2022 Education & Employment Grants

The Education & Employment Grants seek to create increased learning opportunities, increased attainment of education, increased access to and readiness for quality employment, and increased retention of quality employment.

To achieve this, the Foundation focuses on supporting grants in the following outcome areas:


  1. Parent Engagement
  2. Early Years Learning
  3. Transitions
  4. Disengaged Young People


  1. Employment Readiness
  2. Employment Pathways
  3. Supporting Job Retention
  4. Supported Employment

Education & Employment grant recipients 2022:


For over 30 years, Back to Back Theatre have been creating performance work driven by an ensemble of artists who are perceived to have an intellectual disability and/or neurodiversity. Their award winning works have been presented around Australia and the world.

Back to Back Theatre received a $30,000 grant to support extended and long term employment opportunities for artists who identify as having an intellectual disability and/or neurodiversity. The grant will enable them to create work for the stage and screen, engage with the Geelong community and tour the world.


Bluebird Foundation is a Geelong-based community arts organisation creating and delivering quality arts programs. Founded on the belief that the arts have the power to create meaningful social change, Bluebird makes a real difference in the Barwon region.

Bluebird Foundation received a $40,000 grant to support parents in the 3214 and 3219 postcodes to develop their capacity as their child’s first and most important teacher. This will help build their confidence to engage meaningfully with formal educational settings and improve long-term educational outcomes for their children.


CatholicCare Victoria assists people to live life to the fullest, through their individual and family counselling, parenting support, pastoral services, employment support, emergency relief, housing, and refugee and asylum seeker programs.

CatholicCare Victoria received a $40,000 to employ a staff member with lived experience to support young people with a refugee or asylum seeker background into further education or meaningful employment pathways.


Common Ground Project is a community farm and social enterprise located in Freshwater Creek. They exist to connect the local community to food and farming, by growing and selling organic food as well as running education and employment programs that support the G21 community.

The Common Ground Project received a $29,783 grant to support the Staying Grounded training and employment program. Participants develop employment skills in the hospitality and agricultural sectors, while also supplying emergency food relief to those in need in the G21 region.


EdConnect Australia pairs volunteers in mentoring and learning support roles with young people in schools who need extra help and guidance.

EdConnect Australia received a $40,000 grant to increase the number of volunteers supporting Geelong and Surf Coast schools in learning support and mentor roles. This will provide additional social, emotional and academic support for students who are at risk of disengaging from learning.


Geelong Regional Libraries is Victoria’s largest public library service, operating a network of 19 libraries, mobile libraries, community outreach and extensive digital platforms. The Libraries celebrate and seek new ways to support literacy whilst promoting connective and thriving communities.

Geelong Regional Libraries received a $13,200 grant to support their Sprout Time program which will develop and deliver a pre-birth literacy program to support and educate parents. This program will reduce barriers to accessing literacy skills and resources for parents and children aged 0-5 years, while building confidence and creating connections.


MacKillop Family Services work with some of the most vulnerable children, young people and families in our community.  They advocate for the rights of all children to enjoy their childhood in a safe and loving home, where they are nurtured and have a sense of belonging and cultural identity.

MacKillop Family Services received a $35,000 grant to support their Cycling to Success program. This will provide the opportunity for at-risk young people living in out-of-home care to learn how to repair and restore bicycles while building confidence, employability skills, responsibility and community connection.


Ngarrimili is a not-for-profit organisation supporting First Nations business owners, creatives and entrepreneurs through culturally informed, personally tailored business support, and workshops.

Ngarrimili received a $40,000 grant to support the employment of staff to operate the new ‘Murran Hub.’ Murran, meaning eucalyptus in Wadawurrung, will consist of a retail store, gallery, cafe and co-working space in the Geelong CBD.


Operation Newstart Geelong provides hands-on, outdoor, and personal development activities to re-engage young people (aged 14-17 years) who are at risk of disengaging from their education and/or are experiencing complex problems in their school and family settings.

Operation Newstart Geelong received a $30,000 grant to support the salary of a full-time youth worker to assist program delivery in 2023. The youth worker will enhance and improve outcomes for participants entering Operation Newstart Geelong.


Rosewall Community Centre provide a range of supportive programs for Corio locals to connect, learn, grow and play. This ranges from vocational training, including café skills training, informal hobby groups and peer support programs.

Rosewall Community Centre received a $10,000 grant to fund their Youth Group to support young people after the COVID-19 pandemic.  Many of the young people they support have reported that they have missed out on the ‘rite of passage’ of entering the workforce and also missed valuable skill development opportunities. This has inhibited their ability to transition into casual/part-time work.


The primary goal of Social Enterprise Group is to engage young people in supported work-placements and ongoing employment. They achieve this through funding and providing a safe pathway from a situation of disadvantage, to one of opportunity through engagement, training and ultimately a job they love.

Social Enterprise Group received a $39,520 grant to fund them to employ their first staff member to help facilitate programs. The staff member will manage the operational work including engaging young people, social procurement projects and employers to fulfil employment projects.


Somebody’s Daughter Theatre Company is a unique company of artists whose mission is to work with the most marginalised in our community, empower them and give them a voice. They use the arts to break cycles of poverty and abuse faced by marginalised young people.

Somebody’s Daughter received a $35,000 grant to support their Nobody’s Fool Theatre. This is a unique arts-led education program for disengaged young people in the G21 region run in partnership with Newcomb Secondary College. Students are reengaged through individual education pathways and developing creative outcomes.


The Smith Family’s purpose is to help young Australians overcome educational inequality caused by poverty. They work long term with young people in need, to provide targeted educational support to empower them to reach their full potential.

The Smith Family received a $17,628 grant to fund their PASSport to Success program run in Newcomb and East Geelong primary schools. This will support Year 6 students transitioning into secondary school and ultimately improving their long-term educational outcomes.


The Song Room works in partnership with schools to improve student learning and engagement thought participation in the arts.

The Song Room received a $35,000 grant to support a project addressing the educational, social and wellbeing inequities experienced at Newcomb Primary School with the aim of transforming student learning, teacher practice and school community culture. The program will culminate in a community engagement project to strengthen local connections and embed a community of practice.


Uniting Vic Tas is the community services organisation of the Uniting Church. They empower families to thrive and support people experiencing homelessness, addiction or mental health issues. They also support asylum seekers, older people and those with disability and offer access to employment services.

Uniting Vic Tas received a $10,000 grant for their Barwon Education Program. Families of students transitioning from primary to high school will be supported financially with school fees, camps, uniforms and other education costs.