Community projects a big win for people, planet and animals

Photo of a boy holding a frog

Super and investment management organisation Australian Ethical has announced the winners of its Community Grants program. Collectively, these 20 grassroots organisations will receive a share of $360,000 for their efforts across three areas: people, planet and animals.

This is the highest pool of prize money the ethical investment company has offered for the program, which is a yearly staple of the Australian Ethical Foundation, Australian Ethical’s charitable arm. To date, it has donated more than $3.8 million with its Community Grants program.

The Foundation gives away 10 per cent of Australian Ethical’s post-tax and pre-bonus profits to charitable organisations and social impact initiatives. Australian Ethical has about $3.42 billion in funds under management across superannuation and managed funds.


There were seven recipients in the “planet” category, including two international programs, one tackling marine pollution by empowering local fishing villages in India, and another replacing kerosene lamps with solar installations in Timor Leste.

Green Heroes received a share of the grants for its early childhood educational unit entitled ‘Sharing Planet Earth’. The unit was created in collaboration with teachers and wildlife conservationists to teach children, both within the classroom and the surrounding environment, about protecting Australian native animals.

Pocket City Farms won for its Sydney-based urban farming space, which offers closed-loop organic food production, alongside community activities and educational programs. It will use the money to help provide more than a thousand disadvantaged, disabled and vulnerable people with on-farm educational and therapeutic opportunities.

The Seabin Foundation helps remove and record tonnes of rubbish from the sea with its innovative Seabin device. Its share of the grants will go towards installing two new Seabins in Australia, which are estimated to remove up to 3 tonnes of straws, cigarette butts, plastic bags, oils, and other waste from water each year. The grant will also fund a rubbish awareness campaign and new waste solutions.


In the “animals” category, rescue services targeting greyhounds and koalas received funding, as did a project by ACT Wildlife to eliminate a skin infection caused by parasitic mites, Sarcoptic Mange, in the local wombat population.

NSW based wildlife rescue group F.A.W.N.A, which helps rescue, rehabilitate and release wild animals such as possums, kangaroos and birds, will use its grant to purchase electronic heat mats that can be used in cars to help ease stress on rescued animals during transportation.


In the “people” category, the three local and three international winners included: refugee housing support outfit, Refugees Welcome Australia, which marries spare rooms with people at risk of homelessness; an affordable fresh food market for people experiencing food security, called The Community Grocer; and Hobart Women’s Shelter, a space running six-week programs to support traumatised children and their mothers through an evidence-based intervention program called Child-Parent Relationship Training.

Full list of recipients

  • Animals: Greyhound Rescue, Friends of the Koala, Little Oak Sanctuary, Action for Dolphins, Wildlife Asia, ACT Wildlife, F.A.W.N.A.
  • People: Refugees Welcome Australia, The Community Grocer, Love Mercy Foundation, Free to Shine, Abundant Water, Hobart Women’s Shelter
  • Planet: Seabin Foundation, Renewable Energy Development Trust, Environs Kimberley, Food Ladder, Positive Change for Marine Life, Green Heroes, Pocket City Farms