AUSTRALIA, 16 September 2019 – Canon Oceania today announces the winners of its 2019 Canon Grants Program, recognising half a dozen projects in environment, education and community sectors that are paving the way to a better future. Previous winners have used the Grants to achieve incredible results for their communities, such as 2018 Community Grant winner Big Fat Smile, which now runs photography lessons through its after-school programs.
After the public cast more than 5000 votes for 2019 finalists across the Oceania region, Canon now awards over $30,000* worth of grants to seven projects in Australia and New Zealand. The Grants include both equipment and funding. In the 13 years since the program launched, Canon has offered almost $400,000 in grants to over 75 schools and not-for-profit groups to help them maximise their impact on the environment, education and society.
Australia’s four winning projects help disadvantaged women find work, promote STEM education and opportunities for children, protect imperilled species and conserve healthy ecosystems, and help community members better understand nutritious food.
WINNERS - $5,000 grant each ($4,000 worth of Canon products and $1,000 cash)
COMMUNITY: Fitted for Work (VIC / NSW) – Fitted for Work helps women experiencing disadvantage find and keep work, providing employment services in NSW and VIC to those who have survived circumstances like domestic violence or homelessness. The Grant will supply equipment for virtually fitting clients with work-appropriate clothes and accessories.
ENVIRONMENT: Aussie Ark (NSW) – Aussie Ark is a registered environmental organisation focused on protecting imperilled species and conserving healthy ecosystems. They operate NSW wildlife sanctuaries that protect native mammals, birds, reptiles and frogs. The Grant will enable staff to keep tabs on the health of sanctuary wildlife and natural breeding from a distance.
EDUCATION: Elonera Montessori Robotics (NSW) – Elonera Montessori Robotics is passionate about promoting STEM education and opportunities, especially among groups with a history of underrepresentation or marginalisation. The Grant will provide equipment that facilitates a series of free, hands-on robotics sessions for children and young adults who are refugees and/or living with disability.
RUNNER UP - $1,000 grant (of Canon products)
ENVIRONMENT: Food is Free (VIC) – Food is Free offers the Ballarat community anonymous access to fresh vegetables and fruits, along with materials, seeds and education to help others grow their own food. The Grant will support a plant identification system for its 40 garden beds, helping visitors and others in the community understand and address food security issues.
Previous Grant winners have gone on to make positive changes via their projects: reducing plastic pollution from coastal waterways and beaches, helping students understand the impact of species decline and building the photography and life-skills of young children. The 2018 Community winner, Big Fat Smile, developed a program delivered through its after-school clubs that has provided photography lessons to over 100 children — you can see the impact of the program here.
Sharing their excitement to have won the Environment Grant, Aussie Ark’s Curator, Liz Gabriel, shares: “So much of our vital work relies on educating people about our beautiful and unique wildlife, and this amazing new equipment will ensure we can do this. Canon’s donation is a wonderful gift as we rely solely on the generosity of the community to help ensure our threatened native wildlife has a long-term future. Thank you again Canon for supporting Aussie Ark and wildlife conservation.”
Over in New Zealand, Everyone is a Treasure won the Community Grant, while Project Blue won in the Environment Grant and Kids Greening Taupō took home the Education Grant – each worth $5,000. Their three winning projects assist students in conserving native flora and fauna, educate businesses and consumers about sustainability and support the next generation of Kiwi artists.
The 2019 finalist selections were based on each project’s potential to positively impact the community and environment, as well as the degree to which Canon products would help bring the project to life. A public vote, which ran throughout August, decided the ultimate winners. With so many worthy organisations applying for the Grants, Canon has also awarded the additional finalists a $500 voucher to spend on Canon equipment that supports their initiatives.
“Every year we at Canon are inspired by the breadth of organisations looking to make a positive contribution to our society and environment. With an enormous number of applications, we are reminded of the remarkable work that Australians and New Zealanders are undertaking to benefit future generations in their communities,” said Dave Yoshida, Managing Director, Canon Oceania.
“At Canon, we’re passionate about Kyosei, which means ‘living and working together for the common good’, and it’s why we’re so proud to support these organisations and provide them with the tools they need to further their causes. We can’t wait to see how this year’s winners use their Grants to truly make a positive difference to their communities and our environment.”
For more information on Canon Oceania’s 2019 Grants Program, please visit: www.canon.com.au/grants