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$9.2M to support organisations keeping children safe and protected across Australia

Parents and children participating in Odyssey House Victoria’s (OHV) ‘Kids in Focus’ program. OHV is the recipient of a Scale grant valued at $200,000 a year for over three years and will use the funding to scale the ‘Kids in Focus’ program to better address intergenerational child sexual abuse in highly vulnerable families where there is parental alcohol and other drug use.

11 October 2021

We are pleased to announce the next 26 organisations to receive $9.2 million in funding over three years through our Safer Children, Safer Communities grants program. These organisations are helping children, young people and their families stay safe and protected across Australia.

2021 Strategic Partnership grant recipient, Australian Childhood Foundation (Foundation), in partnership with the Y Australia (formerly YMCA Australia), will use the funding to work with Australian business sectors such as telecommunications, travel and tourism, finance, and technology platforms to assess risks to children and young people and enact policies and practices to help enhance organisational child safeguarding.

“The investment from Westpac is recognition that Australian business needs support to strengthen their approaches to protecting children from abuse and exploitation. The Foundation and Y Australia will work in partnership with Australian businesses to make sure they have all the tools they need to stand up for children and take the relevant actions they need to keep children safe,” said Dr Joe Tucci, CEO of the Foundation.

The University of South Australia’s research team led by Dr Vincenza Tudini and Dr Lesley-anne Ey are the recipients of a Research grant, valued at $150,000 over up to two years. Their research will use conversation analysis techniques to identify recurrent language and interactional behaviours that enable online predators to gain unacquainted children’s trust during opening chat sequences.

“We are excited about conducting this research as it will help heighten community awareness about online predators’ initial contact and grooming techniques” said Dr Lesley-anne.

“It has the potential to inform the police’s online child protection work, training for professionals who work with children and child protection education programs and resources nationally,” said Dr Vincenza Tudini.  

According to Kavitha Suthanthiraraj, Head of Safer Children, Safer Communities at Westpac, “These grants will help organisations, researchers and our strategic partners play a crucial role in providing targeted education, prevention programs and trauma informed services to those children and families who need it the most.” 

In addition to funding, each organisation receives access to pro bono support, including legal support, leadership development programs,  and financial capability training via Westpac’s Changemaker program.

Congratulations to our 2021 Safer Children, Safer Communities Grant recipients.


Seed Scale Research Strategic Partnerships
$50,000 each for small to medium organisations working on new ideas or one-off initiatives $200,000 each year over three years for existing evidence-based innovative programs looking to scale $150,000 each, over up to two years, to support quality research and the development of new evidence-based approaches towards tackling the problem of child abuse, child sexual abuse and exploitation Multi-year partnerships that will deliver collaborative child protection programs addressing the need for system-level change
  • Mettamorphosis inc
  • St Kilda Gatehouse
  • Transforming Justice Australia
  • Phoenix Support and Advocacy Service
  • One Vision Productions
  • Rosies Place
  • Little Dreamers
  • Community Activities Lake Macquarie
  • Far South Coast Family Support Service
  • The Trustee for the Cool Australia Trust
  • Odyssey House Victoria
  • TaskForce Community Agency
  • Caroline Chisholm Society
  • The University of Newcastle
  • NPY Women’s Council
  • Prosper Project Australia (50% grant)
  • Central West Women’s Health Centre (50% grant)
  • Griffith Criminology Institute - Griffith University
  • Australian Human Rights Institute - University of New South Wales
  • Education Futures - University of South Australia
  • Burnet Institute
  • Australian Catholic University - Institute of Child Protection Studies
  • Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences – University of Sydney
  • University of Sydney
  • The Benevolent Society
  • Australian Childhood Foundation

More information on each organisation’s program is available at 2021 SCSC Grants – program summaries.