Grants Snapshot

Emma Dyson, Fishability Queensland I Photo by Russell Shakespeare

Approved in 2021




in multi-year grants


for core operations and capacity building


to NSW


to regional areas


average grant size
Program/ThemeTotal grantsTotal funding% of funding
Thriving People and Places32$7,490,44375%
Special distributions3$1,636,90717%

Where we funded

Thriving People
and Places

This year marked the conclusion of four years of granting under Thriving People and Places. With a commitment to working alongside communities directly impacted by social issues, Thriving People and Places set out to support and connect local people working to drive change in places experiencing disadvantage.

Since 2018 VFFF has supported courageous local leaders testing new approaches to persistent issues and communities working collaboratively to increase access to employment and education.

The insights and learnings from Thriving People and Places continue to shape VFFF’s approach to grantmaking. In particular, our work in this area highlighted the value of community-led granting, the importance of backing new approaches and ways of thinking, and the need to invest in organisational capacity.

An analysis of key grant learnings from FY2018-FY2020 can be viewed here.

Grants Snapshot






of total funding
Meagan Pelham, Studio A | Photo by Jasmine Tate

2021 Grants - Learning and education

Act for Kids, $50,000

School Readiness Program
An early intervention, therapeutic program supporting kindergarten students in Blacktown impacted by COVID-19.

Cathy Freeman Foundation, $50,000

Strengthening Queensland program delivery
Supporting the development of local partnerships in Palm Island and Woorabinda, strengthening long-running education programs for Indigenous school communities.

Creating Chances, $180,000 over three years

Program expansion to Far West and North West NSW
Towards the delivery of programs encouraging school and community engagement through sport.

Evolve Housing, $271,174 over two years

Evolve Housing Arncliffe
Capacity building funding to support social housing tenants to achieve social and economic outcomes.

Jarjum Centre, $749,052 over two years

Construction of the new Jarjum Centre
A highly respected preschool in the Lismore community, practicing a ‘whole of family’ approach to childcare for local Aboriginal families.

Mercy Works, $50,000

Mercy Connect Program
An in-school mentoring program for students from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds, with support from trained volunteer mentors aiming to optimise academic learning.

Smiling Mind, $700,000 over three years

Operational funding to support the growth of Smiling Mind
Building Smiling Mind’s capacity to respond to growing demand for programs supporting the wellbeing of children.

Top Blokes Foundation, $192,990 over three years

Western Sydney expansion
Building the reach of Top Blokes programs focused on reducing preventable harm by young males.

YFS, $48,500

Men4Respect young men’s peer education program
A campaign promoting self-respect and respectful relationships among young people in Logan, through education sessions, social media and events.

Hotel Etico Australia
Mujaay Ganma Foundation I Photo by Alice Payne Photography

2021 Grants - Working together on new approaches

4 Voices, $50,000

Employment of a Volunteer and Services Co-ordinator
Strengthening the organisational capacity of 4 Voices, a mobile support service for people experiencing domestic violence, homelessness or isolation in Brisbane.

Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT), $175,500

Transition of Maranguka to independent governance
Supporting the process for Maranguka incorporation and Aboriginal community governance through the Bourke Tribal Council.

Anglicare Victoria, $50,000

Home Stretch NSW campaign
Home Stretch is a national campaign aiming to extend the age that young people leave care from 18 to 21 years.

SCARF, $55,000

Additional operations funding to support business transitions
Supporting SCARF’s merger with Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra (MCCI).

First Steps Count Foundation, $88,000

Additional operations funding for the First Steps Count Child and Community Centre
Supporting the establishment of a new Child and Community Centre in Taree.

Our Community Project, $450,000 over two years

Tender Funerals Mid North Coast
Towards the establishment of a not-for-profit, community-led funeral service on the Mid North Coast.

Raise Foundation, $50,000

Together for Youth collaboration
Seed funding for a collective of 11 organisations working together to pilot a collaboration model to deliver wellbeing focused programs in schools.

Sober in the Country, $50,000

Bush Tribe online peer support platform
Core operations support for the Bush Tribe, an online peer-to-peer support network for rural people overcoming alcohol addiction.

Weave Youth & Community Services, $375,000 over three years

Aboriginal Healing Program
Towards the rollout of Weave’s Aboriginal Healing Framework at all levels of the organisation.

Community Services Industry Alliance, $45,000

Building capacity for Southern Moreton Bay Island Listeners
Employment of a part time role to collect and communicate data on child health and wellbeing on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands.

Miimi I Photo by Alice Paine Photography
Jesuit Refugee Service I Photo by Flashpoint Labs

2021 Grants - Jobs and economic development

BackTrack Youthworks, $41,720

Keeping young people out of lock up
Towards a participatory research project on the barriers for young offenders to a successful transition out of juvenile detention.

CareerSeekers, $75,000

Additional operations funding to support business transitions
Supporting CareerSeekers to undergo leadership transitions and organisational change in response to the impacts of COVID-19.

Centre for Media Transition, University of Technology Sydney, $50,000

Regional Journalism Internship Program
A pilot of paid internship placements for UTS journalism students to gain insights and experience reporting in rural and regional NSW.

Community Resources, $523,507 over two years

Capacity building and consolidation
Towards key leadership positions to support organisational recovery and growth, enabling Community Resources to continue providing jobs to those experiencing barriers to employment.

Emerge Toowoomba, $50,000

Core operations to support youth employment at Emerge Café
Emerge provides paid employment, emergency accommodation, mentorship and social opportunities to help young people in Toowoomba on their way to a better life.

