Other Information

The following statement has been extracted from the Foundation's June 2016 Annual Report: 


 Vale   Mr Graham Brooke, AM

It is with sadness I note the recent passing, on 10 August 2016, of Mr Graham Brooke, AM.   Graham was a Director of Colonial Foundation since June 2001 until his recent retirement from the Board in December 2015. Graham will be remembered for his wise counsel and key contributions to the Foundation’s philanthropic activities over a period of substantial growth. Over the period of his directorship, the Foundation awarded grants in excess of $80 million, including the instigation of a number of key multi-year grant partnerships including Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, support for major research projects in Indigenous health and drug and alcohol policy reform through the Universities of Queensland and New South Wales respectively, as well as funding for research projects at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and the Royal Melbourne Hospital.  Graham had also served as a Director of Orygen for more than ten years, serving as Chairman of Orygen’s Audit and Risk Committee for eight of those years.

The year in review…

I am pleased to present Colonial Foundation’s Annual Report for the period ending 30 June 2016.   Over the year, the Foundation donated grants totalling $5,418,000 to fifteen organisations, most of who received grants as part of multi-year funding partnerships.   A summary of these grants follows:

Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health $2,500,000

Orygen is a unique collaborative partnership of a philanthropic organisation (Colonial Foundation), Australia’s leading university (University of Melbourne) and a major health care organisation (Melbourne Health), acting in concert as members/owners of the organisation. 

Mental health problems are the chronic diseases of the young with 75% of mental ill-health occurring before the age of 25.  Suicide is the leading cause of death in Australians aged under 35 and is largely preventable.  Mental ill-health in young people also costs the economy more than $30 billion per year through direct costs and lost productivity.  It is estimated that more than one million young Australians and their families are affected by mental ill-health every year.

Orygen devise and conduct an innovative research program, provide health system and workforce development services, manage stigma-free community-based clinical services and contribute to mental health policy.  Orygen’s success has enabled it to attract major national and international competitive grant support and its staff have produced a high volume of impactful publications and translated their research in a potent way into routine clinical care across Australia and the world.  

Colonial’s support, complemented by sustained growth in resources from a range of other funding sources, has enabled Orygen to grow several fold in size to become Australia’s largest and most internationally recognised youth mental health research organisation.  To date, over the past 15 years, the Foundation has granted funding of $44.5 million in support of Orygen’s operations.  In addition, over this year, the Foundation pledged an additional $5 million towards the cost of the rebuild of Orygen’s Parkville site, construction of which will commence by the end of this calendar year. 

SANE Australia $453,000

SANE Australia is a national charity that aims to help all Australians affected by mental illness to lead a better life through support, training and education.   This grant is the second year of Colonial’s support which is part of total funding of $1.085 million payable over the next four years.  Colonial’s funding is applied to scale up the capabilities and national reach of a key community service – the SANE Forums.  The Forums are a national initiative that enables Australians affected by mental illness to connect online and to support each other through the provision of two online moderated forums: one for those with Lived Experience and the other for Carers.  Colonial’s funding has enabled the Forum service to reach more users and improve the experience of those users through the provision of ‘live’ 24 hours a day, 7 days a week moderation.

Whitelion $439,000

Whitelion aims to change the lives of homeless and at-risk young people by working with them individually, offering long-term, focused and intensive support.  Colonial’s funding partnership is nearing the end of a three year term, the Foundation having committed a total of $1.335 million in FY 2014.   The Foundation’s grant funding supports a range of outreach programs conducted across three states (Victoria, NSW and Adelaide) in partnership with Open Family Australia.

Bionics Institute $323,000

In 2012, Colonial provided a multi-year grant totalling $862,000 to fund the Institute’s Neurobionics research program. Over those three years Colonial’s funding was instrumental in enabling a more rapid progression of the development of an advanced deep brain stimulation (DBS) device to safely and effectively treat people who have severe and intractable neurological or psychiatric conditions.  DBS delivers targeted electrical impulses to the brain through surgically implanted electrodes and has been an approved treatment to control debilitating tremor in people with advanced Parkinson’s disease for over a decade.

