Categories: stories, 30 year celebration, general
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This week in Melbourne, the Lord Mayor John So addressed a gathering to celebrate $50 million of gifts, over more than 50 years, from the estates of three extraordinarily benevolent philanthropic women: Alice, Annette and Edith Collier.
Categories: education, recommended reading, research & information
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“What is missing in the education reform picture … is a set of proven and transferable models of how schools in our most disadvantaged communities are turning around learning outcomes … throught student-centred learning.”
Crossing the Bridge: Overcoming Entrenched Disadvantage Through Student-Centred Learning attempts to fill this gap, reporting on innovations in disadvantaged schools designed to increase student engagement and learning.
This research project was conducted by Education Foundation Australia with funding from The R E Ross Trust. It identifies what works in student learning and engagement, analyses what supports or hinders schools in developing, implementing and maintaining student-centred learning, and identifies what can be done to replicate successes in other schools.
The report is highly practical, with much teacher and principal input:
“There are too many organisations providing money for projects. This encourages many schools to adopt any number of short-term programs just to get their hands on some money. Consolidation of funds into long-term projects that support effective teacher development through access to excellent pedagogy and mentoring would have more long-term benefits for teachers and therefore for students.” (principal)
and a broader community perspective:
“We can do all we can to improve the quality of schooling, but if disadvantaged famlies are disengaged from their kids’ education it will all come to naught. Until we can empower parents to fulfil their parenting role, we won’t get very far in addressing educational disadvantage.” (Tony Nicholson, Brotherhood of St Laurence)
The report concludes with five clear recommendations for those that support the work of schools in disadvantaged communities:
- Highly effective leadership is the most fundamental precondition for effective teaching and good student outcomes, and schools in disadvantaged communities need the best leaders;
- A new funding formula is needed to increase core staffing to provide for in-school teacher learning on a long term, sustainable basis;
- Schools and teachers in disadvantaged communities need models of proven practice and the tools to implement them in their own context - with sharper definitions of student-centred learning, collated evidence of impact on outcomes, and disseminated workable models;
- New funding partnerships between government, business, philanthropy and community organisations are required to meet the non-learning needs of students in disadvantaged areas and engage and support their families;
- A broader set of measures of student achievement is needed with wider definitions and new certifications of success.
and three exciting models that have the capacity to yield deeper and more effective change:
- student-centred schools;
- schools as community centres;
- shared responsibility for young people.
The report can be downloaded from http://www.educationfoundation.org.au/
Categories: recommended reading, news, general
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Business for Poverty Relief Alliance is a forum for Australian business to confront global poverty and its causes. The group of companies involved in the alliance was facilitated by World Vision, and included ANZ, Visy Industries, Grey Global Group, IAG and Pfizer. The Alliance commissioned the Allen Consulting Group to produce a report, Business for Poverty Relief: a business case for business action, which is downloadable in PDF format here.
The report concludes that there is a strong business case for Australian companies to do more to focus on, and do more to address, the plight of the poor in developing nations. It asks how and why business should be involved in poverty relief, and also presents success stories where corporate initiatives have been taken in developing markets to respond to the evident needs around them.
The report provides a strong business case for immediate Australian investment in the eight UN Millennium Development Goals, which form the basis of a blueprint signed in September 2000 by 191 world leaders including Australian Prime Minister, John Howard. The goals form part of a global plan to eradicate poverty by 2015; they provide measurable and achievable targets to address extreme poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women. The Millennium Development Goals, in summary, are:
- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- Achieve universal primary education
- Promote gender equality and empower women
- Reduce child mortality
- Improve maternal mortality
- Combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases
- Ensure environmental sustainability
- More information is available on the Business for Poverty Relief Alliance website.
Categories: recommended reading, nonprofit blogs, research & information, general
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Some interesting posts have come up on philanthropy-related blogs lately.
Lucy Bernholz of Philanthropy 2173 has some comments to make about community foundations and their leadership role, in “Community Foundations… Are We There Yet?” and summarises the changes she observed in this week’s Council On Foundations annual conference from the point of view of someone who has attended a dozen of their conferences in the past - in ‘Mistakes were made’ she talks about the presence of bloggers, for example.
Sean Stannard-Stockton of Tactical Philanthropy also has some interesting comments on some of the sessions from the conference, and in particular on the session post on the session Demonstrating Impact: Philanthropy’s Urgent Call to Action. Sean has drilled down to some of the key questions which reflect those we’ve been grappling with as a sector here in Australia:
The discussion was nominally about how foundations can do a better job letting influential Americans and the general public know about the good work they do. But at the root of this is a discussion about identifying and measuring the impact of foundation grantmaking. And at the root of that is a discussion about transparency and the sharing of information about what works AND what doesn’t work.
(More on this kind of issue and possible solutions, from an Australian perspective, will be here in coming months… stay tuned!)
Categories: positions vacant
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The Ian Potter Foundation: Program Co-Ordinator
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