Fremantle Foundation Announce Nine Community Grants

The Fremantle Foundation has today announced the distribution of over $200,000 in grants to nine Western Australian not-for-profits who provide vital support to the WA community.

The Foundation said this was made possible due to the support of generous donors along with the Paul Ramsay Foundation and Fremantle Ports, who have all contributed to the WA Relief & Recovery Fund, launched by the Fremantle Foundation in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The following grant recipients provide food and housing support, social support, and health services for those experiencing homelessness, Indigenous Australians, families on low-incomes, seniors, and those heavily reliant on sectors such as the arts, who have and will continue to face increased struggles because of reduced or lost income.

Barking Gecko Theatre – Schools Access Program
Barking Gecko will provide tickets and transport to their production of Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories to 400 children living in low socio-economic suburbs during November 2020. The show, held at UWA will include a 50-minute incursion drama workshop and teachers are provided with classroom resources.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted nearly every aspect of children’s lives – their health, development, learning, behaviour, and their families’ economic security. For many, this disruption will have a negative effect on their mental health and wellbeing. Research tells us that, for those Western Australian families whose economic security has been impacted through reduced or lost employment, there is a risk that they will not have the financial capacity to attend arts and cultural events and workshops such as Barking Gecko Theatre productions. This experience will enhance the wellbeing of children, engage their creativity, build their social and emotional skills, enhance their educational experience and encourage them to lead a life of curiosity, empathy, and play during a time of huge uncertainty.

DADAA – Digital Diversity
During COVID-19 DADAA as an Essential Service, transitioned its community workshop and mentoring programs online, using zoom. DADAA Midland had the lowest level of digital take-up of any DADAA region during this period. Given the significant social isolation of the Midland client group, DADAA has developed this project as an urgent response to its COVID Recovery planning. Mid-COVID, DADAA reviewed digital access and participation which highlighted the significant inequity of: Digital literacy, Digital participation, and access to digital platforms and the internet. Digital participation by people with disabilities and mental health issues is significantly lower for DADAA’s Midland client group than within DADAA’s Fremantle and Perth metropolitan client groups.

This grant will address the inequity of digital participation and social isolation for the target group. Increase levels of digital participation and digital literacy across the target group and skill sets required to support the target group in accessing online navigation and social media use.

Dress for Success Perth – Career Support Program
Dress for Success (DFS) provides support to vulnerable women who are currently looking for employment including women with disability challenges, Indigenous women, women escaping domestic violence, long term carers, culturally and linguistically diverse women, transgender women, single mothers, women who have been through the justice system, women recently retrenched, women in career transition and long term unemployed. Last year 693 women attended career workshops and 59 women attended resume one to one sessions.

The number of WA women that have recently found themselves unemployed or underemployed due to business hibernation, slowdown or closure is significant. Many of these women were employed in low-paid frontline roles in the retail, hospitality, childcare and education sectors and they and their families have been hard hit by the pandemic. We also know that the number of women experiencing domestic violence has increased in the last few months. As a result of the current crisis, DFS believe there is a greater urgency to expand their Career Support Program.

This grant will allow DFS to provide delivery of, one to one resume support, one to one mock interview training together with a series of workshops. These workshops are facilitated by highly skilled HR professionals and cover topics such as building resilience, bouncing back, financial management, mindfulness, LinkedIn, first impressions, resume revival, makeup techniques and self-care. Email support service for resume assistance with a 2-business day turnaround & career coaching and mentoring via phone or Zoom.

Their aim is to grow and develop their program with a dedicated staff member 6hrs per week, online portal, promotion and part-time facilitators enabling DFS to support more women across the entire state of Western Australia in their efforts to secure employment.

FremantleMind Inc. – Fremantle Alliance Against Depression
FremantleMind Inc (FM) supports high-risk groups, patients, and their families through activities that are supported by qualified mental health professionals such as mindfulness, yoga, drumbeat, art therapy, life-skills, group fitness, and wellbeing talks. Education workshops for community members and leaders and mental health training of health professionals inc GPS’s. Mental health psychoeducation and suicide prevention training workshops available for the entire Fremantle community.

The Alliance Against Depression is recognised as the world’s best practice for the care of people with depression and in the prevention of suicidal acts. This framework is a community-led and GP-centred initiative with four pillars of focus or interventions. Pillar 1 – Primary care and mental health care; Pillar 2 – The general public; Pillar 3 – Community facilitators and stakeholders; and Pillar 4 – Patients, high-risk groups, and relatives.

In 2016-17 Fremantle was identified as a priority location of highest health need in the Perth South Primary Health Network and admissions for mental health-related conditions were highest in Fremantle. Presently available mental health services are insufficiently integrated for the needs of the local community.

This grant will allow FM to improve mental health issues, improve integration of the local mental health system, prevent further mental distress and aid community connection and support by funding a Coordinator for Fremantle Alliance Against Depression for 2 days per week for approx. 2 years, this role will be the lynchpin that enables the FAAD to integrate the four pillars.

