Small businesses recognised for the first time in Canon Oceania’s 2020 Grants

14th September 2020

Top images: Dogs for Kids with Disabilities, winner of Canon’s Small Business Grant.
Bottom left image: Telethon Speech and Hearing’s Early Intervention Program, winner of Canon’s Education Grant.
Bottom right image: Action for Dolphins, winner of Canon’s Community Grant - photo credit: Dolphin Swim Australia.

Sydney, Australia, Monday 14th September 2020: Canon Oceania is today announcing the winners of its 2020 Grants Program, recognising five worthy organisations that will contribute to a better future for their local communities. For the first time, Canon revamped its Grants Program with a new small business category and increased cash donations in response to the natural disasters and pandemic that have impacted Australians this year.

After the public cast more than 5,500 votes for this year’s finalists, Canon is awarding over $30,000 worth of grants to five projects, plus one runner up, across Australia and New Zealand.

Australia’s three winning causes raise assistance and therapy dogs for children with disabilities in VIC, facilitate learning for children with hearing loss and speech delays in WA, and work to stop cruelty and gain legal protection for dolphins in QLD. The runner up grant also gives a remote school in the far northwest corner of SA a technology upgrade, to connect dispersed community members.

For the last 14 years, in the spirit of Canon’s guiding philosophy of Kyosei – living and working together for the common good Canon Oceania has supported over 80 schools, not-for-profits and community groups with more than $400,000.

Previous winners have used the Grant to drive impactful societal, educational and environmental change. This includes Melbourne-based 2019 Community Grant winner Fitted for Work, which is using equipment supplied by the Grant for everything from virtual fittings to assisting with fine-tuning resumes, to help disadvantaged women find and keep work.

“Every year we’re inspired by the breadth of organisations looking to make a positive impact on society, and this is especially true in what has been a tougher year than most for everyone,” said Dave Yoshida, Managing Director, Canon Oceania.

“The enormous number of applications is a humbling reminder of the remarkable work that is happening across our region despite tough personal and economic circumstances. We know ongoing support is crucial, as there are many organisations that will be permanently changed by the events of 2020. We hope this alleviates some of the uncertainty that many smaller organisations are facing and are excited to see how this year’s winners use their Grants to continue their admirable work.”

For the first time, Australian winners will receive an equal donation of cash and equipment – $2,500 each – to support causes trying to rebuild themselves in a weaker economy (where the previous split was $1,000 in cash and $4,000 in products). 

AUSTRALIA WINNERS: $5000 grant each ($2,500 worth of Canon products and $2,500 cash)

Small Business: Dogs for Kids with Disabilities (Victoria)
Dogs for Kids with Disabilities (Dogs for Kids) raises and trains assistance and therapy dogs for children whose everyday activities are restricted by emotional, physical and intellectual challenges. The Grant will provide equipment to create videos that drive awareness of Dogs for Kids’ work among the wider community.

“As we face some of the toughest economic conditions to date, educating the community and attracting new sponsors is vital to our viability,” said Katie Hunter, Founder and Program Manager. “Canon’s Grant will not only enable us to capture important footage, it’ll provide much needed funds to promote the videos to targeted audiences across social media. We’re pleased that we can continue connecting with our community through the love of assistance dogs, during what has been a tough lockdown period.”

Education: Telethon Speech and Hearing (Western Australia)
Telethon Speech and Hearing is an independent school offering quality diagnostic, therapy and support services for children with hearing loss and speech and language delays. The Grant will provide a camera as part of a ‘mobile pack’ to facilitate these tele-therapy sessions, ensuring children with hearing loss have access to specialised teachers for ongoing learning, regardless of their location.

Sharing his excitement about winning the Education Grant, Telethon Speech and Hearing’s CEO, Mark Fitzpatrick, said; “Our work centres on facilitating learning for children with hearing loss and speech delays, but COVID-19 restrictions mean that many students can no longer participate in face to face and group therapies. The Canon Grant will enable us to support families from regional and remote Western Australia through our tele-therapy program, ensuring distance is not a barrier for these children to access quality supports to aid in their early years of development. We’re thrilled to be able to bring positivity to the lives of children and their families in what is an incredibly difficult time.”

Community: Action for Dolphins (Queensland)
Action for Dolphins is a not-for-profit organisation working to stop cruelty and gain legal protection for dolphins. Working in partnership with the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation, Action for Dolphins is looking to educate the local community and visitors about respecting wild dolphins. The Grant will provide equipment to record evidence of animals trapped in underwater nets, as well as capture interviews with subject matter experts, to improve the community’s understanding on how to end activities that harm marine life.

"We are so grateful to Canon for choosing Action for Dolphins as one of its Grant recipients,” said Jordan Sosnowski, Advocacy Director. “Using Canon’s cameras, we’ll be able to capture first-hand documentation to work with the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) to teach locals and tourists about keeping a safe distance from marine life, and end the illegal hand-feeding of dolphins which is currently occurring on Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island). This will lead to better health and welfare outcomes for marine fauna on the island.”

RUNNER-UP: $1,000 grant

Fregon Anangu School (South Australia)
Fregon Anangu School is in a remote community in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yakunytjatjara (APY) Lands in South Australia. Students are working on a fortnightly community newsletter called “Fregontu Wangkanyi”, which connects dispersed community members who aren’t strong English readers. Fregon sought the Grant to replace outdated cameras and limited access to technology due to the school’s remote location. Given the project is primarily visual, high-quality photos are essential in helping the newspaper gain more traction in the wider community.

Across the Tasman, Canon Grants are being awarded in New Zealand’s small business and community categories.

NEW ZEALAND WINNERS:

Small Business: $10,000 grant ($5,000 worth of Canon products and $5,000 cash)

Bay Light – Innovative Education Consultants
Bay Light is a camp that provides a chance for children to understand their place in the world and grow their self-belief. The Grant will provide two decile schools with the opportunity to attend the educational camp for free, who normally wouldn’t have the financial means or opportunity to attend.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be the recipients of Canon’s very generous gift,” said Rebecca Dow, Specialist Consultant, Bay Light.  “We’re passionate about providing opportunities for New Zealand young people to experience the stunning Bay of Islands and the rich history that exists there.  With Canon’s support we will be able to sponsor two Decile 1 schools and will be able to record and capture their experiences in photo and video form.  This will also help us to provide high-quality marketing going forward – so that more schools are aware of mission to provide a camp for students to learn more about what it means to ‘honour the past, understand the present and build the future’.  Thank you again Canon for supporting Bay Light.”

Community: $5,000 grant ($2,500 worth of Canon products and $2,500 cash)

Broad Bay School
Broad Bay School is a primary school on the Otago Peninsula. The Grant will enable students to construct a 3D model of Brady Bay and the harbour that connects with oral histories of its local people through QR codes. Working closely with the Te Rūnaka o Ōtākou the project will consolidate links between the school and the wider community.

“In this time of unprecedented global connectivity, it is vital that we also continue to foster our local community connections, with our people and the environment,” said Greg MacLeod, Principal, Broad Bay School.  “Canon's generous grant will allow Broad Bay School's Dunedin students to record the stories and histories of our people, past, present, and future, and connect these to a three-dimensional sculpture of our local environment, which will be a valuable resource for our community”.

The 2020 winners were based on each applicant’s potential to positively impact the small business, education and community sectors, as well as the degree to which Canon’s Grant would help bring the project to life.

For more information about Canon Oceania’s Grants Program 2020, please visit: www.canon.com.au/grants

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