Case Studies

Education & Employment

Scholarships – Country Education Foundation of Australia

The Snow Foundation is a long-standing supporter of the Country Education Foundation of Australia (CEF) and has provided grants to the local CEF foundations of Cooma, Yass, Goulburn and Braidwood since 2010, supporting school-leavers to pursue their post-high school career goals. The volunteer-led foundations use their knowledge of and commitment to their communities to identify, nurture and mentor the young people of the Canberra region.

The aim of the grants is to provide assistance for rural and regional students (specifically school leavers) who require financial support to pursue tertiary level education. Most of these students face significant relocation and living expenses when they are required to leave home to be able to take up university, college and vocational courses.

Students from these regions have gone on to pursue careers in engineering, agriculture, archeology, medicine, education, carpentry and business among many other interests and endeavors.

In addition to the locally based student grants, Snow Foundation supports CEF to increase its reach and impact on rural and regional youth. Recently the Snow Foundation has committed to assist CEF roll out its all-important Alumni Project.

The Alumni Project enables CEF to develop an ongoing relationship with every former grant recipient of CEF. The alumni group is estimated to be almost 4500 in size. This number is every country kid who has received CEF fund since our inception. This number grows at a rate of about 500 recipients per year.

The CEF Alumni Project is key to CEF’s growth and sustainability ensuring country kids can afford to aspire to whatever career they wish, well into the future.

https://cef.org.au/

Date

August 2019

Newpin, New Parents Information Network Program

Newpin, New Parents Information Network Program

The New Parent Infant Network (NewPIN) is a highly effective, evidence-based program that supports families where the relationship between parent and child is damaged or tenuous.

UnitingCare Kippax has received funding from The Snow Foundation for 8 years (2008-2016) for a full-time worker who supports 10 families over a 2 year period, creating generational social change.

Newpin mums, children, facilitators and volunteers at the Newpin Graduation in February 2017

Newpin Families

Case Study # 1

*name changed for privacy purposes

*Claire joined Newpin through a referral from the social worker at the Calvary hospital. Initially, she felt she did not see herself benefitting from the program given that her child was very young at the time of the referral (3 months old) and that the activities were not relevant to her child’s age as yet.

C had a difficult time in the early part of her parenting experience. Her daughter had oral aversion and was not taking in the bottle. It would take C 1 hour to finish a bottle feed, relying on each droplet of milk that her child would only take when she is asleep. This made it difficult for her to get out of the house. C had fears of her child not thriving and seeking medical help was a slow and tedious process. She also struggled with picking up the baby’s cues and was exhausted. She felt she is failing as a parent.

Due to her own experiences of how she was parented and having strong cultural influences, C experienced lots of fear and doubt in her own parenting. She was also quite isolated being a full-time mother who had low confidence in her English speaking skills.

C started to consider the program as she made friends with fellow members. She particularly enjoyed the parent development programs and as she got more knowledge and understanding of parenting, this helped her have a better relationship with her child. C also found that she has started to reflect on her own experiences to understand what she feels towards her child and their situation. It equipped her with understanding to combat her fears and worries.

C shares that after 2 years in Newpin, the biggest outcome is that she is now more aware of her own feelings and emotions and she can tune in better with herself and her child. She has also started to accept that parenting is not easy and that she is not perfect. Because of all these, she has now started to feel that parenting is rewarding and appreciates the good and not so good experiences that come with it. Most important to her are the relationships that she has formed with the other mothers, volunteers, staff and the community.

C is now an official parent volunteer in Newpin. She shares her skills and experiences to other new mothers and gives them support. C plans to continue to work hard to apply everything she learnt in Newpin and to keep identifying her own limitations in parenting and work around it. She hopes to become a role model to other mothers. C would eventually like to go back to the workforce. Newpin has referred her on to the Community Connections program of Uniting Care Kippax to receive assistance in education and work placement.

