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Philanthropic Partners

Thanks to the vision and generosity of our philanthropic partners, MacKillop is changing the lives of some of our most disadvantaged children, young people and families.

MacKillop Family Services has a long and proud history of empowering some of our most vulnerable community members. Our strategic goals put families at the heart of our vision, and we are passionate about working with communities so children can thrive.

But we couldn’t achieve this without the generous support of our philanthropic partners. Strong partnerships underpin our work. We believe that through collaboration we can create the greatest change.

Thanks to their vision and belief in what we do, our philanthropic partners have supported us to:

  • Develop innovative educational programs that keep children and young people engaged in learning
  • Establish Warnambool’s first Equine-Assisted Social and Emotional Learning Centre where interacting with horses has shown to have remarkable results in giving young people the skills they need to live independently and to be more connected to their communities
  • Tackle some of the most confronting issues facing children and young people living in out-of-home care
  • Acknowledge the importance of cultural healing and awareness in working with Aboriginal families and children.

We are always keen to work with philanthropic funders who share our vision for innovative, effective programs and services delivered to those who need them most.

If you are a trust or foundation with an interest in our work, please contact us to see how we can partner together.

Dan Mars

Philanthropy Manager

MacKillop would like to acknowledge and thank our current philanthropic partners.

Support from the Beswick Family Fund is used to support a range of initiatives across MacKillop to ensure the best outcomes for vulnerable children, young people and families.

MacKillop’s successful canine assisted learning pilot, Paw Pals, has been extended to Victoria’s Wimmera south-west region thanks to funding from the Collier Charitable Fund. The program will be used to support young people living in Out of Home Care (OOHC), particularly those struggling with low self-esteem and depression and have disengaged (or are at risk of disengaging) from school and learning.

Step:BIKE gives disadvantaged and at-risk young people living in Out of Home Care (OOHC) in the Geelong region the opportunity to learn how to repair and restore bicycles donated by the local police and community members. It aims to help them build confidence, skills, responsibility and a community connection. Once restored, the bikes are either kept by program participants, or donated back to the community.

With studies in Australia and overseas showing that children and young people growing up in care are at risk of poor educational outcomes due to their trauma history, we welcomed funding from the Otto and Elizabeth Schumacher Trust to expand our pilot in Therapeutic Life Story Work to enable young people in OOHC in the Barwon region receive more intensive therapeutic support to help them engage, or re-engaged in learning. The trust joins Geelong’s Give Where You Live and the Ross Trust in supporting the program.

Thanks to support from the Flora and Frank Leith Charitable Trust, MacKillop provides culturally-diverse supported playgroups in Melbourne’s western metropolitan region. The playgroups are a valuable early intervention service that supports vulnerable and disadvantaged families overcome language and cultural barriers and link them to important services such as maternal and child health support, Centrelink, early learning and other services when needed, including family violence assistance.

Through their Give 52 Foundation, Anton and Jenny Gaudry are valued supporters of MacKillop’s Paw Pals canine program, which supports at-risk children and young people to engage or re-engage in learning and education. With a therapy dog by their side, students are happy to head back to the classroom. We are grateful to Give 52 for generously supporting our Paws 4 Kids campaign to ensure this successful program continues to help vulnerable kids.

In a bid to tackle the many complex emotional issues experienced by young people living in Out of Home Care (OOHC), MacKillop is piloting Therapeutic Life Story Work in the Geelong region. Thanks to funding from Geelong’s Give Where You Live Foundation, The Ross Trust and the Otto and Elizabeth Schumacher Trust (Equity), the program aims to reduce the impact of grief and trauma on children and young people in care.

The Joe White Bequest has been a long and valued supporter of MacKillop, providing much-needed funding to implement a broad range of child and family services and programs across Victoria.

Evidence suggests 33% of all child sexual abuse reports to statutory child protection relate to children and young people living in residential care. With funding from the John T Reid Charitable Trusts, in 2018 MacKillop launched the Respectful Sexual Safety project, delivered in partnership with the University of Melbourne. The project aims to increase young people’s understanding about healthy relationships, sexual safety and strengthen their capacity to keep themselves safe.

With domestic violence the single biggest cause of homelessness in Victoria, MacKillop welcomed funding from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation to pilot an early intervention program to work with young men who are or are at risk of becoming perpetrators. The Therapeutic Adolescent Family Violence Specialist pilot aims to tackle the root cause of violence and the intergenerational trauma often associated with why it occurs in the first place.

Funding from the Matana Foundation has been used to better support young people as they prepare to transition from residential care to independent living in the community. Way out There provides a 10-week practical life-skills education and mentoring program for young people (aged 15-18).

Thanks to funding from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation, MacKillop is piloting an innovative program to better support young people living in Out of Home Care (OOHC) in NSW’s Northern Rivers region. The three-year pilot will adapt MacKillop’s internationally renowned Seasons for Growth program to better help young people in care understand how the loss of family and home can impact their life.