Fighting Chance, $50,000

Jigsaw Mt Gravatt’s Work Experience Program
Towards Jigsaw’s Work Experience Program for Year 11 and 12 students with a disability in Brisbane.

PlateitForward, $50,000

Employment of a Training and Catering Manager
Building the organisational capacity of PlateitForward, a community-driven organisation providing vulnerable communities with food relief and employment opportunities.

Project Etico Australia, $320,000 over two years

Hotel Etico
To support the start-up of Hotel Etico at Mount Victoria Manor, providing training and employment for young people with intellectual disabilities.

Studio A, $300,000 over three years

Employment of an Operations Manager and capacity building
Building Studio A’s capacity to support professional pathways for artists with intellectual disability.

The Bread & Butter Project, $50,000

Retail and distribution expansion
Supporting the growth of Australia’s first social enterprise bakery to increase training and employment for refugees.

Thrive Refugee Enterprise, $900,000 over three years

Expansion to regional NSW
Supporting refugee economic participation and settlement in regional areas.

White Box Enterprises, $1,350,000 over three years

Capacity support towards 5000 jobs
To build the capacity of White Box Enterprises to create, replicate and support employment focused social enterprises providing jobs for young people.

WorkRestart, $50,000

Second Chance Partners Program
To support the employment of a job coach to prepare employers and incarcerated individuals for sustainable employment post-release.


VFFF’s Christianity funding supports organisations that provide young people with opportunities to explore Christian faith and values. Our Christianity funding guidelines are informed by consultation with youth leaders and faith-based organisations. We heard from young people that they are looking for opportunities to explore faith in their world – at community facilities, at sport, school, university – and in ways that they can explore with their peers. 

Our showcase Christianity grant for 2021 is three years of capacity building funding towards the expansion of sports chaplaincy in NSW, working with local churches to place accredited volunteer chaplains in junior sports clubs. For many years Sports Chaplaincy Australia (SCA) focused on elite sport and provided chaplains to the leading sporting codes. In the last 5-10 years this focus has expanded to community sport.

In 2020, SCA completed a VFFF funded pilot project in junior netball in north western Sydney. The success of this pilot informed the development of a NSW chaplaincy hub model, a partnership between SCA, churches and local sport clubs. VFFF is seed funding these chaplaincy hubs in NSW over a three year period, significantly boosting the capacity of SCA to respond to the strong demand from sporting associations for chaplaincy support in junior sport.

Sports Chaplaincy Australia I Photo by Flashpoint Labs

Grants Snapshot




of total



2021 Grants - Christianity

Katoomba Christian Convention, $50,000

KCC digital development
Towards the development of a web version of the ‘KCC One’ app, supporting young people to engage with Christianity.

RICE Inter-Church Evangelism, $50,000

RICE Movement Sydney
To support core operations in Sydney, including an internship program that facilitates skills development for participants.

Sports Chaplaincy Australia, $650,000 over three years

Sports Chaplaincy in Junior Sport
Towards the expansion of sports chaplaincy in NSW, working with local churches to place trained and accredited volunteer chaplains in junior sports clubs.

Sports Chaplaincy Australia I Photo by Flashpoint Labs

Special distributions

VFFF grants outside its guidelines when an opportunity arises to support an initiative of particular importance to the Vincent Fairfax family.

Code for Online Decision & Ethics (CODE) program, Western Sydney University

Grants Snapshot




of total



2021 Grants

Behavioural Insights Team, $80,000

Ethical Development Program
Additional funding arising from COVID-19 related delays to the final phase of the Code for Online Decision & Ethics (CODE) program.

Centre for Media Transition, University of Technology Sydney, $1,380,000 over three years

Rural and regional media
Towards the development of a rural and regional media network and research on sustainable business models.

University of New South Wales, $176,907

Social Impact Leadership Australia Program
Additional funding arising from COVID-19 related delays to the Social Impact Leadership Australia (SILA) Program.

Continuing grants

Alpha Australia

Alpha Youth Series Expansion $80,000 (total $240,000)

Anglican Youthworks

Youth Ministry expansion in Western Sydney and deployment of Ministry Survey $115,000 (total $338,000)

Australian Schools Plus

Fair Education Cohorts 3 & 4 $1,848,103 (total $6,306,443)

Baptist Union of NSW

State Youth Camp and church capacity building $83,000 (total $251,000)

Byron Region Community College

Sourdough Business Pathways $125,000 (total $415,000)

Country Universities Centre

Employment of Learning Skills Advisors across the network of Country Universities Centres $171,877 (total $520,049)

Family Centre Australia

It Takes a Town, Murwillumbah $106,176 (total $319,606)

Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Investing in Rural Community Futures $1,085,605 (total $5,046,496)

Girls & Boys Brigade

Strategic Fundraising Resources Project $122,000 (total $426,000)

Human Rights Law Centre

To boost and diversify the Aboriginal Rights team $132,039 (total $382,332)

National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy

To build NASCA’s fundraising capacity $100,000 (total $375,000)


Redfern Jarjum College $40,132 (total $186,416)

The Karrkad Kanjdji Trust

Expanding KKT’s work across the region $207,272 (total $458,970)

University of New South Wales

Social Impact Leadership Australia (SILA) Program $600,000 (total $3,000,000)

Walter and Eliza Hall Trust

Small Grants Program for People in Necessitous Circumstances $500,000 (total $2,500,000)

The Girls & Boys Brigade
Mujaay Ganma Foundation



Acknowledgement of Country

The Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work, and extends this acknowledgement to all Traditional Custodians of nations where we fund organisations and activities. We pay respect to Elders past and present, and to the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that this website may contain images or names of people who have passed away.