Backing Young People
Blacktown Youth Services Association
Approved in 2022
|VFFF Grants Committee
|Number of Grants
|Core and Capacity Granting
|Rural and Regional Granting
|Average Grant Size
Backing Young People
Year One Reflections
“I would stress the necessity to care properly for our ‘youth’ power if we are to produce the sort of manpower which will drive Australia ahead on the right course of national advancement in quality of standards as well as wealth and strength.”
– Sir Vincent Fairfax, Speech at the 96th Annual Meeting of The Boys’ Brigade (Inc.), 9 November 1978.
VFFF’s rich history of youth engagement can be traced back to our Founders: Sir Vincent Fairfax supported a range of youth-focused organisations and Lady Nancy Fairfax is widely remembered as a passionate advocate for early childhood education.
In FY21, VFFF’s strategic review process found that a focus on young people is well-aligned with the Foundation’s history, values and grant making experience, complementing our existing youth-focused Christianity funding and our desire to remain relevant to the emerging interests of the Fairfax “Rising Generation”.
FY22 represented the first year of granting under VFFF’s five-year strategy Backing Young People, where we are now embracing the opportunity to focus our work solely on supporting young people with innovative opportunities that advance their independence, social purpose and future security, across four grant making focus areas including Decent Work, Contributing to Society, Caring for the Environment and Exploring Christian Faith and Values. This strategy represents an opportunity to both respect our legacy and move with the times.
$10.3m was allocated to organisations over the year and recognising the interconnected nature of issues impacting young people, VFFF was not surprised to see many of the grants intersecting across two or more focus areas. These FY22 grants also represent 12 distributions made to youth-focused organisations to mark the Foundation’s 60th anniversary.
The VFFF team structure now reflects the new strategy with a team member dedicated to leading the work in each of the four focus areas, providing an opportunity to build focus area specific networks, knowledge and skills. VFFF’s anniversary was an opportunity to stop and reflect on the lessons of 60 years of grant making, many of which remain highly relevant to our work under the Backing Young People strategy. The Foundation remains committed to working with a learning mindset, incorporating a structured approach to evaluating our work and the work of our partners. Our history continues to inform our thoughtful approach to grant making and emphasises the importance of VFFF’s long-standing commitment to rural and regional communities in NSW and QLD and the provision of core and capacity funding.
Year One has also highlighted the importance of prioritising organisations that elevate the voices of young people in their work and the opportunity for VFFF to adopt a youth informed approach to decision making to truly achieve the outcomes of this strategy.