Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Today the Mary MacKillop Foundation will announce the recipients of 12-month grants of up to $10,000 each for ‘small life changing projects’, supporting community-based initiatives across Australia that help people to overcome destitution, isolation, and the effects of misfortune.


Every year the Mary MacKillop Foundation helps more than 40 community projects throughout Australia by providing 12-month grants of up to $10,000 each. This year, the Foundation provided more than $500,000 in grants and almost doubled the number of grants given in response to an increase in the emergence of projects providing crucial assistance to those in need.


Sam Hardjono, CEO of the Mary MacKillop Foundation said, “Heading in to 2014, community goodwill projects are seeing an increase in the needs to be met, but not necessarily an increase in financial support. The Mary MacKillop Foundation is focused on doing something about this each year by offering these projects grants of up to $10,000 each to help them meet the needs.


“As part of our commitment to never see a need without doing something about it, we have dramatically increased the number of grants that we have given to the small life changing projects that are making a big difference on the ground, but often slip through the cracks in terms of receiving funding and support.”


This year, the Foundation almost doubled the amount of grants available to projects that assist people in achieving an increased measure of self-reliance and human dignity.


Total impact of the Mary MacKillop Foundation’s grants to date:

•            536 grants provided to community projects so far

•            This year’s grants alone directly benefitted more than 23,000 people and the number will increase in 2014

•            In the next 10 years, the Mary MacKillop Foundation will be able to touch the lives of over 300,000 people nationally.


The Mary MacKillop Foundation can now announce the latest round of inspiring small life changing projects that are receiving 12-month grants that will enable them to meet even more needs.

Some of the projects chosen that will help communities in New South Wales include:


The Adult Literacy Project

The Adult Literacy Project is a small but life changing project which directly benefits Indigenous young adults, as well as older men and women who have had limited schooling. The project’s aim is to help Indigenous people living in the remote communities of Jigalong and Punmu in the Martu country of Western Australia to improve their reading, writing and mathematics skills. The project emphasises community engagement and Indigenous self-determination.


Life Skills for disAbility

The Life Skills for disAbility project is a collaboration between Sunnyfield, an association which supports people with disabilities, and the Macquarie Community College (MCC), a specialist in special needs courses. The partnership will see the development and delivery of a series of accredited life skills training courses for people with disabilities.


Courses that will be taught include: Travel Training - planning and using public transport; DollarWise - budget management and shopping; Basic Cooking - preparing simple and nutritious meals, and Computer Literacy - using computer and internet technology. 


Refugee Children United by Language, Literacy and Learning

The Refugee Children United by Language, Literacy and Learning

program supports the development of English literacy among refugee children, increasing their ability to have a positive educational experience. It recruits and trains teachers, social workers and speech pathologists who are allocated to assist at primary and secondary schools with high numbers of refugee students. It will have a powerful impact on the future outcomes of the program participants and their communities, reducing poverty and other forms of social disadvantage.



Since 1995, the Mary MacKillop Foundation has funded 536 ‘small life changing projects’, responding to the needs of rural and isolated communities, indigenous groups and people with disabilities.


“The Mary MacKillop Foundation has the responsibility of continuing the legacy of Australia’s first saint, and we do it in a practical way. Our mission is to meet needs in a way that restores self-reliance and human dignity, and we believe that much more can be accomplished by supporting small community-based projects that are already making a great difference,” said Sam Hardjono, CEO of the Mary MacKillop Foundation.


How to donate to projects:

To donate to ‘small life changing projects’, go to www.mackillopfoundation.org.au and click ‘Donate’

The Mary MacKillop Foundation continues the legacy of Australia’s first saint in fostering the Aussie spirit of helping those in need around us.

As part of their mission, the Mary MacKillop Foundation also provides scholarships to Indigenous Australians who are committed to studying at university to start a career that will assist their local community. Already, this program has resulted in 1 of every 25 Australian indigenous doctors being funded by the Foundation, with a total of 60 graduates to date and 45 students currently completing their studies.




NOTE TO MEDIA: The list of small life changing projects that will be receiving grants from the Mary MacKillop Foundation is available upon request and interviews can be arranged.

Contact Profile

The Mary MacKillop Foundation

The Mary MacKillop Foundation continues the legacy of Australia’s first saint, St Mary MacKillop, by supporting small life changing projects that provide relief from suffering, distress, poverty, destitution, misfortune and helplessness.


Since 1995, the Mary MacKillop Foundation has funded 536 small life-changing projects. It has also funded Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Tertiary Scholarships for over a decade with encouraging results. More than 1 in 25 Indigenous Australian doctors have been funded and mentored by the program.


The Mary MacKillop Foundation is an organisation of the Sisters of St Joseph, the congregation that St Mary MacKillop founded in 1866.

Phoebe Netto
P: 0401036610
W: mackillopfoundation.org.au/


Mary MacKillop Foundation, charity, small life changing projects, Indigenous Scholarships, Mary MacKillop, goodwill, charity grants, community support



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