In this month’s Impact Fund update, a new alliance involving six Impact Fund partners launches the #OurDemocracy campaign for a healthier democracy, the Uluru Statement from the Heart wins the Sydney Peace Prize, and the Climate Council launches a campaign against a new gas power station in the New South Wales Hunter Valley.
Update from our Impact Fund partners: June 2021
The Impact Fund is also calling for co-funding for two new campaigns: #RaiseTheAge, which seeks to increase the minimum age of criminal responsibility in Australia, and Driving Change, which seeks to drive uptake of electric vehicles across the country.
Strengthening Democracy Partner
Launched in late May, the #OurDemocracy campaign is a nationwide movement of people and organisations who want a healthy democracy that works for all Australians, not just the powerful few. The Impact Fund recently supported the campaign with a $45,000 agile grant, and another ACF fund, Mannifera, subsequently supported the campaign with a further $100,000.
Led by the Australian Democracy Network and an alliance of twenty human rights, environment and health organisations, the campaign is calling for law reform to hold politicians to a higher stand of integrity and reduce the distorting influence of big industries on Australian politics.
There are six Impact Fund partners involved in the campaign: 350 Australia; Alliance for Gambling Reform; Australian Progress; Climate and Health Alliance; Climate Council; and Human Rights Law Centre.
The campaign is now seeking signatures to endorse its Framework for a Fair Democracy, which sets out three steps to a democracy that works for all: (1) stamp out corruption; (2) end cash for access by making lobbying transparent; and (3) level the playing field in election debates.
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 calling for support in a new campaign against the Federal Government’s recently announced plans to build a new gas power station.
In late May, the Government announced it will spend up to $600 million of public funds on a new gas-fired power station in the New South Wales Hunter Valley, which will be built by the government-owned company Snowy Hydro Limited.
“Contrary to the Government’s claims, gas is both expensive and unnecessary,” the Climate Council said in a media release in response to the announcement.
“We have a reliable alternative and – unlike gas – it’s not an internationally-condemned fossil fuel: renewable energy combined with battery storage.”
The Climate Council is now calling for donations to support its campaign against the power station.
Donations will help the Council make a direct submission to the Environmental Impact Statement process, counter positive narratives around gas in the media, and continue to work with decision-makers, journalists and the public to understand the dangers of gas.
Voice, Treaty, Truth: Progressing the Uluru Statement from the Heart
Supporting Indigenous Self-Determination Partner
First presented to the Australian people in 2017, the Uluru Statement continues to attract support for a constitutionally recognised Indigenous voice to parliament and a Makarrata process to investigate truth-telling and treaty-making.
Coinciding with National Sorry Day 2021, the Uluru Statement received the Sydney Peace Prize on 26 May “for bringing together Australia’s First Nations Peoples around a clear and comprehensive agenda; for healing and peace within our Nation and delivering self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, that enables Australia to move into the future united and confident.”
First Nations leaders and drivers of the Uluru Statement, Professor Megan Davis, Pat Anderson AO, and Noel Pearson will accept the Prize together at an official event in November later this year.
The UNSW Indigenous Law Centre would welcome any support to continue its important work.
Change The Record: #RaiseTheAge
In May 2021, the Impact Fund and three other ACF funds committed $40,000 to support Change the Record’s #RaiseTheAge campaign to increase the minimum age of criminal responsibility in Australia. At the same time, an anonymous donor committed to matching donations up to $60,000 until the end of financial year. As at 3 June, $20,000 in donations are still needed to ensure the full $60,000 is matched.
Change the Record (CTR) is Australia’s only national Aboriginal-led justice coalition of legal, health and family violence prevention experts, supported by four Impact Fund partners: Australian Council of Social Service, Human Rights Law Centre and SNAICC – National Voice for Our Children.
Electric Vehicle Council and Solar Citizens: Driving Change campaign
At our most recent Safeguarding the Environment Learning Circle, the ACF giving community met with experts working to drive the uptake of electric vehicles across Australia. Ellen Roberts (National Director, Solar Citizens) and Behyad Jafari (CEO, Electric Vehicle Council) joined the panel to discuss a joint 12-month campaign to encourage state governments through consumer advocacy to implement comprehensive strategies for electric vehicle uptake.
The Electric Vehicle Council and Solar Citizens are now seeking the final $53,000 needed to execute the first stage of the campaign from the ACF giving community. The Impact Fund has committed $10,000 and is now inviting others to come on board.