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$50 Million to Create Parity of Opportunities for all Australians

The Prime Minister unveiled one of Australia’s largest private philanthropic commitments in Canberra today that will include a $50 million contribution to the GenerationOne initiative.

Andrew and Nicola Forrest donated $400 million dollars that will help strengthen communities and provide much needed support for vulnerable people within Australia and overseas. GenerationOne is a flagship initiative of Minderoo that was established to eradicate the disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

The Closing the Gap – Prime Minister’s Report 2017 highlights the shocking disparity still experienced by many Indigenous Australians in nearly all aspects of daily life. Minderoo’s investment will help to address the intergenerational and wide-spread poverty that is gripping many Indigenous communities.

The donation will help to fund the following:

Indigenous Employment – supporting employers, advocating for a demand-led approach, and addressing barriers to work. Minister Scullion said, “Employment parity cannot be achieved in isolation. The Government must partner with the businesses, communities, and the not-for-profit sector to combat the social disadvantage often experienced by many Indigenous Australians. I welcome the Minderoo Foundation’s generous and ongoing contribution to creating parity. Through GenerationOne’s ‘VTEC’ employment model, which utilises a demand-led approach and holds service providers accountable through outcome-based payments, the Australian Government has placed over 6,000 Indigenous Australians into work.”

Improving School Attendance – encouraging families to send their kids to school through ‘No School, No Pay’.

Education enables upward mobility and is one of the most important factors in breaking the disparity cycle. Families must be held accountable for sending their kids to school and providing them with the best possible chance to enjoy a healthy and enriched life.

Professor Stephen Zubrick from the Telethon Kids Institute says, “”Our research shows that a child’s school attendance pattern is set during their early years and that, once set, it is extremely challenging to change. Parents and guardians, along with schools, play the critical role when they engage to help establish a good pattern of attendance. Minderoo’s efforts to advocate for greater accountability and support in this area should be commended.”

Welfare Reform – Encouraging a more responsible delivery of welfare.

The Cashless Debit Card, a key recommendation of Creating Parity – The Forrest Review, works as an effective tool in helping to minimise the social harm caused by excessive alcohol consumption, illegal drug use and gambling. The Government recently announced in the Budget extensions to the trials in Ceduna, SA and the East Kimberley, WA as well as funding for two new sites. Minderoo will work across communities as well as the banking and retail sectors to further develop the technology and ensure the Card and the associated support services are achieving the outcomes expected by the communities.

Alice Springs councillor and social justice advocate, Jacinta Price said, “We cannot continue to enable toxic behaviours through cash welfare and expect different outcome. Our welfare system must be designed to address the needs of our most disadvantaged members. The Cashless Debit Card is a circuit breaker for individuals, families and communities who are suffering the daily impacts of grog and drug abuse. With the right support services in place, the Card has the potential to help vulnerable people and break the cycle of dependency.”

For further information: Tess Ingram, mobile: +61 (0) 448 922 364, email: