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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
  • Deliver critical programs to bring about systemic change in residential care
  • 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.

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.

MacKillop’s Paw Pals canine program 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 the Dimmick Charitable Trust for supporting this work to be extended into the Geelong region, and for its ongoing support of our programs to help vulnerable kids in need.

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 Equity’s The Otto and Elizabeth Schumacher Trust and VCF George Perry Fund, along with The Ross Trust and Geelong’s Give Where You Live Foundation, the program is working 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 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.

Thanks to funding from the Geelong Community Foundation, MacKillop’s specialist school in Geelong has expanded its award-wining Bittersweet Café project to increase opportunities for students. This includes supporting their local community with a soup kitchen and undertaking lessons to bolster their culinary skills and knowledge.

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.

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 Equity’s Otto and Elizabeth Schumacher Trust and the VCF George Perry Fund, 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.

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 Safe Relationships Program aims to tackle the root cause of violence and the intergenerational trauma often associated with why it occurs in the first place.

Thanks to funding from the foundation, MacKillop adapted its highly successful grief and loss program, Seasons for Growth, to support up to 800 students living in the NSW regions of Kempsey and Port Macquarie regions who had been impacted by school curriculum changes due to COVID-19. 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.

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.

PETstock Assist has been a major supporter of MacKillop’s innovative Paw Pals program since it started in 2019. The canine-assisted education program supports at-risk children and young people to engage or re-engage in learning. With a therapy dog by their side, students are happy to head back to the classroom. Thanks to the ongoing support of PETstock Assist, Paw Pals is now available for at-risk students in the Geelong region.

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 Queensland Community Foundation has been used to develop and grow MacKillop’s innovative canine learning program, Paw Pals, to help disadvantaged kids re-engage with education.

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 The Ross Trust, Equity’s The Otto and Elizabeth Schumacher Trust and VCF George Perry Fund, and Geelong’s Give Where You Live Foundation, the program is working to help reduce the impact of grief and trauma on children and young people in care.

Thanks to a grant from Schools Plus, students attending MacKillop’s specialist school in Geelong will benefit from a new therapeutic play space to support their learning outcomes and social and emotional development. The grant will be used to install specialist equipment to enable brain gym and theraplay to be integrated into the students’ curriculum. The play area will also offer designated ‘mindfulness spaces’ to help calm students and help to regulate their emotions.

Thanks to The Jenkins Foundation, MacKillop’s specialist accommodation service for young women living in Out of Home Care can continue to provide a safe and secure home for those needing additional care and support.

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.

The Gall Family Foundation and Thomas O’Toole Foundation have also supported a new program offering therapeutic support for foster carers in the Warrnambool region.

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.

The Gall Family Foundation has also supported a new program offering therapeutic support for foster carers in the Warrnambool region.

MacKillop was one of only eight organisations to receive a major grant to scale and expand the reach of its Power to Kids: Respecting Sexual Safety (PTK:RSS) program. The funding was secured through Westpac’s Safer Children, Safer Communities Impact grants, awarded to organisations committed to preventing the sexual exploitation of vulnerable children and young people.

The evidence-based program educates young people living in residential care (and their carers) about the risks associated with harmful sexual behaviour, child exploitation and dating violence. It aims to increase a young person’s understanding about healthy relationships, sexual safety and keeping themselves safe.

The grant allows MacKillop to offer PTK: RSS to residential care providers across Australia.

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