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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.

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 Ross Trust to expand our pilot in Therapeutic Life Story Work to enable young people in OOHC in the Barwon region to receive more intensive therapeutic support to help them engage, or re-engaged in learning.

Between 2006 and 2020, the Ross Trust also provided much needed direct financial and material aid support to disadvantaged families living in Melbourne’s metropolitan western region.

Contemporary evidence suggests a disproportionate 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 aimed to increase young people’s understanding about healthy relationships, sexual safety and strengthen their capacity to keep themselves safe.

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. Thanks to funding from Geelong’s Give Where You Live Foundation and The Ross Trust, the program will be used to help reduce the impact of grief and trauma on children and young people in care.

Thanks to support from the Flora and Frank Leith Charitable Trust, MacKillop can continue to run its 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.

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 at risk of disengaging) from school and learning.

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.

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.

Thanks to funding from the Geelong Community Foundation, the Bitter Sweet Café at MacKillop’s Specialist School in Geelong will continue to support students undertake VCAL studies to develop essential skills for success in the hospitality industry. Students can complete their VCAL certificates in barista training, safe food handling and food preparation.

When MacKillop launched Paws4Kids 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.

Support from the Beswick Family Fund was used to launch a volunteer mentor program in the Barwon south-west region. The program aims to connect 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 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.

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).

With research showing that when positive mental health is actively pursued in schools, students benefit academically. Thanks to funding from the Otto and Elizabeth Schumacher Trust, a positive education model, complementing the academic syllabus, has been introduced to students at the MacKillop School in Geelong. Positive Education is embedded as a cultural and academic pillar to support existing philosophies, policies and procedures.

Funding has enabled MacKillop to provide a range of recreational activities for children and young people living in Geelong and the greater Barwon region who are cared for through our OOHC services.

Funding from the Pethard Tarax Charitable Trust has been used to fund a Foster Care Recruitment and Development program in the central and northern Victorian regional towns of Bendigo, Castlemaine, Echuca and Daylesford.

With funding from the Melbourne Catholic Archbishop’s Charitable Fund, MacKillop’s Heritage and Information Service will establish a National Records Access Service, based around our existing service model that supports the release of the more than 115,000 records we hold on behalf of children who were in care across eight orphanages and homes.

The project will be overseen by Jenny Glare, General Manager who has been nationally and internationally recognised for her work in this area, including in 2017 when she received the HESTA ‘Unsung Hero’ award, acknowledging her exceptional contribution to social justice in Australia and in 2016, when she received the Victorian government’s prestigious ‘Robin Clark Leadership Award’.

Funding from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation was used to support our 2019 Paws4Kids campaign to bring an innovative canine-assisted support program (Paw Pals) to disadvantaged kids to help them re-engage with learning.

Funding from the Tee-Up for Kids Foundation supports a range of educational and OOHC initiatives for vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people living in the Barwon, Barwon South-West and central Victorian regions.

Thanks to funding from the Dimmick Charitable Trust, we established the Bitter Sweet Café at MacKillop’s Specialist School in Geelong. The café provides students with an opportunity to develop essential skills for success in the hospitality industry with students able to complete their VCAL certificates in barista training, safe food handling and food preparation.

The William Angliss (Victoria) Charitable Fund has been supporting MacKillop’s Way Out There (WOT) program since 2016. WOT supports young people as they 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

Funding from the Bell Charitable Foundation supports a new music therapy program for students who have disengaged or are at risk of disengaging from education.

‘Tuning In’ is available to students at our specialist school in Maidstone and is an effective learning tool for those with particular educational needs including a disability and/or autism.

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.

Funding from the Queensland Community Foundation has been used to support our Paws4Kids campaign to bring an innovative canine-assisted program to disadvantaged kids to help them re-engage with learning.