Collaborative panel marks first anniversary with philanthropic forum

Innovative collaborate panel announces four future shaping programs ready for philanthropic investment.

The Ageing, Disability and Mental Health Collaborative Panel celebrated its first anniversary with a forum in Melbourne today (Monday 25 May) announcing four major Future Shaping projects ready for philanthropic investment and releasing the panel’s first industry fact sheet, Understanding the Changing Environment.

Recognising a critical need to protect vulnerable Victorians through a period of major industry and legislative change for consumers and service providers, the State Trustees Australia Foundation helped establish the independent panel last year.

The panel brings together Victorian industry leaders from Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, Council on the Ageing Victoria, Carers Victoria, Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, National Disability Services Victoria, Psychiatric Disability Services of Victoria Inc, State Trustees Australia Foundation and Victorian Council of Social Services.

Throughout the year, the panel has been working together to identify the best strategic opportunities for cross-sector dialogue, collaboration and capacity building that will help individuals, service providers and other community sector organisations adjust to major ageing, disability and mental health sector reforms.

Today, the panel unveiled four landmark projects that are ready for philanthropic investment to help create opportunities for cross-sector collaboration to provide vulnerable consumers with greater choice, control and involvement in accessing services.

The projects will be implemented by National Disability Services Victoria, the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, VicServ and Carers Victoria and will benefit vital research exploration, direct work with consumers and service providers to ensure greater transparency and cross-regional exchange forums.

State Trustees General Manager Client Services and outgoing panel Chair, Melanie Lewis, said creating and supporting the panel was a new approach for State Trustees Australia Foundation which had previously looked at more traditional granting models for individual organisations and initiatives.

“We could see what might be possible by creating the panel and, thanks to the commitment by the many renowned and in-touch experts involved, it has been a great success in its first year,” Ms Lewis said.

“It’s a time of great transition for the health and community sector in Victoria, with major reform completely changing the way consumers seek out and access support services.

“To reach the end of year one with four fully scoped opportunities for collective action that will make a real difference in ushering in tangible and direct results for consumers is a great achievement and a great testament to the hard work of all involved.”

Ms Lewis said there was enormous potential for philanthropic investment in these projects to help people who are marginalised by age, disability or mental illness to participate in social, economic and family life.

“This ethos of social and economic participation is at the heart of what State Trustees Australia Foundation is all about,” she said.

“We will be looking closely at the four projects for possible funding opportunities and I would encourage other philanthropists and grant makers to explore these collaborative opportunities too.”

The Ageing, Disability and Mental Health Panel has released a series of fact sheets to help organisations understand the changing environment. The fact sheets cover: community organisations in a climate of change; purchase of service by government; client choice; client control; local area governance and planning; measuring outcomes; funding constraints; rising demand; and clients with multiple and complex needs. Click below to download the fact sheets.

Community organisations in a climate of change

Future shaping projects