• Innovation, disruption and lifelong learning: SVA’s 20th Thought Leadership Gathering

    By Melinda Howard Innovation. Disruption.  Lifelong Learning. These three themes were proclaimed proudly by guest speaker and Educational Technologist, Kieran Nolan, as part of his Provocation address at SVA’s recent Thought Leadership Gathering in Adelaide. The highly topical focus was: “STEM & Innovation – Deepening knowledge, sparking engagement and connecting learning.” Over three busy and […]

  • Resolve Program: Improving mental health outcomes by supporting and empowering people

    Above: Flourish Australia Peer Worker Tim Morandi (2nd from the right) with his Flourish colleagues.  Nine months in, Resolve Program participants are being supported, empowered, and importantly, spending more time in the community rather than in hospital. Resolve Program participants say it’s making a significant impact on their lives, according to a Resolve Peer Worker […]

  • School Lawyer Program: helping young people access justice

    Teenage school children and teacher sitting in a classroom smiling

    I recently had the pleasure of working with WEstjustice to document the School Lawyer Program and develop a practical how-to guide for other organisations interested.

  • Aspire Case Navigator: ‘I feel like we’re part of something big.’

    A car with the Hutt St Centre logo.

    For the past five years, Tim Best, an Aspire Program Case Navigator at Adelaide’s Hutt Street Centre, has been helping people experiencing homelessness. Best joined the Aspire Program when the Aspire SIB launched last year, and says it’s the first opportunity he’s had to take a long-term approach with people who have a history of […]

  • ‘I’ve never seen my kids so happy.’ How Mimi’s House is supporting Queensland families

    'If it wasn’t for Mimi’s House, we wouldn’t be where we are today.'

    Wayne and Natasha Patel are proud parents of five children. After spending more than a year homeless as a family, they moved to Queensland’s Moreton Bay region about eight years ago. It was here where they were introduced to Mimi’s House.

  • Martumili: preserving culture and knowledge through art

    “For Martu people who live in this land, it’s the songline and the land around this area, it’s so special to them. We connect with the land – it’s our dreaming, our spirits, our culture. It’s my life. It’s all Martu people’s ancestors, our great grandmother’s and grandfather’s. What the old people told me – […]

  • Newpin Queensland’s first centre opens in Cairns

    Above: Queensland Deputy Premier, Jackie Trad during her visit.

    We are pleased to report that Uniting Care Queensland (UCQ) opened the first Newpin centre as planned in Cairns in January, and family referrals have commenced.

  • The Uniting Newpin Social Benefit Bond is funding essential services that are putting families back together

    The most difficult moment of Ryan’s* life, was when the NSW Department of Family and Community Services came to take his children away.

  • A professional development experience for teachers like no other

    The SVA Bright Spots Schools Connection International Exploration was the most valuable professional development exercise these teachers have ever experienced.  

  • Five ways educators can create high performing teams

    Last month’s SVA Bright Spots Schools Connection Thought Leadership Gathering (TLG) saw an impressive group of successful and emerging leaders from schools across Victoria come together to reflect on their role in creating high performing teams.

  • How technology is being used to share and preserve First Australian languages

    A look at the ALNF's language app

    The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation is working to strengthen and preserve Indigenous languages in Australia.

  • People and purpose: what made SVA’s staff offsite a success

    2017 SVA Offsite all staff photo

    For the whole Social Ventures Australia team, the SVA offsite is a chance to reconnect with each other, and our shared purpose.

  • Six reasons to attend Sydney’s Impact Investment Summit

    Why you should head along to the Impact Investment Summit in Sydney

    It’s an exciting time to be involved in impact investing in Australia. Here’s why you should join industry leaders at this year’s Impact Investment Summit in Sydney.

  • The Aspire Program: finding vulnerable people a place to call home

    In August this year, John stood in front of his new home in Adelaide, overwhelmed. John had a long history of homelessness. The 49-year-old had been bouncing between temporary accommodation, sleeping on the street, and in cars. He had finally found a home.

