Melbourne Women's Fund March - May 2016 Newsletter
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March - May 2016
Marvellous Morning Tea in the Garden - 12 Feb
Our first event for the year more than lived up to its 'marvellous' name.  Members and guests gathered to celebrate the start of the year, meet others in our giving circle, as well as enjoy an indulgent array of homemade sponge cakes and other goodies.
The morning tea was held in the beautiful garden of a founding member’s home.   More than 40 women, representing a wide range of ages and interests, came along to hear what’s in store for Melbourne Women’s Fund in 2016.  They were also treated to inspiring personal stories of philanthropy from two members; Kristin Stegley (OAM) and Sally Browne.
Thanks to Eve our charming hostess, to Julie Reilly and our MC Amy Coote for their inspiring words and to Lisa Roberton, the queen of fairy cakes and other baked treats!  And a big thank you to the three new members who signed up following this sparkling event, we loved the fact that they were inspired by our speakers and members to join our giving circle.
"Leading & Learning: Working on Wicked Problems" a presentation by Deakin Uni on 15 March 2016
Melbourne Women’s Fund was delighted to be approached by Deakin University’s Rikki Andrews to co host an event discussing the latest research into family violence. Deakin University Vice Chancellor Jane Den Hollander (pictured left) opened the event with a presentation about the need to lead by researching wicked problems facing Australian society today.
The event focused on three aspects of current research into family violence:
  1. Bystander engagement and clever ways to enable positive action;
  2. Offender management and rehabilitation and new ways of tackling and changing behaviour; and
  3. The justice system’s response and progress (both enacted and needed) in the impact on children of family violence.
In a panel discussion led by the Vice Chancellor, three esteemed Deakin researchers – Professor Ann Taket, Professor Andrew Day and Dr Wendy O’Brien – shared their latest research findings and the greatest areas of current and future needs in managing the crisis of family violence in society today.
Melbourne Women’s Fund, like other philanthropic organisations, plays an important role in facilitating the application of such research into real programs and services that have impact on vulnerable women and children. We felt very fortunate to have been able to engage our members and friends in such a learning opportunity.

2016 Grants Information Evening - 19 May 2016
We were very pleased that Monash Business School kindly hosted our first Grants Information event for members in their beautiful CBD location.

Grants Committee members presented information to guests about our six Grant finalists for the 2016 Significant and Nurturing Grant Awards event which will be held in mid July.
With more than 60 women present it was obvious that members were very interested in knowing more about the finalist organisations that had been selected and about the projects they will be presenting to members for their vote. Site visits to these organisations continue through June, members please see recent emails about these opportunities.
The Finalists are:
Significant Grant -
  • Aboriginal Family Violence and Legal Service Victoria (FVPLS Victoria)
  • Ardoch Youth Foundation
  • Family Access Network
Nurturing Grant - ($25,000)
  • Emerge Women and Children’s Support Network Inc
  • Fitzroy Learning Network
  • Mirabel Foundation.
The evening also concluded with four new members joining Melbourne Women's Fund, so it was a resounding success in many ways!

Please see details below about "Empowering Futures" our second Annual Grants Awards event.
Anniversary Drinks @ Sofitel Melbourne
Wednesday 15 June - 6.00pm to 7.30pm

Join us for an informal get together in the Atrium Bar at the Sofitel. This is an opportunity for you to meet other members, bring a friend, and celebrate the end of the financial year.
Venue: Atrium Bar level 35, Sofitel Melbourne
Time: Drop in between 6.00pm -7.30pm
Cost: Buy your own drinks
Bookings: click here to book  Via Eventbrite to anticipate numbers!
Transport: Details available on booking

Empowering Futures - Melbourne Women's Fund 2016 Grant Awards Event
Thursday 14 July - 6 pm start

This annual function is our biggest event of the year and is the result of many month's work by MWF's Grants Committee. It is very gratifying to have such deserving organisations being presented for our members’ consideration.
Venue: Swanston Hall, Melbourne Town Hall
Time: 6.00pm  start
Cost: TBA via the invitation
Bookings: Via Eventbrite (TBA)

The evening is an ideal opportunity for members, colleagues and friends to see collective giving in action! This larger venue will enable members to invite interested friends and colleagues to also attend. Please join fellow members, guests and the finalists for a wonderful evening that caps off Melbourne Women's Fund's 2nd year.

MWF Committee News Update
Events Committee
Chair - Amy Coote

After our very successful Marvellous Morning Tea in the Garden and the co-presented Deakin Uni event Learning and Leading, the Events Committee will now be focusing on the planning and execution of our Grants Decision event “Empowering Futures” which will be held on Thursday 14 July 2016.
Grants Committee
Co-Chairs - Pat Burke and Katarina Persic

The Grants Committee met in February and reviewed the many Expressions of Interest we received.  We invited 10 organisations to submit full applications – 5 for the Signature Grant and 5 for the Nurturing Grant.  In preparation, each grants committee member completed significant research to compile their rankings and views, and we thank them for their commitment and hard work.
Full applications were received in late March for review by the committee. From these applications 6 finalists were chosen – three in each grant category. The details of these finalists were submitted to LMCF for their approval.  Recently our members have been advised about site visits to these finalists, so they have the opportunity to visit each of the finalists by the end of June.
We are very pleased to advise that all of our finalists will receive coaching from a member of the Grants Committee to assist them in presenting their pitch to our members at the awards event, in the best possible manner!
Marcomms Committee
Chair - Kirsten Bartlett

The marketing communications committee has been busy these last six months working to:
  • finalise the marketing plan
  • prepare with the membership committee, a new way to welcome new members
  • audit the website and plan for updates
  • design and produce a new MWF brochure
  • design an annual survey for members

We look forward to working with members to achieve these goals. If you see an event or an article you think might interest our members via social media, please forward it to us at:

Membership Committee
Chair - Agnes Cusack

Membership is increasing at a steady pace and the goal of the Melbourne Women's Fund becoming a self-sustaining organisation is within sight!

This can only happen if members who have been inspired to join our giving circle, continue to support MWF by renewing their membership. This increases the funds we have available in our Collective Giving Account at LMCF to donate in July. So please don't forget that Membership Renewals are due by the end of this financial year, June 30th. New members are always welcome!

As a reminder, only financial members will be able to vote at our annual granting round event “Empowering Futures” and we look forward to your participation towards bettering the lives of women and children in Victoria.

If you would like to know more about becomming a member, or about the Membership Committee, please drop me a line at or call 0412 234 752.


Who are they? The Queen’s Fund was founded in 1887, and is one of Victoria’s oldest charities. Their committee of management give pro bono support and so their overheads are very low. This means almost all the money donated goes to the women and children who need it most.
What do they do?  The Fund provides emergency funding to Victorian women in crisis. The assistance provided can help prevent homelessness, enable a woman to escape domestic violence, provide education or training for a woman and/or her children, pay essential medical bills or provide crucial financial breathing space so a woman can get her life back on track.
How do they operate? The Fund works with social workers who are in the best position to determine how to help women in need. They then continue to support her after our emergency relief has been provided.
How can I help?
For more information or to learn how you can support them, please visit:

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