversity and believe creative expression is a fundamental human right, which strengthens and connects communities. DARTS works to create the conditions for culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) artists to participate in all levels of our creative sector.

DARTS is seeking funds for The Creative Lives Podcasting Project, which will establish a training hub for 40 young content producers from CaLD and refugee backgrounds in Western Sydney. They will learn techniques of producing professional podcasts including design, audio recording, script writing and editing. Participants will undertake a 12-month professional training and mentoring program, gaining skills that are transferrable to other work, training, education and employment. The podcasts will focus on the untold stories of CaLD and refugee artists, to generate connections, shift perceptions and enable recognition of their contributions. Podcasts will be disseminated through media partners social media channels, and networks of the artists featured.

Find out more:


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Eagles RAPS Australia

Eagles RAPS is a youth service that was established in 1997.  Its major program supports young people who cannot attend mainstream school for various reasons, such as mental illness, homelessness, domestic violence, criminal history, or substance abuse.  These young people are individually case-managed to address their issues and barriers to education while continuing their education in a self-paced, flexible setting. Employability skills are part of the program and the young people are assisted in transition back to school, to further education or to employment.

Eagles RAPS is seeking funds to establish a child care centre.  There are many young mums in the area, and this will assist in several ways:  it will provide a training ground and experience for the organisation’s vocational students; it will provide child care for the young mums; and all funds received from the centre will be channelled back into the charitable aims of both the youth service and the child care centre, thereby increasing the sustainability of Eagles RAPS.

Find out more:


Fitted for Work


Fitted for Work (FFW) helps women experiencing disadvantage find employment and keep it. They provide free interview-appropriate clothing interview preparation, mentoring, presentation workshops, and ‘staying employed’ programs.

FFW provides more than 3500 services to women each year, with 64% of these women securing work with four months. In the last 12 years they have assisted over 25,000 women to achieve their goal of economic security.

FFW is seeking funds to support 40 refugee women to undertake its WomanKind program. WomanKind is a pre-employment program designed for women facing multiple job barriers, including limited English language skills, qualifications not being recognised, and lack of Australian work experience. The program will focus on helping these refugee women navigate the recruitment process and build confidence through a series of face-to-face workshops and activities. Each participant will be matched one-on-one with a mentor who will support them for six months while they look for work.

Find out more:


Sydney Story Factory

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The Sydney Story Factory (SSF) changes the lives of young people through creative writing and storytelling. Their focus is on marginalised young people – particularly those from Indigenous and non-English speaking backgrounds. SSF makes writing fun and rewarding, improving young people’s communication skills and boosting their confidence, thereby empowering them to pursue every educational opportunity and live their lives to their full potential.

SSF is seeking funds for The Encyclomedia of Us: The Western Sydney Dictionary Project which will empower 350 Western Sydney young people to create a unique multimedia hub. Supported by local adults as tutors, young people most at risk of low educational and life outcomes in seven Western Sydney communities will write about their own worlds, increasing their sense of connection to their community, while developing their literacy and creativity. By then sharing this work on the digital platform, they amplify their voices and build a sense of social inclusion and belonging.

Find out more:


Symphony for Life Foundation

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Established in 2016, Symphony For Life Foundation (SFLF) runs community-based music programs for underprivileged children and young people. As distinct from ‘music therapy’, SFLF focuses on high quality instrumental music education through the establishment of community-based classical choirs and orchestras. SFLF programs are capacity-building and promote social inclusion and cohesion, to transform the lives of young participants and their communities.

Many of their participants are refugees or new immigrants, and many have experienced significant trauma. SFLF works to mitigate the risks that young people in challenged communities face, providing a sense of belonging and a pathway of inspiration and hope.

SFLF is seeking funds to establish the Holroyd Youth Orchestra, promoting participation, social inclusion and a sense of belonging for 60 young people at risk, including refugees and Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people, aged 12-18.

Find out more: