• How educators are responding to Covid-19 and how the nation is responding to them

    SVA Bright Spots Schools Connection educators at a Thought Leadership Gathering

    Our schools have been thrown into the spotlight as the Covid-19 crisis has unfolded and, like all sectors, education has rapidly and repeatedly transformed into a ‘new normal’. When whole systems switched to remote learning, educators began repurposing their lessons to suit new modes of delivery, learning new pedagogies and upskilling on the use of […]

  • Combatting social isolation – lessons learnt from the Covid-19 experience

    older woman sitting at window staring out

    Most social services organisations are already aware of the challenges of social isolation, especially for the elderly and those with chronic health conditions or disabilities. Because of the need for people to self-isolate at home during the Covid-19 crisis, loneliness now has more attention than ever before. We spoke to five social services organisations, as […]

  • Returning to country

    Indigenous people on country burning of

    The coronavirus pandemic presents an unlikely opportunity for some Aboriginal people seeking sanctuary on their traditional country. The third blog in a series sharing stories from SVA clients, partners and friends in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, where people are uniquely affected by the coronavirus crisis.  Across the country, Australians are being advised […]

  • 7 Steps for keeping the lights on: Support for social enterprises (Covid-19 impact response)

    Email us at nsowell@socialventures.com.au to set up a free office hour. Please include your business name, website and overview of your situation.

    The COVID-19 outbreak is rapidly unfolding with significant impact on small businesses, especially social enterprises and Indigenous businesses. Major disruptions to our work and social lives are expected for the next six months. Planning is critical in order to survive an immediate loss in revenue, cash flow constraints, due liabilities, disruption in supply and most importantly impacts on employees. Here are seven great steps for keeping the lights on during this chaotic time.

  • ‘Fortress Groote’: managing safety, services and a mining economy in a remote Indigenous community

    Atnas Maeko from Bush Fit Mob during training with local staff

    As we are seeing in Australia’s highly populated areas, managing the interconnectedness of health, economic and social needs is complex amidst the coronavirus crisis. On the Groote Archipelago in the Northern Territory – where mining operations sit alongside local Indigenous communities – the situation is especially complex and the risks perhaps higher. This article is […]

  • A conversation, not a broadcast: how Indigenous radio stations are responding to the coronavirus crisis

    Indigenous woman at radio station desk with headphones & mic in front

    Many of us are incessantly checking our phones for coronavirus news. In remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, it’s the radio that is helping to keep people safe, calm and informed. This article is the first in our series sharing stories from clients, partners and friends in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, […]

  • Working with fire through traditional burning

    In the midst of a national bush fire crisis, Director, Consulting Brendan Ferguson discusses how we could look to Indigenous knowledge to lead the way. Australians are still coming to terms with the devastating bush fires that continue to burn across the country. As we reflect on what can be done to reduce the risk […]

  • SVA’s 25th Thought Leadership Gathering: celebration, collaboration and connection for future action

    Celebration. Collaboration. Connection. A celebration of achievement, reflection on impact and provocation to build leadership for future action – those were the orders of day at the last Thought Leadership Gathering of 2019.  The SVA Bright Spots Schools Connection’s (The Connection) 25th Thought Leadership Gathering (TLG) held in late November assembled 117 educators for two days of celebration of their accomplishments in the program.   ‘A community is a group of people who commit to grow together – and that’s […]

  • Garma 2019: Why traditional decision making must be at the heart of any engagement with First Australian communities

    ‘We ask you all as real people, to take a step back. As real people, to humble yourselves no matter how successful, respected or influential you are, or you think you are, in the Western World. Because out here, Western success doesn’t mean anything, and is not powerful, unless, we all use our strengths and […]

  • Q&A with Kellie Checkley, Head of Sticking Together Project at SYC

    Kellie Checkley is the Head of Sticking Together Project at SYC. She joined SYC to take on this role after 12 years as the CEO at a not-for-profit organisation supporting young people in southern Sydney. SVA caught up with Kellie, to hear more about her passion for the Sticking Together Project.

  • Meet Nathan Sowell, Manager, Impact Investing

    Nathan Sowell joined Social Ventures Australia out of a desire to make an impact. Since joining SVA in early 2017 as a manager in the Impact Investing team, Nathan has worked on the launch and ongoing management of the SVA Diversified Impact Fund.

  • Investing in very remote Aboriginal communities

    Parnngurr women’s ranger team carrying out maintenance work

    Social Ventures Australia (SVA) recently completed a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) that considers various scenarios associated with investment, or lack of investment, in very remote Aboriginal communities. SVA was commissioned to undertake the work by the Martu organisation, Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa (KJ), and seven other partner organisations working with Martu people in the East Pilbara. What was […]

  • AIME part of growing network of SVA alumni ventures

    The Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience has become the eighth organisation to graduate from Social Ventures Australia’s venture portfolio, having achieved the sustainability and impact to continue to thrive without hands on support from SVA.

  • Meet Alex Oppes, Director, Impact Investing 

    A desire to do more than just help somebody make a profit is what drives Alex Oppes. A director in the Impact Investing team, Oppes has been at Social Ventures Australia (SVA) for almost five years.

  • Choosing a cause to support: passion vs pragmatism

    Beyond my work at SVA, I’m passionate about charities and the charity sector. As part of that, last month I spoke at the Sydney Opera House Antidote Festival on “practical donations”. It’s an interesting problem, and delving into it led me to re-examine a lot of my assumptions about giving. Fundamentally, why do we donate […]

  • Backtrack Boys film set to screen nationally

    On October 25 a film we’re all incredibly excited about and proud of at SVA: Catherine Scott’s award-winning documentary “Backtrack Boys” launches nationally. It’s the true story of BackTrack, a unique youth-centred program helping kids doing it tough. BackTrack and the program’s inspirational work is well known here at SVA, becoming a venture partner in […]

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

    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 technology-filled days in […]

  • 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.