About Colonial Foundation

The Colonial Foundation, a philanthropic organisation endorsed by the ATO and registered with the ACNC, aims to make a positive contribution to society by supporting charitable organisations that are focussed on finding solutions and improving outcomes for disadvantaged and vulnerable people living in Australia. The Foundation is also supportive of large-scale community projects that provide sustainable and positive outcomes and/or enhance the quality of community life within Australia.

The Colonial Foundation was endowed with funds that resulted from the demutualisation of the Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Limited. Together with other Founding Directors, the Trust's inaugural Chairman The Rt Hon Sir Ninian Stephen secured a portion of funds resulting from the demutualisation to form the Trust's corpus. As at 31 March 2015, the Foundation's corpus was valued at approximately $210 million. The income generated from the Foundation's investment corpus funds the Trust's charitable grants.

Funding Partnerships

In fulfilling its mission and purpose, the Trust has supported a wide range of projects across Australia in the following broad areas:

  • Health and well-being, particularly youth mental health
  • At-risk and vulnerable families
  • Vocational and educational training programs, especially those targeting communities with high levels of youth unemployment/educational disengagement
  • Indigenous enterprise and sustainable community capacity building
  • Medical research and innovation
  • Community inclusion, especially in extending arts and cultural programs into regional and rural Australian communities

Since its establishment almost 19 years ago, up to June 2015, the Trust has paid grants totalling approximately $86 million to 65 charitable organisations; many of who have received funding support over multiple years. In addition, a further $19.7 million has already been pledged for grant payment to nine of the Foundation's current partners over the next five financial years.