This year, the Foundation extended its support of this research with additional funding of $984,000, payable over the next three years.   Funding from Colonial will allow the Institute to complete the development of its DBS device, including clinical trials to develop and refine adaptive brain stimulation techniques, as well as studies to improve the design of deep brain electrodes.   It is anticipated that finalisation of the research will lead to the commencement of a small-scale clinical trial of the Institute’s complete DBS system in 2018.

Jawun – formerly known as Indigenous Corporate Partnerships $250,000

The Foundation was a founding funding partner of Jawun more than 14 years ago.  This grant brings the Foundation’s cumulative support to more than $3.6 million over this time.   Jawun facilitates philanthropic and corporate alliances to develop Aboriginal leaderships, education and training, and economic and business development.  Jawun aims to build sustainable capacity in the Indigenous communities it works with.  Operations have been established throughout Australia including Cape York in Queensland, Goulburn-Murray region of Victoria, Redfern-Waterloo in NSW, North East Arnhem Land, the Central Coast (NSW) as well as the East and West Kimberley regions of Western Australia.

Bangarra Dance Theatre $250,000

Bangarra is Australia’s national premier Indigenous performing arts company, utilising dance, music and language to retell and rekindle Australia’s rich Indigenous history.   This is the Foundation’s second year of a three year funding partnership worth $500,000 to support the expansion of Bangarra’s Rekindling Program.   The Program aims to inspire pride, kinship, positive life choices and a sense of custodianship in young Indigenous Australians.  This is achieved through a series of short residencies (called “gatherings”) in schools and community centres that focus on high-school-aged students.  The gatherings allow Bangarra to connect young people and community elders so that stories and culture are shared across generations.

 Beacon Foundation $236,000

This grant represents the fifth of a six year funding partnership with Beacon, Colonial having pledged funding totalling $1.35 million over the six year period.    The grants are applied to support the development of the highly successful Beacon program in twelve selective secondary schools, located predominantly in low socio-economic status areas in Victoria, Queensland, NSW and Tasmania.  Beacon provides an intensive, in-school, mentor supported program aimed at young people aged 15 to 16 years.  The program is designed to assist participants successfully transition post school into further education, training or employment.  Beacon partner with an extensive group of corporate and philanthropic organisations to leverage their impact and increase opportunities for disadvantaged young people to lead successful and rewarding lives.

Australian Youth Orchestra (AYO) $204,000

The grant forms part of a 10 year funding partnership totalling $2.7 million that began in FY 2007.  Colonial’s funding predominantly supports two of AYO’s main training programs: the Young Symphonists and the Chamber Players Groups.  Colonial’s funding has also enabled the Orchestra to perform concerts throughout the year in community settings with a number of free public performances staged in regional/rural Australia.

Burnet Institute $180,000

Funding totalling $357,000, payable over two financial years,  was granted to support a cohort study of users of Methamphetamines (“ICE”) in metropolitan and regional Victoria.  The research, led by Professor Paul Dietze, is expected to provide vital data on regional methamphetamine use that is currently not available.  It is hoped that the Foundation’s grant will facilitate the compilation of significant information that will enable the research to impact and change policy and practice and leverage additional funding support from government and other funding bodies.

Australian Ballet $150,000

Colonial Foundation seed funded the “Out There in Schools” program when it was piloted in 2006.  Since that time, the program has grown to become one of Australia’s leading dance education incursion (school-based) programs.  The program, led by a troupe of highly skilled Australian Ballet dance teachers, involves learning around movement.  Non-competitive dance learning highlights the value of listening, seeing, physical coordination and expressive skills.  Sensory development aids all aspects of learning for children in their formative years.  The program is delivered to primary school aged children attending schools deemed to be disadvantaged, whether it be socio economic disadvantage or because of the remoteness of location.   In FY2014, Colonial renewed its support of the program and committed further funding totalling $450,000, payable over the next four financial years, to support the program’s expansion across all States and Territories of Australia. 

Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS) $150,000

MITS offers an innovative education model to enable young Indigenous students from remote and regional communities in Australia, access to Australia’s best schools.  The MITS model is the first of its kind and provides Year 7 students with a twelve months intensive education in an environment that celebrates culture and learning, paving their way for a more successful transition into scholarship positions at high-performing Melbourne schools.  MITS’s unique model recognises the innate capabilities of many young Indigenous students, the strong desire of students and their families to receive an education outside of their home community and the willingness of Melbourne schools to offer scholarship opportunities to Indigenous students.   Colonial has entered into a four year grant partnership worth a total of $900,000 to fund approximately 75% of the School’s recurrent annual expenditure.  The funding will enable the School and its students to build capacity, particularly in the formative years of the School’s establishment. 

Summer Foundation $120,000

Summer Foundation’s mission is to aid in the resolution of young people living in nursing homes. In Australia, approximately 200 people under 50 are admitted to aged care nursing homes every year. 

Last year, Colonial provided a small grant of $25,000 to fund the production and dissemination of a report on the design and technology to be incorporated into a new Housing Demonstration Project in the Hunter Valley (NSW) lead managed by the Summer Foundation.   An additional grant was awarded by Colonial this year for two aspects of the Hunter Housing project.  Those being, the production of a video that provides a virtual tour of an apartment, showcasing the use of technology and special design features for use by housing providers, disability providers, government and other parties who may be interested in replicating the technology and design aspects into other housing models.  In addition, a portion of Colonial’s funding met the costs of the fit out of two display apartments.   The Summer Foundation will conduct workshops and tours for stakeholders that showcase the design and technology incorporated into the apartments with the aim of demonstrating to builders and developers, appropriate design concepts that will enable young people to live independently in mainstream housing developments. 

DOXA $78,000

Colonial commenced a new four year grant partnership with DOXA with pledged funding totalling $370,000.   The grants will be directed to support young people aged 13 to 14 years and studying Years 7 and 8 at disadvantaged state and independent schools, transition to secondary school.  Through the program, Doxa aims to provide guidance and knowledge as well as appropriate ‘tools’ to support around 50 young people each year to develop essential personal and life skills, foster an interest in education and facilitate access to community provided positive role models.

Somebody’s Daughter Theatre Company (SDTC) $75,000

SDTC is a Victorian based organisation established more than 30 years ago.   Their mission is to work with those who are the most marginalised in our community, to deliver positive and sustainable social change.  Colonial’s grant represents the third year of funding support for SDTC as part of a five year grant partnership totalling $300,000.   Colonial’s funding supports SDTC’s “Vulnerable Child” Program.  Colonial’s grant has enabled SDTC to establish and develop an alternative arts-related programs to engage with disadvantaged and disconnected youth in the Geelong and wider community, to break cycles of abuse, addiction and disengagement.

Shrine of Remembrance $10,000

In celebration and to mark the contribution to the Foundation’s achievements over the tenure of his directorship, the Foundation has commemorated a plaque in the main auditorium of the Shrine’s new auditorium recording Mr Graham Brooke, AM and his service to the Colonial Foundation.


Peter Smedley

Statutory Financial Accounts

The Colonial Foundation Limited and Colonial Foundation Trust's financial year ends on 30 June. Statutory accounts are prepared for both the Company and the Trust which are audited by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. Please contact the Foundation's Company Secretary/Executive Officer should you require a copy of the Foundation's Annual Report.

Alternatively, the Foundation's most recent audited accounts (June 2016) can be accessed from the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission's (ACNC) website via this link:  http://www.acnc.gov.au/

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