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Media Release

$260,000 funding boost to reach more than 17,000 disadvantaged Victorians  

18 May 2018

Communities in St Kilda, Shepparton, Thornbury, Yarra Ranges, Geelong, Frankston, Dandenong and Metro Melbourne supported by Bank of Melbourne Neighbourhood Fund grants

Seven grassroots organisations across Victoria have received up to $50,000 each from Bank of Melbourne Neighbourhood Fund’s latest funding round.

The grants will be used to provide education scholarships to Indigenous youth; deliver an emotional resilience course to disadvantaged parents; support a project preventing violence against women; train young people as community health ambassadors; provide nutritious food to vulnerable Victorians; help children get ready for school; and send sick children and their carers on a special weekend away.

Bank of Melbourne Chief Executive Michelle Winzer said she was delighted that the financial support would assist seven organisations, reaching more than 17,000 disadvantaged Victorians in local communities across the state.

“These grassroots organisations and the local heroes behind them are working hard every single day to help disadvantaged Victorians and Bank of Melbourne is proud to support them,” Ms Winzer said. “This money will be spent on supporting Victorians and local communities by delivering life-changing services throughout Melbourne and Regional Victoria.”

Bank of Melbourne’s Neighbourhood Fund has donated close to $2.5 million to 94 local charities over the past five years, with this money helping 326,000 Victorians in need.

The latest funding round will improve the lives of disadvantaged Victorians by supporting:

1. Ganbina Inc – Shepparton: $49,950

Ganbina works with Indigenous youth throughout their primary and secondary school years to ensure they can access education, jobs training and life skills that help them reach their full potential as adults. Ganbina, which received a $50,000 grant from the Neighbourhood Fund in 2017, will use the latest grant to fund 350 education scholarships. The scholarships will help pay for school fees, uniforms, books, excursions, tutoring and reading glasses.

2.  First Step – St Kilda: $40,000

First Step, a not-for-profit mental health, addiction and legal service hub, will use the grant to deliver highly specialised group education services for parents and children, together with financial counselling. The parents will participate in the Tuning into Kids ™ program, a highly-regarded course developed by the University of Melbourne. The program encourages parents to share experiences and ideas and try out different ways of responding to their child’s emotions.

3. Women’s Health East – Yarra Ranges municipality: $50,000

Women’s Health East addresses the social, political and environmental factors impacting the health, safety and wellbeing of women in the Eastern metropolitan region of Melbourne. This grant will support a project that addresses the harmful social behaviours of boys toward girls that can later lead to violence experienced by women.

4.  The Malpa Project – Thornbury: $25,000

This grassroots organisation focuses on improving primary health care and well-being within Aboriginal communities by training children aged 9-11 as community health ambassadors. Malpa’s Young Doctors (Ngargin Doctors) program last year trained 435 Indigenous and non-Indigenous children as Ngargin Doctors and expects 800 more to graduate in 2018. The grant will be used to test the program’s efficacy across three consecutive years with the same cohort of young people at Thornbury Primary School.

5.  FareShare Australia Inc – Metro Melbourne: $41,000

FareShare runs Australia’s largest charity kitchen, cooking surplus food donated by businesses into free nutritious meals for vulnerable people. The grant will be used to hire a part-time driver and cover the vehicle expenses that will lead to 500,000kg of nutritious food reaching 12,000 needy Victorians.

6.  Ardoch – Inner Melbourne, North Geelong, Frankston North, Dandenong and Melbourne’s West: $43,650

Ardoch improves educational outcomes for children and young people in disadvantaged communities. The grant will be used to deliver 2000 of its School Readiness Packs to 40 preschool and prep sites across Victoria in 2018 and prepare a further 2000 packs for the following year. The School Readiness Packs provide literacy, language and motor skills resources and offer simple ways that parents can support their children’s education as they start school.

7.  Lord Somers Camp and Power House – Victoria: $10,716

Lord Somers Camp and Power House run a range of programs that bring different community groups together. In conjunction with the Very Special Kids organisation, the grant will be used to support up to 75 children with a life-threatening illness and their carers in experiencing a fun and relaxing weekend away.

For more information about the Neighbourhood Fund and the latest grant recipients please contact:

Bridget Crowe, Bank of Melbourne Corporate Affairs                                                     

0407 963 549