The Foundation has also funded a COVID-19 adaptation of the Seasons for Growth to support up to 800 students in NSW’s Kempsey and Port Macquarie regions. The adaptation recognises the mental health and wellbeing issues suffered by children and young people (schooling from home, minimal contact with friends, etc) due to the virus.

Communities around Australia were devastated by the 2019/2020 bushfires. None more so than those in NSW’s Bega Valley and Eurobodalla shires. Thanks to funding from the NIB Foundation, MacKillop is supporting local school students through its Stormbirds program. Developed in 2009 in response to Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires, Stormbirds supports children and young people impacted by natural disasters and the subsequent losses that often occur.

The issues faced by the young people MacKillop supports in the Barwon and Wimmera south-west regions are among the most complex seen throughout the organisation. With funding from Perpetual (Percy Baxter Charitable Trust) our successful, evidence-based Seasons for Growth program will be adapted to meet the specific needs of children and young people living in foster care. The program aims to give these young people the social and emotional support they need to understand and manage what has happened in their life.

Funding from the Pethard Tarax Charitable Trust has been used to support our Out of Home Care programs in the Bendigo region. MacKillop launched services in the region in 2017 as a response to the increasing number of vulnerable and at risk children and families needing support.

When MacKillop launched Paws 4 Kids in 2019 to raise money to pilot Paw Pals, an innovative canine-assisted support program to help disadvantaged children in OOHC to engage, or re-engage in education, PETstock Assist came on board as a major supporter. We are grateful for the foundation’s continued support in 2020.

Funding from the Queensland Community Foundation has been used to bring an innovative canine-assisted program to disadvantaged kids to help them re-engage with learning.

Studies in Australia and overseas show that children and young people who grow up in care are at risk of poor educational outcomes due to their trauma history. We welcomed funding from The Ross Trust to expand our Therapeutic Life Story Work pilot to enable young people in OOHC in the Barwon region receive more intensive therapeutic support to help them engage, or re-engage in learning. The trust joins Geelong’s Give Where You Live and the Otto and Elizabeth Schumacher Trust in supporting the program.

Through the power of man’s best friend, MacKillop’s Paw Pals canine program is helping at-risk children and young people engage or re-engage in learning and education. With a therapy dog by their side, students are happy to head back to the classroom. We are grateful to the Smartgroup Foundation for generously supporting our 2020 Paws 4 Kids campaign to ensure this successful program continues to help vulnerable kids.

The 2019/2020 bushfires that devastated much of Australia wreaked havoc on the lives of so many. The changes and losses experienced following such a natural disaster can be traumatic, complex and ongoing. Therefore, we welcomed funding from the St George Foundation to deliver our Stormbirds program to provide essential mental health support for children and young people on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island and those living in the Adelaide Hills.

Funding from the Tee-Up for Kids Foundation supports a range of educational and OOHC initiatives for vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people in Victoria.

MacKillop’s commitment to tackle Victoria’s ongoing shortfall of foster carers has been boosted thanks to a philanthropic grant from Telematics Trust. The funding will be used to produce a podcast series to support existing carers and attract potential new foster carers.

Responding to the devastating impact the 2019/2020 bushfires had on many Victorian communities, UNICEF Australia provided funding for MacKillop deliver its Stormbirds and Seasons for Growth programs to children and young people in affected areas. Local teachers, health professionals, parents are carers and community members will be trained in both programs, enabling them to deliver it to students through school networks.

Thanks to funding from the Waratah Education Foundation, MacKillop will provide NSW children and young people living in communities with pre-existing social and/or economic vulnerabilities and who have been identified as receiving little in bushfire recovery support, access to its Stormbirds and Seasons for Growth loss and grief programs

Thanks to funding from the Archie and Hilda Graham Foundation, Thomas O’Toole Foundation, Ern Hartley Foundation, A L Lane Foundation and Gall Family Foundation, MacKillop established a volunteer mentor program in the Barwon south-west region. The program connects children and young people living in foster care a with supportive adult mentor that can add to their lives through shared interests or hobbies or simply to spend quality time with them.

Thanks to funding from the A L Lane Foundation, Gall Family Foundation, Gwen and Edna Jones Foundation and the Ray and Joyce Uebergang Foundation, MacKillop expanded its Equine-assisted Social and Emotional Learning Program to support children and young people living in OOHC in the Barwon south-west region. The program, which launched at Mepunga in 2017, was the area’s first equine therapy hub providing vulnerable young people with access to the healing benefits of working with horses.

MacKillop is grateful to The William Angliss (Victoria) Charitable Fund for its ongoing support of our Way Out There (WOT) program. WOT helps young people prepare to transition from residential care to independent living in the community. WOT also provides a 10-week practical life-skills education and mentoring program