Like everyone in our community right now, we have been grappling with the challenges presented by bushfire and then the global pandemic, and how we can make a meaningful contribution to something so all-encompassing.
The Ross Trust Trustees have kept a strong focus throughout these last few months, both on how to stay true to our values and strategy, whilst also responding to the immediate issues at hand.
We’ve made several important commitments:
We will continue granting in our two dedicated funding priorities – educational equity and biodiversity conservation
funds have also been dedicated to bushfire and COVID-19 response and where possible will also align with the funding priorities
We will look at both immediate and long-term needs in communities most affected by these crises
We will continue to grant in 2020-21.
I’m very proud that the team has been able to respond quickly to requests like providing immediate funds which assist school children gain access to the internet, when they didn’t have any way to connect with school remotely. These create real and direct impacts for Victorian communities. Read more in the stories below.
We’ve recently completed a review of our new strategy to see how we are tracking against the plan. Having always maintained a strong commitment to the flora and fauna of the state, it’s interesting to see how making a clearer declaration of that commitment and developing a theory of change for biodiversity conservation, has helped us strongly increase our grant funding in that area. Already this financial year over $1.5 million has been allocated to biodiversity conservation grants; more than the total awarded for flora and fauna grants for the last five years of the prior grant program.
We will have some more big announcements soon as we work with our stakeholders to identify the most pressing needs.
In the meantime, read about some of our recently funded projects and please continue to stay safe and well.
CEO, the Ross Trust
Almost $300,000 awarded to support COVID-19 response
Some of the most marginalised people in our community are the target of our rapid response to the coronavirus. Funds have gone to organisations such as Justice Connect, the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and the Council of Single Mothers and their Children.
A small grant to assist children with limited online access to learn at home, and grants to three of the Mornington Peninsula’s emergency relief and material aid centres, were top priorities as part of our place-based response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Homelessness is a significant risk factor in disengagement from education and in turn leads to poor socio economic and other outcomes throughout life. The Ross Trust is supporting Launch Housing's Education Pathways Program, one of the first programs to address the impact of homelessness on children’s education.
We’ve joined with several large philanthropic organisations and the Victorian Government to support the expansion of Our Place – a tried and tested model of opening up schools to the whole community to help turn around entrenched disadvantage.
Jordan Crook has a big job! Hardly has there been a more important time to find ways to protect Victoria’s threatened species and habitats. But that is what he has put his hand up for, as the new Nature Conservation Campaigner with the Victorian National Parks Association.