Melbourne Women's Fund Autumn 2017 Newsletter
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MWF News  -  Autumn 2017
UPCOMING EVENT - Grants Information Evening: Tues 23 May
We are delighted to be partnering with Perpetual to present our 2017 MWF Grants Information Event. This is a fantastic opportunity for members and friends to hear details about the finalist organisations for the upcoming  Signature Grant and Nurturing Grant Awards.
During the evening, Grants Committee members will present information about these organisations and the projects for which they are seeking funding. This will prepare members for their decision making at the Annual Grant Awards function being held on 20th July.  We look forward to seeing you at this important learning and networking event.
Registration is essential, so please click here.
Members Morning Coffee and Conversation event – 17 February
The annual coffee/tea mornings in February have become very successful events which are held in a member’s homes and this one was no exception! We were thrilled to hear personal stories from Bec Scott, Co Founder and CEO of the social enterprise STREAT and Cat Fay (National Manager of Philanthropy and Non Profit Services at Perpetual Ltd) about their personal and professional journeys into the philanthropic space.
Bec passionately spoke about her epiphany when on holiday in Cambodia, followed by planning to give disadvantaged young people necessary training and skills so they can progress into (life changing) employment. STREAT’s ensuing work  has resulted in over 600 young people being trained in various roles in hospitality – baking, catering, food service, barista training and more.  Their café, bakery and catering premises in Collingwood (supported by a philanthropist via a peppercorn rent) has greatly facilitated their scope of training and employment skills, as well as providing the delicious food and coffee we all enjoyed at our morning coffee!
Cat Fay (MWF member) then spoke, firstly about her family’s history of emigrating to Australia and how living in a small town and working for the benefit of the community, shaped her social conscience. She then spoke about her professional life working both internationally and in Australia in different roles that is now ensuring philanthropy has scale, impact and is meaningful for donors.
Cat has a pivotal role as a leader in the sector; she is widely known as an opinion leader and change maker and we are thrilled that she forges strong supporting links amongst her networks. Cat also paid tribute to (member) Jan Hirst, previous CEO of the Ian Potter Foundation, for her groundbreaking work over her 10 years in that role.
As always, we really enjoy seeing members learning from our speakers and having a wonderful time together. Naturally we were thrilled to also have several new members sign up on the day! Huge thanks to Sue Beecher for providing MWF with her beautiful home for this function - it was a perfect venue for this special occasion.
Victoria University's Presentation event– 22 March
Our first partnered event with Victoria University featured Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost Professor Kerri-Lee Krause who addressed the bold topic of: “Workplaces of the Future and what women need to thrive” -  the big picture look at systems change in our workplaces. Over 70 MWF members, friends and VU guests attended.
Professor Krause (far left) discussed VU’s aim of ensuring students are well prepared for an ever-changing workplace.  PhD student, Alumna, Council Member and VU Teacher, Ghofran Al Nasiri spoke of her journey from Iraq to a refugee camp, to life in Australia with a young family and now as a doctoral student and University Council member.
Ghofran was a highlight of the evening and proof that, despite the challenges and obstacles in her life, and with belief and early support from the university, combined with her passion and drive to succeed, adult learners who are new to Australia and juggling family responsibilities can still realise their goals and dreams.
Eight years on, Ghofran has completed her B.Ed (P-12), a B.Science (Chemistry) and B.Science (Chemical Hons.). Now, as she undertakes her PhD, Ghofran gives back by mentoring students, teaching chemistry, and representing students on VU's Council.  It was an inspiring story – her  aspirations are fuelled by VU’s early and ongoing support.
We thank Victoria University for generously hosting us at their CBD location and for providing great catering at the Chancellor’s level afterwards. This post presentation time  enabled members and faculty to meet and havey the opportunity to find out more about each other.

Photos of VU event provided courtesy of Imageplay
Grants Committee Update
Progress Report on 2017 Grants process
MWF's Grants Committee has completed Stage 2 of our grants review process: selecting the organisations/projects from our pool of EOI contenders to move onto the grant application stage. Committee members read, discussed and rated 19 EOIs, all for very worthwhile projects. From this group the committee chose 10 organisations for the next stage.
The five organisations we invited to submit their grant applications for the Signature Grant are; The Centre for Applied Policy in Positive Ageing, Justice Connect, Sisterworks, YWCA and Women’s Property Initiative. For the Nurturing Grant, we invited; St. Kilda Gatehouse, Fitted for Work, Justice Connect, Banksia Gardens Community Services and Hope Street Youth and Family Services.

The Grants Committee will review these applications to choose the six finalists (3 finalists for each grant category) to then be approved by LMCF's Board of Trustees, before being presented to members to vote on at the Grant Awards event.
Site visits to grant finalists
These visits are an integral part of our grant making and will be organised to occur between late May/early June. Members will receive notification of the dates and times of visits and bookings will be via Eventbrite. Thanks to Jules for organising the visits for us again!
Reporting from 2016 Grant Winners
MWF's 2016/17 grant awardees,  the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention & Legal Service (FVPLS) Victoria and the Mirabel Foundation—our Signature and Nurturing Grant recipients—have delivered interim reports on their projects, see the following information they have provided:
FVPLS Victoria has, successfully established its Policy and Advocacy Officer role. Its incumbent, Jenna Davey-Burns, is already active across numerous committees, forums, task forces and submissions to influence the implementation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence’s recommendations and to advocate for key family violence reforms for Aboriginal victims/survivors—predominantly women. FVPLS Victoria is actively seeking to secure funds to continue this role beyond our grant’s end.
The Mirabel Foundation has also been busy leveraging our Nurturing Grant funding to help address the needs of vulnerable girls aged 8-12 years old, who are confronting the myriad challenges of parental drug use and kinship care. Our grant facilitated 4 therapeutic groups (incl. an educational camp at Mirabel House) for 50 girls throughout Melbourne  and establish positive peer support networks.  With greater demand, Mirabel has actually established 7 groups—two in both North and South Melbourne, one in both west and east Melbourne and Bendigo. Collectively, 59 young girls are attending  support groups and Mirabel is planning for the first educational camp.
We wish both the FVPLS Victoria and Mirabel all the best for the second half of their grants’ implementation and look forward to hearing more about their good work.
Membership Update
We are very happy to advise that MWF membership is growing at a steady pace. We currently have 125 women in our giving circle, most joining through (those important) recommendations from friends.
Big thanks to members who bring friends to our events to help spread our reach.  This is a great way to introduce them to our giving circle, however, asking them to make the financial commitment to join might be a stretch! So if you know someone who is thinking about joining and they would like to have a further chat about it, the Membership Committee is happy to help out with a coffee meeting or by providing more information.
Membership Renewals: Remember that you need to be a financial member by June 2017 so you can vote at the Grant Awards event in July. Reminder Renewal Notice emails have been sent, and it would really help Lonia at LMCF if you can make your donation by early June. If you are not sure about your membership status please email Gillian –

Marketing Communications Update

Latest news
The MarComms and the Membership Committees decided to join forces in 2017 in order to work closely together on ensuring continuity with our messaging and strategic activities. The three main focus areas we will be working on are; designing and developing the annual Year in Review publication; refreshing the website and producing the new MWF brochure. All three communication pieces/channels will help facilitate growing MWF membership by making it  easy and appealing to join and renew!
We continue to use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to help build a better understanding and access to philanthropy. You can help us to keep your details up to date by emailing any changes to:
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