  • Spotlight on STEM education as students and school leaders head to Parliament House

    Logan Skilling and Brianna Dewar, year 10 students from Wirreanda Secondary School in South Australia, were among the 53 students who took part in the 16th Thought Leadership Gathering in Canberra. Here they share their reflections on their experience.

  • Lift off on STEM skills for SVA Connection students

    Launching science experiments into space is just one of the exciting possibilities the SVA Bright Spots Schools Connection is opening up for primary school students from disadvantaged communities. SVA Project Officer, Education, Susannah Schoeffel explains.

  • Case study: Marnin Studio’s measurement journey so far

    As we begin the second year of our partnership with Marnin Studio and reflect on the first year’s progress, one of the areas that has been slower to progress than anticipated has been the development of the Studio’s outcomes measurement framework, systems and practices.

  • Dismantle – How our Venture Philanthropy Partnership is Trialling a New Regional Delivery Model

    In April we announced Dismantle as the newest venture in the WA venture philanthropy portfolio. Since then, we have been working closely with the Dismantle team to plan, structure and coordinate what is a very exciting and innovative venture partnership.

  • How two days in Adelaide can spark a raft of ideas for school leaders

    Bringing together diverse perspectives on the topic of partnerships, the 15th Thought Leadership Gathering (TLG) gave participants a wealth of actionable insights to explore in their own contexts. Here we talk to three attendees to find out which aspects of the TLG delivered the most value for them.

  • Talking measurement at the Social Impact Festival

    Social Impact Festival 2017

    It’s an exciting few weeks for social impact in Perth with the Social Impact Festival now in full swing. SVA presented the ‘Back to Basics – Beyond Funding and Reporting’ session, one of two sessions on outcomes management that SVA is presenting at the festival.

  • The importance of a client-centred approach for working in the social sector

    Associate Consultant Jonathan Finighan recently he had the privilege of working with Indigenous social purpose organisation Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa. This work caused him to reflect on the importance of being ready to listen and ready to learn when conducting an assessment of the Martu Leadership Program, an education and development program designed to build capacity and create opportunities in remote Western Desert Aboriginal communities.

  • Queensland celebrates growing momentum in philanthropy


    An atmosphere of generosity and excitement prevailed at this year’s QCF Philanthropy Week. SVA’s Queensland Venture Philanthropy Manager Dina Jak reflects on some of the highlights, including former SVA CEO Michael Traill’s inspiring speech at the QCF Philanthropist of the Year Awards.

  • Vanguard Laundry Services: creating more than ‘just a job’ for Australia’s long-term unemployed

    Vanguard Laundry Services

    By providing jobs and training opportunities, Vanguard Laundry Services is offering people not just a pathway to financial independence, but the chance to reclaim their lives. Addressing SVA supporters at a recent partnerships event, founder Luke Terry gave insights into the work of Vanguard and some of the people it’s touched.

  • BackTrack – giving kids a second chance

    The latest addition to SVA’s national Venture Philanthropy portfolio, BackTrack is a great example of multifaceted services – education, health, employment, housing and justice – working together to support the needs of young people. Founder Bernie Shakeshaft explains more about the program’s approach and how it’s putting hundreds of Australia’s most vulnerable youth on the road to a brighter future.

  • Am I an evidence broker? reflections on a trip to North America

    I hope Australian educators and people in education systems will find some of these ideas and insights useful, informing the way they think about their role in relationship to research and to schools.

    In this article, John Bush provides insights into the study of research use in education, which has informed the thinking for Evidence for Learning (E4L), incubated by SVA. In February John presented at the William T. Grant Foundation’s annual Use of Research Evidence meeting in Washington, D.C. He shares his learnings in this blog to assist Australian educators and system leaders as they think about using research evidence to improve policy and practice.