Nyamba Buru Yawuru – Mabu Mayi Cafe Social Enterprise Broome
The Yawuru lands include subtropical coastal and inland savannah country including the town of Broome, Roebuck Plains Station, the Nagalugun Roebuck Bay Marine Park, and other areas jointly managed with DBCA and the Shire of Broome.

Nyamba Buru Yawuru (NBY) is Yawuru’s development and investment company and is charged with the responsibility to generate long term income for the Yawuru community. A social enterprise café, the only Indigenous-owned and run café in Broome, was set up in November 2019. Unfortunately, with COVID-19 a lot of the events and meetings that were anticipated to be held in the regional centre of Broome, have not gone ahead, which limits the income stream for the social enterprise. The café is run out of their Liyan-ngan Nyirrwa Cultural Wellbeing Centre, which acts as a social enterprise, including a great training program for Transition to Work participants. Normally, the café’s proceeds pay the Chef’s salary.

This grant will provide partial funding towards NBY’s chef’s salary to continue social enterprise Mabu Maya Café through COVID-19.

Southern Aboriginal Corporation – Community Care Package for Great Southern
Formed in 1983 as a regional body Southern Aboriginal Corporation (SAC) represents 3,900 Noongar people. SAC’s mission is to provide effective representation and resource delivery for Noongar people in the Great Southern and South-West regions on issues of health, housing, recreation, employment, education, and training whilst promoting social and cultural values. Despite government stimulus packages announced during COVID-19, many Noongar families are still struggling. Funds are needed to cover fuel and staff time at SAC to ensure supplies obtained from the relief not-for-profits can be distributed to those in need across the region.

This grant will provide support to ~500 vulnerable individuals and families in a number of small communities that are disconnected from philanthropy and at a distance from big centres, as well as in Albany. SAC will act as ‘glue’ between groups. Funds provided will ensure food and other goods obtained from other not for profits can be delivered to Noongar people across the broader Great Southern (including Albany, Ongerup, Mount Barker, Katanning, Gnowangerup, Tambellup-Broomehill, Kojonup, Denmark, Jerramungup, Manjimup, and Cranbrook).

St Patricks Community Support Centre – Making Connections, Digital Divide
There is a high level of mobile phone use among people experiencing homelessness in Australia, there is also a number of access barriers that are a result of being homeless or not having stable accommodation, such as power for charging, affordable data plans, and high incidences of lost or stolen devices. In addition, there is a large proportion of disadvantaged people, older people, larger families that do not have devices or internet-connected at home. This increases the risk of exacerbating disadvantage and creating service barriers if people do not have regular full digital access.

This grant will allow St Patrick’s Community Support Centre (St Pats) to install free public wifi throughout public areas in the Day Centre, one soundproof digital cubicle in the Day Centre, one soundproof digital cubicle in the common of their 30 room lodging house, and public and free phone charging station at the St Pat’s Day Centre, while also reducing the reliance on caseworkers and reception staff and promote greater self-dependence as people will be able to privately access services.

Digital access is a key part of combatting homelessness which will lead to better health, welfare, and employment outcomes which ultimately will benefit the broader community.

St Patricks Community Support Centre – Doorstep Dinners
Doorstep Dinners has addressed two primary issue of the current COVID-19 pandemic successfully; Food Relief for people who have no means to procure food for themselves or are unable to procure food due to physical isolation, poverty, homelessness, and social isolation and alleviating catastrophic impacts on local business which would have resulted in many more business closures and job losses. The challenge remains to secure the funding required to expand the Doorstep Dinners project to other regions.

St Pats have identified that there is a significant opportunity in their engagement with these individuals to provide value well beyond that of the immediate need for food relief. Whilst some individuals are already engaged with community services in some form, not all are necessarily connected with the full range of supports that may benefit them. Of further concern is the risk of their position deteriorating when short-term supports connected with COVID-19, including Doorstep Dinners, end as the current emergency subsides. The opportunity, therefore, is to “leverage” the relationship built with the dinner recipients and put in place professional support for them. Through this, recipients can be connected to the services and programs available that will help overcome their challenges and build longer-term resilience and independence, so they are in a better position to not only cope, but thrive when the emergency comes to an end.

This grant will contribute towards the expansion and delivery of 200 meals per day to 4 regions, the introduction of triage and support staff, and extension of the program for 6 months (3 months meals/6 months support).

Woolkabunning Kiaka Aboriginal Corporation – COVID-19 Food Relief
Roelands Village is a small community of former residents, or children of residents, of the Roelands Mission located in the Bunbury Region and vulnerable people in the Collie/Bunbury area.

This grant will allow Woolkabunning Kiaka Aboriginal Corporation to continue the efforts of Roelands Village staff in providing emergency food relief (food purchase, staff time, and fuel) for the 15 residents of Roelands and hundreds of vulnerable Aboriginal families in the Bunbury/Collie area. This program is in conjunction with Foodbank WA with an emphasis on vulnerable and Stolen Generation peoples.

You can read more about Fremantle Foundation’s WA Relief & Recovery Fund on it’s website. .