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7 min read

Update from our Impact Fund partners: May 2021

Profile of ACF
Written by ACFPosted on 4/5/2021

The past month has seen key progress made by four Impact Fund partners working across the Fund’s environment, democracy and Indigenous self-determination impact areas.

This month’s update also includes an update on the progress of Change The Record’s  #RaiseTheAge campaign to raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility in Australia. Change The Record is supported by four Impact Fund partners: Australian Council of Social Service, Human Rights Law Centre and SNAICC – National Voice for Our Children.


Safeguarding the Environment Partner

Since receiving funding from the Impact Fund in 2018, Renew’s ‘Climate Resilient Homes’ campaign has been leading a consumer campaign to lift the energy performance of new and existing homes in Australia.

The campaign is on track for big policy wins, including:

  • 7 stars as the minimum energy standard for new homes in the National Construction Code
  • mandatory solar for new homes from 2022, with possibility of net zero energy requirement
  • further wins on minimum rental standards and retrofit programs, following announcements at state and territory level in 2020.

Covid-19, however, has led to delays in policy processes and resulted in the campaign undertaking unexpected work, such as providing advice on energy issues related to lockdown and advocating against further policy delays.

Core policy decisions on new homes, rental standards, energy ratings tools and possible further retrofit programs are still yet to be made

With ministers set to make key decisions in the next 12 months, including on the 2022 National Construction Code, the campaign is now seeking funding to maintain a community voice in support of sustainable homes during this period.

Australian Gun Safety Alliance

Strengthening Democracy Partner

Recipient of a Large Grant in 2017, the Australian Gun Safety Alliance (AGSA) continues to cement its position as the preeminent group for firearm safety in Australia.

Stephen Bendle, Advocacy and Campaigns Advisor at the Alannah and Madeline Foundation and convenor of AGSA, says the recent 25th anniversary of the tragic mass shooting at Port Arthur was a sombre reminder of the importance of Australia’s gun safety laws.

“The Alliance paid tribute to the victims, survivors, first responders and all those affected by the events of 28 April 1996.”

New research on national gun ownership from the University of Sydney was also released last week to commemorate the anniversary.

Stephen says the research is evidence of the importance of AGSA’s work.

“While the research indicates the percentage of households with firearms, and the percentage of people with a gun license has fallen, the number of firearms in Australia is now higher than in 1996.”

“That fact alone demonstrates the need for the continued advocacy of AGSA to ensure our gun laws are not watered down.”

SNAICC – National Voice for Our Children

Supporting Indigenous Self-Determination Partner

Since receiving funding from the Impact Fund in 2018, SNAICC’s Family Matters campaign has been working to eliminate the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care.

The campaign is now seeking partnership with peak bodies and agencies interested in driving a new collective approach to break the cycle of removal.

With the campaign’s National Week of Action kicking off this Sunday 9 May 2021, SNAICC is now seeking further financial support to ensure the campaign can deliver on its commitment to reduce Indigenous child removal from families and culture by 45% before 2031.

Dhadjowa Foundation

Supporting Indigenous Self-Determination Partner

Since receiving funding through the Impact Fund’s 2020 Reimagining Australia program, the Dhadjowa Foundation has attracted significant media attention and continued support through public donations.

Established by Apryl Watson, the Dhadjowa Foundation seeks to support and amplify the voices of families whose loved ones have died in custody.

Key media coverage:

The Foundation also celebrated its official fundraising launch in early April 2021 at the Abbotsford Convent.

To date, the Impact Fund has helped broker $279,000 in support for Dhadjowa.

Change The Record: #RaiseTheAge

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.

CTR’s current campaign, #RaiseTheAge, seeks to increase the minimum age of criminal responsibility in Australia.

In a given year across Australia, close to 600 children aged 10 to 13 years are locked up and thousands more are hauled through the criminal legal system.

Australia’s low age of minimum criminal responsibility is well out of step with international standards. Every state and territory in Australia currently imprisons children as young as 10 years old. The global median age of criminal responsibility is 14 years old.

Over the past six months, CTR has commissioned a body of research on how to communicate about young people, the criminal justice system and raising the age. Now, funding is needed to produce and disseminate powerful stories of lived experience and to mobilise a bigger and more diverse constituency of supporters who want to see the law changed to keep young children out of the criminal justice system.

The Impact Fund and two other ACF funds are contributing $20,000 toward this project and an anonymous donor is matching contributions up to $60,000 until the end of the financial year. To ensure the full $60,000 is matched, CTR is seeking the final $40,000 from our giving community.