The auDA Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2023 community grant round. The 15 beneficiaries were named during a special event at the Koorie Heritage Trust in Melbourne earlier this week. Each recipient will receive $40,000 to support a project that improves access to the benefits of the internet through education, research or community engagement across Australia’s diverse population.
This year the grants are focused on projects that support:
- Rural, regional, and remote Australians
- Australians living with disability
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- Older Australians (65 years +)
- Young Australians (12-24 years).
Get to know the 2023 auDA Foundation grant recipients, the projects they’re driving and the impact they’ll make below.
Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN)
ACCAN is Australia’s peak communications consumer organisation representing individuals, small businesses and not-for-profit groups as consumers of communications products and services. Grant funding will be used to conduct research and build an online Digital Skills Finder. Australians will be able to use the tool to find information on current digital inclusion programs and initiatives, with a focus on enhancing the digital skills of people living with disability.
“We look forward to creating a first-of-its-kind resource for people with disability, ensuring they can make use of resources that would otherwise go unnoticed or underutilised."
Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
ACER has partnered with CSIRO to create a free webinar series for primary and secondary teachers to share research and knowledge on improving young women’s engagement with digital technologies. auDA Foundation grant funding will help support the webinar series - led by researchers from ACER, members of CSIRO Education Outreach and CSIRO’s Young Indigenous Women’s STEM Academy – to address key barriers to engagement.
“We’re excited to put our research into practice, engage with teachers and provide practical support for teachers with a hands-on, evidence-based approach that can be directly applied in classrooms.”
Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)
Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) operates nine autism-specific Aspect Schools and delivers support services for children and adults on the autism spectrum, including the Aspect Research Centre for Autism Practice (ARCAP). The auDA Foundation grant will support ARCAP to develop a free educational digital resource platform for Autistic women and maternal healthcare practitioners, addressing the needs of Autistic women during pregnancy and early motherhood.
“We’re looking forward to providing research-based resources for Autistic women and the maternal healthcare sector to bridge a significant resource gap for Autistic women during this critical period.”
Enterprise Learning Projects (ELP)
ELP empowers remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entrepreneurs to transform their communities through enterprise. The grant will help fund a collaboration with ELP’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander alumni and entrepreneurs to co-design and deliver business literacy workshops. The workshops will develop knowledge and skills in digital technologies, business management, networking and confidence growth.
“Through this project, we’re excited to see entrepreneurs empowered - to grow the confidence of local leaders, to generate new local employment opportunities, to see growth in community wellbeing, and to see Aboriginal and Torres Strait businesses thriving.”
First Nations Foundation
First Nations Foundation is an Indigenous led not-for-profit that provides financial literacy education across Australia. The grant will support the Indigenous Women's Financial Wellness project to provide opportunities for Indigenous women to engage with culturally safe financial education and deliver a digital women’s financial network to support better financial outcomes.
“We’re excited to amplify the voices of positive First Nations role models around money. We’re also excited to further empower women to take control of their money and feel confident about their financial future.”
Ishar Multicultural Women's Health Services
Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Services provides inclusive, holistic and culturally sensitive services for women and their families to better promote healthy communities. The auDA Foundation grant will support digital literacy workshops and education sessions for young women aged 14-25 from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
“Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Services is excited to expand its interactive workshops, where each participant supports and demonstrates their learning with each other. This program will also help us develop resources that will be used for future work.”
Monash University and MJD Foundation
Monash University has partnered with the MJD Foundation to improve outcomes for people living with Machado-Joseph Disease (MJD). MJD is a rare neurological condition that affects balance and coordination, and is 100 times more likely to affect First Nations people compared to the international average. Using the grant, the collaboration will develop an educational website and accessible online assessments to improve visibility, support and care for First Nations people living with MJD.
“We look forward to working directly with individuals with Machado-Joseph Disease, their healthcare professionals and advocates to shape the website content so that it is meaningful and engaging to this community."
Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yanunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council
NPY Women's Council is led by women’s law, authority and culture to deliver health, social and cultural services for all Anangu in the cross-border regions of Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory. With its grant funding, NPY Women's Council will develop an app that provides parents and carers in 26 communities spanning 350,000 square kilometers with access to nutrition and feeding information and resources, including Anangu specific infant feeding guidelines.
“We’re most excited about the opportunity to reinvigorate our existing resources and reach a whole new audience with the development of a nutrition app specific to our region.”
Red Nose is Australia’s leading authority on safe sleep and safer pregnancy advice, and provides bereavement support for anyone affected by pregnancy loss, stillbirth, baby or child death. Grant funding will support the development of the Safe Sleep for Bubs program: a culturally appropriate safe sleeping and safer pregnancy e-learning package designed by First Nations people, for First Nations communities.
“This funding will play a pivotal role in enabling us to ensure these educational resources are available to First Nations families, as well as to the dedicated healthcare professionals working closely with them.”
Skyline Education Foundation
Skyline Education Foundation provides support and resources to Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) students navigating economic and social adversity so they can succeed and flourish in their community. The auDA Foundation grant will allow the expansion of the Skyline Hatch educational support program. Skyline will add online courses to support three popular VCE subjects and increase the number of online tutors to further support regional and remote communities.
“We’re excited to see Skyline Hatch's reach extend beyond its current capabilities and support more teachers and students in regional and remote areas to successfully navigate VCE.“
Story Factory is a not-for-profit creative writing centre dedicated to empowering young people from under-resourced communities with the literacy, creativity and confidence they need to share their stories with the world. Using the grant, Story Factory will develop online educational videos and worksheets to help boost the literacy, creativity and confidence of up to 2,000 regionally-based primary school students.
“We’re most excited about the opportunity to engage with students from remote schools that we wouldn’t normally be able to work with, and to read the wonderful stories they will no doubt create using our new educational resources.”
Success Works Partners
Success Works Partners supports and empowers women affected by the criminal justice system to become employment ready. The grant will help build the EmpowerMe (EM) Hub, an online job readiness platform that will offer digital training and tools for women to participate in the Success Works program, no matter their location.
“Being able to harness the internet to offer our programs online via the EM Hub will enable us to take our Program to rural, regional and remote Australians, significantly increasing the number of women we can support.”
The University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne’s School of Culture and Communication is launching a new intergenerational Digital Resilience Ambassador Program to improve the digital resilience of older migrants (65 and over). Using auDA Foundation grant funding, the project will link international students with older migrants from Chinese and Sri Lankan communities to co-develop their digital skills, curate learning and training resources, and promote these resources and knowledge to their peers.
“We’re excited to work with the older and younger members of Chinese and Sri Lankan communities and learn from their stories, creativities and lives, and improve access to and understanding of digital media in Australia.”
The University of Queensland - AustLit
Managed by the University of Queensland, AustLit is a teaching, learning and research resource for Australian storytelling. The online database features over one million work records covering Australian literary, print and narrative cultures. Using the grant, AustLit will create three inclusive digital learning environments and a webinar series to develop foundational skills in database use and curation for young people aged 14-24.
“Literacy and inclusive modes of learning are vital to people of all ages, especially young Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. This project aims to develop a skillset in database literacy relevant to the top priority areas of the National Curriculum.”
Youth Opportunities delivers programs and services to vulnerable Australians to help them build key life skills, confidence, self-worth and motivation to overcome adversity and create success. auDA Foundation grant funding will support the online expansion of the PROSPER Graduate Engagement Program, which connects students with recent graduates so they can better achieve their goals. Young people in any part of South Australia will be able to gain access to the coaching, workshops and digital events offered in the PROSPER program online.
“We’re excited to improve young people’s aspirations and motivation for school so they can manage stress, learn and practice skills, and provide positives social contributions to their communities.”
Congratulations to all the recipients of the auDA Foundation 2023 grant round. We look forward to seeing these projects deliver great outcomes that help Australians get the most out of using the internet in their daily lives.