Panel Guides Fresh Approach for Foundation

State Trustees Australia Foundation (STAF) is introducing a new collaborative panel and grants program to help individuals, service providers and peak organisations as they adjust to major ageing, disability and mental health reforms over the next five years.

The changes follow a $10 million bequest to STAF, more than doubling discretionary funding available for distribution each year to approximately $575,000 this year.

Celebrating 20 years in 2014, STAF will fund the Ageing, Disability and Mental Health Collaborative Panel to facilitate cross-sector cooperation and to help strategically guide STAF’s larger grants with an extra $2 million available over the next five years to help programs gain momentum in supporting vulnerable Victorians.

State Trustees Australia Foundation Collaborative Panel Chair and State Trustees General Manager Client Services Melanie Lewis said the detailed review showed a clear opportunity to support the significant transition underway across the community services and philanthropy sectors.
“State Trustees Australia Foundation is funded through bequests specifically to assist people who may be marginalised through age, physical or intellectual disability or mental illness to participate fully in economic, social and family life,” Ms Lewis said.

“The changes will see STAF retain its grassroots grants program and introduce a new strategic grants program with more than $2 million available over the next five years for multi-year programs that support positive ageing, disability and mental health outcomes through the broader sector reform period.”

“The panel will identify priority funding areas for the strategic grants and will actively encourage organisations to share their experiences and collaborate on common challenges and opportunities.”

Ms Lewis, who is also Chair of the Ageing, Disability and Mental Health Collaborative Panel said she looked forward to working with the panel which includes leading representatives from a wide variety of organisations, service providers and peak bodies across Victoria.

Panel representatives include Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO), Carers Victoria, COTA Victoria, Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria, National Disability Services, State Trustees Australia Foundation, Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) and VICSERV.

Effective Philanthropy conducted the review in consultation with STAF, State Trustees, key peak bodies and service organisations across the areas of ageing, disability and carers support, as well as philanthropic funders and other subject matter experts.

More information about STAF, the panel and the review is available here.