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Canon Oceania’s 2018 Grants Program awards four worthy causes across Australia

14th September 2018

AUSTRALIA, 14th September 2018 – Canon Oceania has today announced the winners of its 2018 Grants Program, revealing seven impactful projects from across the region that will contribute to a better tomorrow for environment, education and community. For the last 12 years this program has supported more than 70 schools and not-for-profit groups with more than $360,000 to further their causes and affect meaningful environmental, educational and societal change.

Across the Oceania region, Canon awarded over $30,000* worth of grants comprising Canon equipment, and for the first time, cash, to seven projects across Australia and New Zealand. For the first time in the 12-year history of the Grants Program, voting was open to the public to select the winners – resulting in more than 5,000 votes for the 18 finalists.

In Australia, the four winning projects will support children to become more deeply engaged in their learning, mitigate plastic pollution from coastal waterways and beaches, engage students in an after-school environmental program themed ‘Belonging’, and restore damaged rainforest blocks:

AUSTRALIAN WINNERS - $5,000 grant each ($4,000 worth of Canon products and $1,000 cash)

COMMUNITY: Big Fat Smile (NSW) – Big Fat Smile will deliver over 50 photography lessons/sessions through their after-school program, which will be developed with sessions themed around ‘belonging’, running 40 lessons across more than 10 locations and reaching over 800 children.
ENVIRONMENTAL: Ocean Crusaders (QLD) – Ocean Crusaders aims to mitigate plastic pollution from coastal waterways and beaches and will use the product and cash to enhance community participation in clean-up initiatives, as well as use in their online educational and classroom presentation content.
EDUCATION: The Nature School Primary (NSW) – The Nature Primary School is undertaking a photographic project whereby students will create a high quality, accurate, photographic field guide of local flora and fauna for presentation to the local community, enabling students to understand the impact of species decline and share this impact with the local community.

RUNNER UP - $1,000 grant (of Canon products)

ENVIRONMENTAL: Rainforest Rescue (NSW) – Rainforest Rescue will undertake a project to determine the health of, and plant more, trees in the Daintree Forest lowlands to restore damaged rainforest blocks, to fully restore the rainforest and connect to existing intact rainforest.

In previous years, winners’ projects have helped to reduce the impact of plastic straws in the environment by encouraging businesses and consumers to reduce their use of straws. The Last Straw, last year’s Environmental winner, put the grant towards multi-function printers and DSLR cameras to help them create high-quality videos, raising awareness of the disastrous impact that single use plastics – especially plastic straws – has on ocean ecosystems.

The Nature School Primary, this year’s winner of the Education grant, says their project aims to help their students understand the impact of species decline, by compiling details of their sightings of local flora and fauna into a descriptive photo book which will be distributed through the community.

Catherine Oehlman, Head Teacher of The Nature Primary School, shared: “We are thrilled to be the recipient of the Canon Oceania Grant this year in the Education category. Students at The Nature School Primary are becoming so knowledgeable about flora and fauna in Port Macquarie and they are keen to share their learning with others. This generous grant will not only put quality cameras into their hands to allow them to document their observations, but will also allow them to create their very own field guide to share with the local community.”

“I strongly believe that even young children are capable of producing quality images if they are given the right tools to work with, and provided with the right opportunities. I am so grateful to Canon for partnering with us as we embark on our journey to create a field guide, and I can’t wait to see the natural world through the eyes on our young students.”

New Zealand’s three winning projects will help support hospice patients and their loved ones by creating photographic memories, assist students in monitoring the environment to build sustainable communities, and allow 400 volunteers to volunteer as marine mammal medics to rescue stranded whales ever summer.

NZ WINNERS - $5,000 grant each ($4,000 worth of product and $1,000 worth of cash)

COMMUNITY: Hospice Wairarapa Community Trust – Hospice Wairarapa will deliver a program named Precious Memories, pairing patients with volunteer photographs to create a digital memory, leaving a bereavement legacy to their loved ones. This grant will provide the hospice with its own DSLR camera and printer, with the cash component going towards framing the invaluable memories.
ENVIRONMENT: Project Jonah – Project Jonah aims to provide rapid response emergency aid to stranded whales across New Zealand, which has the highest whale stranding rate in the world. The grant will purchase a projector for training courses, allowing 400 volunteers to be trained every summer to become marine mammal medics rescuing stranded whales.
EDUCATION:Clarkville School – Clarkville School has developed a community partnership with the local Silverstream Reserve which seeks to improve the ecosystem, with the ultimate goal of reintroducing mudfish to the reserve. Students will use the Canon equipment to document the monitoring of the water, soil quality, plant regeneration and wildlife to help them determine when the mudfish can be reintroduced.

This year’s finalists were selected based on the positive impact their project will have on society or the environment, as well as the impact Canon’s range of products will have in bringing each project to life. Due to the overwhelming amount of organisations trying to make a positive difference, in addition to the grants, Canon has also awarded the additional finalists an AU$500 voucher to spend on Canon equipment of their choice, to help support their initiatives.

This year we opened our Grants Program to the broader community to help us decide the winners. We had an enormous number of applications and are in awe of the remarkable work Australians and New Zealanders are undertaking to help their communities for the benefit of future generations. Canon is proud to be able to support these initiatives and provide schools and communities with the tools they need to further enhance their projects” said Dave Yoshida, Managing Director, Canon Oceania.

“This Program fully encapsulates our corporate philosophy of Kyosei, meaning ‘living and working together for the common good’. Support of these initiatives is of the utmost importance, not only to support local communities but also the broader Oceania community.”

For more information on Canon Oceania’s Grants Program 2018, please visit:

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