Impact Fund: Strengthening Democracy

Freedom of political participation, expression and belief. Protecting rule of law and human rights.

Australia’s representative democracy is built on a set of core values and principles. These include: the values of freedom of election and being elected; freedom of assembly and political participation; freedom of speech, expression and religious beliefs; the rule of law; and other basic human rights.

The need

It is generally believed that these values are held dear by most Australians, however new research shows a diminishing number of people in Australia believe voting makes a difference.  Other western democracies also show that voters feel let down by the democratic system, and many lay the blame squarely at the feet of the political establishment.

There is increasing concern about limitations placed on the community or sections of it to access information, rights to protest, and increased opaqueness of government decision making and resistance to scrutiny.

Funding focus

The Fund focuses on initiatives and organisations that:

  • Strengthen our pillars of democracy
  • Encourage civic participation
  • Develop and strengthen a range of voices in the public dialogue
  • Foster an improved, more inclusive and representative democratic system.

The fund may also be interested in the parliamentary legislative and public policy processes, to encourage transparent and due process for policy and legislation development that is inclusive and representative of community attitudes and beliefs.

Previous Impact Fund investments

In 2017, the Impact Fund supported the following important projects.

Australian National Development Index – Measuring the Australia We Want ($150,000 over 2 years 2017 – 201819)

Alannah & Madeline Foundation – Gun control and community safety ($60,000 over 2 years 2017 – 2018)

Human Rights Law Centre – Marriage Equality Campaign ($25,000 2017)

The Equality Campaign is the national campaign advocating for a ‘Yes’ vote. The campaign worked across the nation, bringing supporters together to achieve this important reform about ensuring all Australians are treated equally under the law.