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7 min read

Update from our Impact Fund partners: July 2021

Profile of ACF
Written by ACFPosted on 7/7/2021

In this month’s Impact Fund Partner Update, we hear from civil society partners making important progress across a broad spectrum of issues: climate change, public interest journalism, digital rights and balanced economic media.

Our Islands, Our Home campaign

Safeguarding the Environment Partner

In 2019, eight Torres Strait Islanders (the #TorresStrait8) made a complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee against the Australian Government for failing to protect their home from climate change.

As claimants in the first-ever complaint to the UN due to inaction on climate change, the #TorresStrait8 are calling for Australia to rapidly reduce emissions and immediately resource adaptation needs.

In 2020, the Impact Fund supported the campaign surrounding the case, Our Islands, Our Home, which is led by a team of Torres Strait Islander staff and volunteers, supported by ClientEarth, the land and sea council Gur A Baradharaw Kod, Seed Youth Indigenous Climate Network, and Impact Fund Partner Australia.

The campaign is still seeking funding to increase the team of paid Torres Strait Islander campaigners and organisers supporting their communities and networks to take action.

Australian Marine Conservation Society

Safeguarding the Environment Partner

UNESCO’s recent labelling of the Greater Barrier Reef as ‘in danger’ in its draft State of Conservation report has drawn renewed attention to the fight to save the Reef.

“The UNESCO’s draft report is a clear and powerful analysis of the state of the Reef and what must be done to preserve it,” AMCS said in a media release in June 2021.

Climate Council

Safeguarding the Environment Partner

Supported by the Impact Fund in 2017 to promote public support for action on climate change, the Climate Council is now supporting the Emergency Leaders for Climate Action’s Community Protection Pledge campaign for action on extreme weather.

The Community Protection Pledge is an online tool, enabling Australians to quickly and easily email their MPs, asking them to sign 10 commitments and protect communities from extreme weather now and into the future.

Public Interest Journalism Initiative

Strengthening Democracy Partner

Since receiving seed funding from the Impact Fund in 2018, the Public Interest Journalism Initiative (PIJI) has been busy in its efforts to inform policy development and public discussion on independent public interest journalism in Australia.

In June 2021, PIJI announced it will be expanding its Australian Newsroom Mapping Project to include ‘The Full Picture’ – a national visualisation of all news media outlets across all states and territories.

“The database will be visualised geographically, giving the industry its first-ever national, birds-eye view of what areas benefit from dedicated local news production,” says PIJI in an update to supporters.

“PIJI is so often asked whether we have this information, that we decided it was time we did,” explains PIJI CEO Anna Draffin.

“The information simply doesn’t exist anywhere in Australia, including with the regulator. This is a hugely important piece of the puzzle in developing effective and comprehensive public policy that will support public interest journalism moving forward.” 

Reset Australia

Strengthening Democracy Partner

In support of the fight against the rise of misinformation online in response to Covid-19, the Impact Fund partnered with Reset Australia in 2020 on its Misinformation Medic campaign.

The campaign, designed to draw public awareness to the damage caused by misinformation during times of crisis, attracted over 10,000 signatures on its petition for social media to take responsibility and help stop the spread of misinformation.

Beyond its current work on misinformation, Reset Australia is also campaigning for a Children’s Data Code. With the Federal Government currently reviewing privacy laws in a significant way for the first time in decades, the time to act is now. Reset Australia is leading this work in close collaboration with children’s rights organisations across the country.

Economic Media Centre

Strengthening Democracy Partner

Launched with the support of the Impact Fund in 2020, the Economic Media Centre has shared an update on its progress so far in an impressive showcase for donors.

On its mission to increase the diversity of voices contributing to public discussion on issues of economic justice, the Economic Media Centre has so far:

  • trained 150 spokespeople from all around Australia
  • secured 350 unique media stories, and 2,000 syndications
  • supported 60 organisations with their media strategies, helping to secure millions of dollars’ worth of policy change.

This work has involved close partnerships with a number of organisations to deliver tailored trainings to cohorts of women, Aboriginal families who have lost loved ones to deaths in custody, refugees, young people and people living on income support. Partnerships so far include Road to Refuge, Youth Live for Life, Working Women’s Centres SA/NT, Refugee Voices, ACOSS, VACCHO and Health Justice Australia.

If you missed the showcase and would like to watch it back, please contact us to access the recording.

Disclosure: Eric Beecher, Chair of Australian Communities Foundation, is also on the Board of Public Interest Journalism Initiative.