1 February, 2022


The auDA Foundation Board is pleased to announce the awarding of $600,000 to the successful recipients of the auDA Foundation 2021 Grants Program. 

Grants of $40,000 have been awarded to 15 organisations for education and research initiatives that enhance the utility of the Internet for Australians across three key areas:

  • Digital inclusion (with an emphasis on First Nations peoples)
  • Cyber security for small business
  • Internet access for young Australians. 

Foundation Chair, James Atkins, commended all applicants for their commitment to improving the lives of Australians through the Internet and congratulated the successful grant recipients. 

He said, “The Foundation Board were overwhelmed by the quality of the 2021 grant applications from Australian not-for-profits and research institutions. Overall, there were 15 stand-out applications. We are thrilled to award grants to these projects, recognising that each will make a valuable impact in the lives of Australians and how they access and benefit from the Internet.”

auDA CEO Rosemary Sinclair AM said, “Supporting the auDA Foundation Grant Program underscores auDA’s commitment to invest in innovation in the Internet ecosystem and to unlock positive social and economic value for Australians through the Internet. I congratulate each of the grant recipients and welcome the positive contribution these projects will deliver to the Australian community.” 

The successful 2021 auDA Foundation grant recipients are:

  • Aboriginal Literacy Foundation 
  • Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship (ACRE) 
  • Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) 
  • Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA)
  • Central Queensland University
  • Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA)
  • Crohn's & Colitis Australia (CCA) 
  • Dementia Australia 
  • First Nations Foundation 
  • Good Things Foundation Australia 
  • Happy Paws Happy Hearts Foundation 
  • Cahoots
  • Queensland University of Technology 
  • Ngarrimili 
  • RMIT University.  

The auDA Foundation Grants Program will return in the second half of 2022. 



Recipients and a brief outline of their projects are set out below. 

Recipient  Project name Project outline

Digital Inclusion (with a focus on First Nations peoples)

Aboriginal Literacy Foundation

Victorian Indigenous Post COVID-19 Distance Education Program Provide support for Indigenous students adversely affected by lockdowns and school closures by providing individual online learning programs and an online tutor.
Cahoots  Cahoots Online Inclusion Program (COIP) Deliver inclusive programs, focused on improving the online safety and connections for young people living with disability, and First Nations’ young people.
Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) CEWA Digital Inclusion Initiative  Investigate online learning connectivity challenges faced by students and offer solutions. 
Dementia Australia  First Nations dementia education program using Virtual Reality EDIE for Carers (Experiential Dementia Immersive Experience)  Use innovative virtual reality technology to deliver an immersive, interactive experience for carers to improve understanding of what it might be like to live with dementia, supporting better outcomes for those with dementia and their carers.
First Nations Foundation  Digital safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples  Increase digital safety and inclusion for First Nations peoples through online education, with training and resources delivered online, primarily via mobile.
Ngarrimili First Nations Economy Digital Inclusion  Deliver digital literacy workshops to First Nations business owners, entrepreneurs and creatives to support the First Nations Economy.
Queensland University of Technology Connecting in Cape York: Understanding and addressing digital inclusion in low-income Indigenous families living on Mornington Island  Conduct a point-in-time study of how low-income Indigenous families connect to and use the internet, including learning at home, transition to work and connection to critical services, to inform upcoming Internet service upgrades. 
RMIT University  Digital Inclusion in First Nations Communities and towns in Regional and Remote Western Australia   Collect and analyse mobile telecommunications performance data in select First Nations communities and produce a report to explore efforts to improve digital inclusion. 

Young Australians

Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship (ACRE) Social Enterprise Schools Online Marketplace Develop digital literacy and practical online skills for young people through development of online social enterprises.
Crohn's & Colitis Australia (CCA)  Virtual Youth Empowerment Program (YEP!) Expand online peer support programs to minimise stigma and isolation among young people with inflammatory bowel disease. 
Good Things Foundation Australia  Increasing digital literacy and inclusion of young people with intellectual disabilities  Address the lower level of digital skills in young people with intellectual disability and increase their social and digital inclusion through a co-design and piloting approach. 
Happy Paws Happy Hearts Foundation  Happy Paws Happy Hearts Explore Online Create an online version of the employment pathways program, Explore, to support young Australians living with disability and mental health challenges to gain confidence and vocational skills.

Small Business

Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN)  Small businesses, big risks: a guide to keeping your business safe Develop a suite of accessible, multi-channel education materials designed to help small businesses stay secure online. 
Central Queensland University  Automated and adaptive cybersecurity assessment device to enable small businesses towards a privacy enabled digital transformation in Internet of Things Develop a security assessment solution that will allow non-technical small business owners to address user-centric security errors on Internet connected devices.
Council Of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) Cracking the Hard Nut" How to make cybersecurity appealing for small business people   Investigate what helps and what hinders small business cybersecurity uptake, and determine how best to get small businesses to adopt cybersecurity, including testing proposed solutions. 


Overview of projects

Category Number of projects
Focus area
Digital Inclusions (with a focus on First Nations)  8
Young Australians  4
Small Business 3
National 8
Western Australia 3
Victoria 2
New South Wales 1
Queensland 1
Project Type
Community education 11
Research 4


Further information about the auDA Foundation and funding program is available at: www.audafoundation.org.au/funding-information/ 

Previous funding recipients can be found at: www.audafoundation.org.au/grant-recipients/