Malpa joins SVA venture philanthropy portfolio

Malpa, an Aboriginal controlled organisation, has become the latest venture to join the Social Ventures Australia (SVA) venture philanthropy portfolio.

Malpa promotes health and well-being among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal young people and communities by teaching children to be health ambassadors and positive role models within their communities. Malpa’s Young Doctor project is based on the traditional practice of selecting young people within a community to become healers (doctors). Communities use a mix of traditional and contemporary approaches to creating good health to design and run their own projects, based on the Malpa approach. They are supported by local health, education and cultural leaders. Since 2012 Malpa has grown from operating in one community with 12 graduating Young Doctors to working in 30 communities across NSW, VIC, ACT and SA. By the end of 2017 they hope to have 1000 graduating Young Doctors.

Malpa CEO Don Palmer said Malpa’s aim was to support young people to have ‘clear heads, strong hearts and long lives’.

‘By placing Aboriginal culture at the core of the Young Doctor projects, young people and communities are empowered to take control of their destiny and lead positive change. Through Malpa, young people grow up with a sense of responsibility, cultural identity, and aspirations that support their engagement with education opportunities.

‘Our partnership with SVA has the potential to empower more young people, provide a cultural connection between mainstream health services and Aboriginal Peoples, create stronger communities and advance reconciliation.’

Social Ventures Australia CEO Rob Koczkar welcomed Malpa to the portfolio, saying the partnership was a great fit with the mission of SVA’s venture philanthropy work.

‘SVA supports organisations with the potential for significant impact; both to impact the lives of people in need and to influence the way the system works. Our partnership with Malpa has the potential to enable them to become a significant contributor to strengthening self-determination, as well as engagement between Aboriginal communities and mainstream services. We are delighted to have the opportunity to work alongside Malpa to continue to build the evidence base for this important work.’