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Media Release

Applications open for Bank of Melbourne grants to support Victoria’s most vulnerable

19 July

Eligible Victorian charities that make an outstanding contribution to their local communities have the opportunity to apply for grants of up to $50,000 from the Bank of Melbourne Foundation.

Since launching in 2013, the Foundation has granted $3.5 million to over 120 small charities throughout Victoria. The Foundation allocates cash grants to charities that receive little or no government funding.

Seven charities shared close to $250,000 in the latest round of funding. The grants supported a range of initiatives including: entering the workforce programs for women throughout Victoria; life-skills training for the homeless in Melbourne’s CBD and inner north; education scholarships for Indigenous youth in Shepparton and rehabilitation activities for stroke survivors in Bendigo.

Bank of Melbourne Chief Executive Michelle Winzer: “Our grants benefit the most vulnerable Victorians by funding charities that really make a sustainable difference in their local communities.

“I am grateful to everyone involved in delivering these local programs and to everyone who has donated to the Bank of Melbourne Foundation to make these grants possible.

“If you know of a local charity that is doing great work in your community, please encourage them to check their eligibility and apply today.”

Now taking applications: Bank of Melbourne Foundation is seeking applications for their current funding round until 18 August 2019. Visit the website for full details of eligibility criteria and to apply.

Media enquiries

Nardia Dazkiw
Head of Corporate Affairs
0418 144 690


Below is a summary of the 7 recipient organisations that received funding as part of our last funding round to deliver local programs and initiatives

Fitted for Work – Victoria-wide: $50,000

Fitted for Work (FFW) helps women experiencing disadvantage to build their confidence and skills in order to obtain employment and be empowered and economically independent. It believes that, as well as financial security, employment gives people a sense of social connectedness, dignity and pride.

Building on the success of FFW’s “Connecting Women With Work Program” which the Bank of Melbourne Foundation funded in 2017, this grant will allow FFW to prepare 170 women to become work-ready, who can then be linked directly with job opportunities through FFW’s social enterprise, SheWorks. FFW also received funding from the Bank of Melbourne Foundation in 2014.

Ganbina – Shepparton: $49,500

Ganbina supports Indigenous youth to live rewarding lives by helping them to get a good education. It does this by helping people from a young age to have the motivation, confidence and enthusiasm needed to ensure they complete their education to the best of their ability. Furthermore, this leads to meaningful careers and, along the way, the development of the life-skills they need to enable them to build a brighter future for themselves, their children and their communities.

The grant will be used for scholarships for Indigenous youth, which will alleviate the financial burden of education on people with limited income sources.

First Step – St Kilda: $49,918

First Step is an addiction and mental health outpatient clinic with an integrated legal service. It supports people with drug and alcohol dependence, as well as their families and the community, and includes doctors, mental health nurses and psychologists. Services are available in the heart of St Kilda and are free of charge.

The grant will support the First Step Women’s Space, which helps women by providing a safe and welcoming space, staffed only by females, in which vulnerable women feel supported to discuss their personal circumstances and in particular the variety of factors with which they are struggling. The facility opened with the support of Bank of Melbourne Foundation funding in 2018 and has worked with 180 people including clients and their children.

Many Rooms – Melbourne CBD, North Melbourne and surrounding suburbs: $45,646

The Many Rooms Kitchen is a meal service and drop in centre for the homeless and marginalised in Melbourne's CBD. It provides two-course nutritious meals on Fridays and Saturdays, along with activities that provide guests with a sense of community and belonging in a safe environment.

The grant will be used to expand the services offered to include life-skills and training opportunities for guests.

The Stroke Association of Victoria (Bendigo Stroke Support Centre) – Bendigo: $15,000

The Stroke Association of Victoria’s (SAV) mission is to provide every stroke survivor and carer with access to the information and peer support they need to re-engage with their community, including support with independent living, community inclusion and recovery techniques.

The grant will be used to upscale the services offered by SAV at its Bendigo Stroke Support Centre to improve the recovery of stroke survivors in the region. The new programs will focus on support for bodily movement and mobility, social inclusion, creativity and wellbeing.

Make a Difference Dingley Village – City of Greater Dandenong and City of Kingston: $10,000

Make a Difference Dingley Village aims to alleviate poverty by helping families and individuals in crisis and supporting those in disadvantaged situations to develop their skills and gain greater power over their lives. This involves a focus on prevention before people get into a crisis, such as providing support to assist with building relationship, parenting and decision-making skills.

The grant will be used to support the ever-increasing level of demand from the community for its services.

Hope City Mission – Maroondah, Knox and Yarra Ranges: $24,560

Hope City Mission (HCM) assists people in emergency situations through its Foodbank (provides food, clothing and toiletries), Financial Literacy (support for clients who have lost control of their financial situation, including through significant debts) and Advocacy (seeks to resolve client’s immediate financial crisis, such as through negotiating with creditors) programs.

The grant will be used to support its Stairway to Hope initiative, which aims to empower clients to secure ongoing accommodation, become financially stable and develop the skills and resources to enable them to go from day to day living to future living. The clients will have access to weekly educational workshops and support covering HCM’s core services.