As part of its granting strategy to ensure its resources are directed to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged, the Trust has developed a number of placed based responses that take into account emerging areas of need and equal distribution of funds across Victoria and involve supporting communities over a sustained period of time.
Along with investments in Loddon Mallee and Benalla, the Trust identified Gippsland in Eastern Victoria as an area of need that has strong local leadership and an area the Trust had consistently under invested in.
The first step was building a level of knowledge and understanding of the region, which began with a number of visits by Trust staff and in 2009, the Trust supported the Victorian Council of Social Service to host a philanthropy afternoon in Morwell. Approximately 30 community organisations heard presentations from six philanthropic trusts and foundations, and met with the representatives to discuss potential projects.
In 2011, the Trust formalised its approach for supporting Gippsland by identifying a number of key areas of priority mental health, public education, vulnerable children and young people at risk, aboriginal people and initiatives that build the capacity of the organisations working in the region. The Trust also decided to focus its efforts to the communities in East Gippsland and the La Trobe Valley.
This work is in its early stages but a number of grants have already been made including:
Orbost Regional Health $9,000
Towards Group Mental Health Support
Churchill North Primary School $60,000 (over two years)
Towards Strengthening Learning Communities: A school-university community partnership to improve student outcomes
Lakes Entrance Aboriginal Health Association$160,000 (over three years)
Towards for organisational capacity in Aboriginal health and well-being
Smith Family $150,000 (over three years)
Towards the for the Gippsland Education Partnership Hub
Good Beginnings Australia $15,000
Towards the Wellbeing of East Gippsland Children report
Berry Street $25,000
Towards the La Trobe Valley: Our Children-Our Future Scoping Study
Community College Gippsland $50,000 (over three years)
Towards the Warragul Youth Leadership and Engagement Program
Yarram and District Health Service $59,383 (over two years)
Towards the ‘Building resilience in Vulnerable Children’