The Impact Fund looks for opportunities to build momentum and accelerate progress by addressing issues of national concern, in the areas of:

  • Tackling Inequality
  • Empowering Indigenous Communities
  • Safeguarding the Environment
  • Strengthening Democracy.

In 2017, we funded 6 strategic projects. A year on, here are their stories.

Country Needs People campaign – Pew Charitable Trust

Pew Charitable Trusts – Country Needs People Campaign

The Country Needs People campaign aims to increase secure government funding for Indigenous Rangers and Indigenous Protected Areas. The campaign also promotes the role of Indigenous women in connection with land and sea management. With Impact Fund support, the project was able to:

  • Arrange for Indigenous Rangers from Olkola Land Management and Yintjingga Aboriginal Corporation in Cape York and Ngadju Conservation Western Australia to travel and meet with key state and federal decision makers and Ministers.
  • Enable professional photographer Annette Ruszicka to travel to Cape York to take photographs of Nantawarrina Rangers and Lama Lama Rangers to help promote the project.
  • Assist with promoting the Strong Women on Country report.


Saving the reef by choosing coral over coal campaign – Australian Marine Conservation Society

Campaigner David Cazzulino

This project supports a campaigner in Cairns to educate and mobilise the local community and tourism industry to advocate for climate action.

Over the last year, campaigner David Cazzulino has formed an alliance with the powerful local tourism industry to speak out about the urgent need to phase out coal and embrace renewable energy. David is building a growing movement of Reef advocates who are committed to stopping the largest coal mine in Australia’s history as part of the #StopAdani campaign.

As a direct result of Impact Fund support, AMCS has:

  • Co-hosted a Reef Tourism Climate Summit with peak industry body, Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO).
  • Signed up 50 Far North Queensland businesses to a Reef Climate Declaration calling for strong action by the federal government to move away from coal and embrace renewable energy.
  • Conducted Reef Leaders Training Days to cultivate capacity building for 60 volunteers.
  • Supported local volunteer groups hosting events to build the movement and spread the word on coal and renewable energy.
  • Generated local media stories calling for climate action to protect our Reef.

Down, down, bets are down – Coles & $1 bets campaign – Alliance for Gambling Reform

Alliance for Gambling Reform

This project builds support for gambling reform by engaging with clubs that own poker machines to seek their support for reforms such as $1 bets, or to phase out their dependence on poker machines.

The Alliance for Gambling Reform (AGR) has seen some significant changes as football clubs Greater Western Sydney and Melbourne announce they were turning away from pokies because of the impact they have on communities. Woolworths and Coles look likely to follow as campaign momentum is building,

Progress with smaller community clubs has been slower but with more councils joining the Alliance there are more opportunities to reach out to those wanting to support reforms or go pokie-free.

Measuring the Australia We Want – Australian National Development Index (ANDI)

Australian National Development Index

​The Australian National Development Index measures our national progress and wellbeing. The index reflects the values and priorities of Australians and tells us how we are doing as people, as communities and as a nation.

​Informed by experts but defined by Australians, ANDI promotes democracy and citizen voice.

During this initial development stage, the project has been conducting research on the overall index framework, appointing postdoctoral researchers, setting up an expert advisory groups, identifying goals and measures from similar international systems, and starting a program of focus groups and surveys to determine community priorities.

Recently, ANDI conducted a survey to evaluate community priorities in health and education, and test public support for broader, well being based progress measures. They have also begun the development of an ANDI Ambassadors Council to provide support and legitimacy for ANDI’s community and fund-raising program over the next 3 years.

Gun control and community safety – Alannah & Madeline Foundation

Alannah & Madeline Foundation

This project aims to build a stronger base of civil society support for strong progressive gun laws.

After consultations with community safety organisations and a detailed literature review, the Alannah & Madeline Foundation has finalised a position paper on gun safety. They are liaising with a range of organisations with the aim of forming a working Alliance to support Australia’s strong gun safety framework.

Some of the goals will be:

  • Ensure a safer community for Australian children
  • Have all jurisdictions comply with the National Firearms Agreement
  • Increase public awareness of the poor compliance by all Governments
  • Hold governments to account for their non-compliance
  • Contribute to a balanced public conversation about the importance of a strong gun safety framework.

Winning the National Energy Debate – Climate Council

Climate Council

The project aims to ensure that the Australian public, key stakeholders and journalists have the appropriate facts when discussing and deciding on the national energy debate.

Through Climate Council reports, extensive briefings with key stakeholders, an expert’s forum, media coverage and collaboration with other environmental groups, the Climate Council has helped drive a dramatic shift in public discussion around energy policy moving the towards a focus on climate change and the need to cut emissions.

The Climate Council has also ensured that transparency exists regarding state and territory progress on climate action, with a particular focus on energy policy. A primary mechanism they have used to achieve this is their states comparison report. In this report the Climate Council compares and evaluates each state and territories’ energy policy and transition toward renewable energy sources. In the absence of a national energy and climate policy, all states and territories (except Western Australia) now have strong renewable energy targets and/or net zero emissions targets in place with South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT frontrunners.