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6 min read

Update from our Impact Fund Partners: November 2021

Profile of ACF
Written by ACFPosted on 4/11/2021

In this month’s update, Impact Fund Partner Grata Fund supports the launch of a landmark class-action lawsuit, which is seeing two Traditional Owners in the Torres Strait take the Australian Government to court for climate negligence, plus additional updates from ACOSS, the Everybody’s Home campaign, and more.

Don’t miss this month’s additions to our new section ‘Quick and easy ways to support’ at the end of the article.

Australian Climate Case – Grata Fund

Safeguarding the Environment Partner

Based at UNSW, Grata Fund works to break down community barriers to litigation across three key areas: climate justice, human rights, and democracy and freedoms.

Using a ‘movement lawyering’ approach that centres the voices of affected people, Grata supports a stronger democracy, where all people in Australia are able to exercise their right to have a voice, including in the courtroom.

Grata’s latest project, the Australian Climate Case, is seeing two Traditional Owners from Gudamalulgal in the Torres Strait taking the Australian Government to court for failing to prevent climate change. This is the first climate class action brought by First Nations peoples in Australia.

Plaintiffs Wadhuam Paul Kabai and Wadhuam Pabai Pabai are arguing that the Federal Government has a legal responsibility to ensure their communities are not harmed by the climate crisis.

“Our ancestors have lived on these islands for more than 65,000 years. But the Government’s failure to prevent the climate crisis means our islands could be flooded, our soils ruined by salt and our communities forced to leave,” said Paul.

“If successful, this case has the potential to not only protect Gudamalulgal and all Zenadth Kes communities, but also to help avert the climate crisis before it devastates communities across Australia,” said Grata in a media release.

The Grata Fund Climate Case received funding from the Impact Fund throughout mid-2021.

ACOSS + Everybody’s Home campaign

Tackling Inequality Partners

Anti-Poverty Week (17-23 October) supports the Australian community to have an increased understanding of poverty and to take action collectively to end it.

Everybody’s Home and the Raise the Rate campaign have launched a petition, calling on the Federal Government to increase JobSeeker and other support payments and invest in social housing. While Anti-Poverty Week has now passed, there’s still time to sign the petition and help bring about the change needed for every Australian to live above the poverty line and keep a safe roof over their head.

Everybody’s Home was first supported by the Impact Fund in 2020, while the Raise the Rate campaign has received ongoing support since 2019.

ACOSS and UNSW Poverty and Inequality Partnership

Tackling Inequality Partner

Another ACOSS initiative, the Poverty and Inequality Partnership (in collaboration with UNSW), is also gaining momentum in the efforts to build support for increased income support payments above the poverty line.

Australian income support since 2000: Those left behind tracks income support in Australia over the past two decades, demonstrating that while Age and Disability Support Pensions have almost kept up with the median household income growth of 45%, JobSeeker and Parenting Payments have fallen far behind.

“We commend ACOSS on the publication of this important research,” Australian Communities Foundation CEO Maree Sidey said in an ACOSS media release.

“Ensuring all Australians have access to income support above the poverty line is a critical step on the journey towards a fairer and more sustainable Australia.”

The ACOSS and UNSW Poverty and Inequality Partnership has received ongoing support from the Impact Fund since 2018.

Alliance for Gambling Reform

Tackling Inequality Partner

The Alliance for Gambling Reform (AGR) first received support from the Impact Fund for its successful pokies divestment campaign, which saw divestment announcements from both Woolworths and Coles.

With the Royal Commission into Crown Casino recently finding Crown unfit to run its flagship casino, AGR is now calling on supporters to write to the Victorian Government, urging ministers to commit to the Royal Commission recommendations. A pre-written email is available to send via the AGR website.

AGR was first supported by the Impact Fund in 2017.

Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility

Strengthening Democracy Partner

The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) is a research and shareholder advocacy organisation working with investors to hold companies to account on climate, labour, human rights and governance issues.

Supported by the Impact Fund in 2018 to promote ‘shareholder activism’, ACCR has delivered high-profile campaigns including the largest ever vote against a board of directors on a human rights issue in Australian corporate history, which saw Qantas shareholders call for an end to the airline’s involvement in involuntary transportation of immigration detainees.

Three years on, ACCR has published its inaugural annual review, outlining shareholder resolutions filed throughout the year and the broader research work of the growing team.

ACCR was first supported by the Impact Fund in 2018.

Quick and easy ways to support

Below you will find some quick and easy ways to show your support this month on some of the other critical issues our Impact Fund Grant Partners are tackling.

  • Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA): As a partner behind the new Together We Can campaign, seeking to promote the sharing of climate stories ahead of the upcoming federal election, CAHA is inviting supporters to share their own reflections about why they care about climate action. Share yours here
  • Renew Australia: Renew is collating helpful resources on the 2022 update of the National Construction Code (NCC), especially useful for people and community groups making submissions on the NCC and accompanying Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement. Renew supporters are encouraged to respond to the CRIS online by this Sunday 7 November.
  • SNAICC: Download the preliminary program for the upcoming 9th SNAICC National Conference, ‘Our Children Matter: Innovative Approaches to New World Challenges’, and consider registering to attend. The virtual conference is taking place 6 – 9 December 2021.
  • ACOSS + Everybody’s Home: Lastly, a reminder to sign the petition to increase income support and invest in social housing.

Feature image: Australian Climate Case, Anti-Poverty Week, the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility team, Renew Australia.