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Phunktional, Guide Dogs on new list of grantees

An early intervention program for babies and children living with low vision or blindness and a holiday arts program in the Mallee to engage First Nations and CALD young people, are amongst the projects awarded recent grants by the Ross Trust. 

The Trustees awarded five grants in October including a significant grant to Refugee Legal of $300,000 over three years for their Core Strengthening Project.  

Refugee Legal will use the additional funds to expand their capacity to provide free legal assistance to people seeking asylum, refugees and disadvantaged migrants in Victoria who lack sufficient financial and other resources.

Legal services will be offered via telephone, face‐to‐face, with full casework representation, clinics, Medevac legal assistance, community information sessions and strategic work for systemic change. The expansion comes in the face of escalating legal need for some of the community’s most disadvantaged, coupled with the Federal Government defunding some core legal services. 

Arts not for profit, Phunktional, will run a Youth Holiday Program in Robinvale, which will address the lack of quality arts education opportunities for vulnerable young people and their communities in regional north‐west Victoria.

The program will include 25 culturally‐appropriate, educational arts workshops over six weeks of the summer holidays, culminating in a public performance to celebrate and share the young people’s creative work with families, their school and the wider community.

Ongoing arts workshops and activities will be made available to the most vulnerable cohorts of young people in the region, including First Nations and CALD students.

Phunktional has been working with the communities of north west Victoria for the last eight years and has a strong commitment to initiatives which broaden the range of educational pathways and increase access to social capital for at‐risk young people in Robinvale.

The Ross Trust provided $40,000 towards this program. 

Guide Dogs Victoria has been successful in securing a grant of $80,000 over two years to help babies and children with low vision get ready for school. The program will support children and their parents, to increase engagement in early learning and improve school readiness.

At this October Trustee meeting, the Trustees also granted a further $50,000 towards the Raise the Rate campaign for advocacy work and a small grant was also made to the Caroline Chisholm Education Foundation, for students from the Mornington Peninsula to continue their education. 

We will bring you more detailed stories on this projects as they are implemented.