Twice every year the Sisters of Charity Foundation provides grants of up to $15,000 to community projects and programs that break down social isolation and alleviate the impact of poverty on individuals and families.

Applications for the February grant round opened 1 December 2021 and closed 5 February 2022. In total 79 EOIs (Expressions of Interest) were submitted. Of these, 27 organisations progressed to stage 2 and were invited to submit a full application by the Grants Allocation Committee. Eventually, 23 organisations were selected to receive grant funding.

A snapshot of the projects

It’s a horrifying statistic: 61% of young people aged 10–17 who are released from sentenced detention return within 6 months and 80% within 12 months of their release. Confit Pathways aims to reduce recidivism by helping incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people develop a positive attitude and mindset toward employment and education, while providing a strong sense of community to help those who go through its program successfully reintegrate into society. The grant will allow the organisation to expand to the Reiby Youth Justice Centre and help 40 young women.

helping incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people
Confit mentors are reformed inmates who use their lived experiences to connect with young offenders. Photo credit: ABC News

“Lack of access to justice is a problem that isn’t spoken about enough,” says Lucy Majstorovic from Anika Legal. “Over 600,000 Australians live under the poverty line and can’t afford a lawyer but aren’t eligible for traditional legal aid – and people experiencing disadvantage often experience poor outcomes when they are left to handle legal problems on their own.” The centre pairs people in need with volunteer law students who are supervised by a lawyer, and will use its grant funding to recruit, train and manage 20 new volunteers to help vulnerable Victorian renters maintain safe housing.

Unemployment and underemployment rates for women in Tasmania are higher than anywhere else in Australia. Grant funding will allow Dress for Success Hobart to provide interview and employment styling to women living in rural and remote Tasmania, as well as interview preparation and resume advice.

Unemployment women Tasmania
Maryanne was styled in a corporate casual look ready for an upcoming interview. Photo credit: Dress for Success Hobart

Autism MATES aims to make our world more inclusive for those living on the autism spectrum. The charity is using its grant to help purchase a small people moving vehicle to be dubbed ‘The MATES Mobile’. It will provide a safe mode of transport for participants who don’t feel comfortable on public transport to get to activities.

“Nearly 28,000 young people are at risk of or are experiencing homelessness in Australia and unemployment is a significant contributing factor,” explains Levi Fernandez from For Change Co. The organisation received a grant to run its evidence-based hospitality training program for disadvantaged young people. Trainees can access housing and also learn about financial literacy, work rights, job readiness and goal setting; and after graduation are supported to find employment or further education.

hospitality training program for disadvantaged young people
The program works to support participants to create their own pathway out of the cycle of youth homelessness. Photo credit: For Change Co.

List of successful Community Grant recipients

Below are the names of each organisation that received a grant and its project/program name.

  • Agape Outreach Inc – ‘Food Rescue Grant to support the disadvantaged’
  • Anika Legal Ltd – ‘Legal Help for Safe Housing’
  • Autism MATES Inc – ‘MATES Mobile: Autism MATES Community Outing Vehicle’
  • Barnabas House Crisis Care Inc – ‘Filling in the Gaps’
  • Bridge It Ltd – ‘The Cocoon: Mentor Assistance’
  • CareWorks SunRanges Inc – ‘Food Support Programs’
  • CaringKids – ‘CaringKids Joy Boxes for Teens’
  • Confit Pathways Ltd – ‘Confit Pathways: Reiby Youth Justice Centre Program’
  • Dress for Success Hobart – ‘Empowering women to achieve economic independence through employment’
  • For Change Co.  – ‘home.plate’
  • Georges River Life Care – ‘Parenting Support Program’
  • Hotel Etico – ‘Independence Program Scholarship’
  • House of Welcome – ‘Community Snack Pack Project’
  • Jesuit Refugee Services – ‘Foodbank Program’
  • Koala Kids Back Packs Inc – ‘Feed the Need’
  • LIVEfree Project – ‘Inspire Women’
  • Lovewell Foundation – ‘Better Futures Program’
  • Mary Immaculate Catholic Primary School – ‘Family Assistance Project’
  • Rebecca Jane Foundation – ‘Helping families restore hope and dignity after the death of a child’
  • Stepping Out Program Inc – ‘Living with CSA: Childhood Sexual Abuse Recovery Workshops’
  • Survivor’s R Us Inc – ‘Hearty Starts Breakfast’
  • The Settlement Neighbourhood Centre – ‘Creating Opportunities and Connecting Community: Ensuring accessibility and inclusion through community-based children’s programs’
  • We Care Connect – ‘Begin Bright: Baby to toddler support’

Congratulations to all our grant recipients!

How to apply for a Community Grant in the next round

There are two grant rounds each year:

  • The February grant round opens 1 December and closes 5 February.
  • The July grant round opens 8 July and closes 31 July.

Before you apply you should make sure you are eligible. Submit your EOI here by the due date. Selected EOIs will then be invited to submit a full application.

How We Help

Each year we’re able to make a difference to thousands of people across the country with funds generously donated by compassionate Australians. We support initiatives that focus on benefiting the disadvantaged, marginalised and socially isolated people in our community.

Find out more