Case study #2

Mina* was referred to NewPIN by ADACAS (advocacy service). Mina’s daughter Raine* (4yo) has been in out of home care for almost a year, this is the second time she has been removed. Mina has struggled from a long history of DV, mental health issues and strained relationships with Care and Protection workers. Mina was very apprehensive to work with any service due to the trauma she suffered from her past experiences. According to Mina, she has never been referred to a parenting support program throughout her involvement with CP. Mina has been involved in countless incidents of arguments and grievance cases against CP and Barnardos workers. Mina is clearly very traumatised which explains the defensive and dysregulated behaviour she displays when triggered. She was very keen to join NewPIN in hopes that a parenting support program may help her get her daughter back, however she was still very hesitant to work with anyone. Her first few weeks in NewPIN, Mina was very avoidant, defensive and easily triggered. She was also very suspicious of staff and other participants. NewPIN recognised this and focused on building a supportive, non-judgmental and therapeutic relationship with Mina. Through the parent training programs, group work and non-judgmental support, Mina slowly displayed signs of trust and openness. Mina started to communicate to staff in a less defensive manner and was receptive to staff. She finally agreed to be referred to Case Management and receive legal aid. This made a huge difference to Mina, she now has a team of support workers helping her in all aspects of her journey. There has been continued liaison amongst NewPIN, Care & Protection, Barnardos, Case Management and ADACAS. Mina for the first time feels that she is connected, well-informed and supported. She is now feeling confident that through the continued support she is receiving, she can manage to improve her parenting and address CP’s concerns in the hopes of having her child restored to her care.

Feedback from Mina:

“I feel supported and I now have a support network. I gained confidence, a sense of acceptance and an understanding of the responsibilities of motherhood. I have gained more knowledge and perspective on parenting, especially the emotional aspects of it, the practicalities of it- good sense of daily routine, attending to my child’s needs physically, emotionally, and understanding her behaviour. I realised that a happy child is one who clearly enjoys presence and good memories. I am starting to accept the journey that I am in and the ongoing journey plus the responsibilities that come with it. Through the groups, I have gained more appreciation of others and the journey they may be in. Most importantly, I can now appreciate my own strengths as a parent and that I do have them. NewPIN understands us and understands children, it’s invaluable.”

Some other comments received from Newpin mums:

“Thank you for all the support you all give to us It has helped and still helps us each day.”

“I think it is essential for all mums to have Newpin in their lives.”

“An excellent program for all mums who may be experiencing challenging times…”

“Thank you to this program I learnt that I can show genuine empathy for my child, that I needed to recognise my own meta-emotions, and that I am the best role model for my child.”

“I am bigger and better than my anger!- the best part of my learning in Newpin”

“Thank you because I have found my safe place to talk about my experiences and what is difficult for me without being judged.”

“I have a better relationship with my children now… that’s what I never had.”

#Data gathered from interviews and feedback forms/ surveys completed by the Newpin participants.

  

Date

May 2017

AIME

The Snow Foundation has been an incredible partner to work with in the ACT. The sincere commitment of time, energy and resources from the Snow Foundation, and the family behind this great organisation, has enabled our programs to experience the success we have in the Nation’s Capital.

Yanis Bates, National Operations Manager, AIME

Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) provides a dynamic evidence-based educational program that gives indigenous high school students in years 7 to 12 the skills, opportunities, belief and confidence to finish school at the same rate as their peers. AIME also connects students with post Year 12 opportunities, including further education and employment.

After an inspirational meeting with Jack Manning Bancroft, Founder and CEO of AIME in 2009, Georgina Byron was determined to get AIME up and running in Canberra. In 2013, The Snow Foundation pledged $200,000 to be spent over 4 years to assist with setting up Canberra based programs. After an initial feasibility study on the ACT, $60,000 was put towards developing programs with the University of Canberra and the Australian National University, including an outreach program. The AIME target of working with 100 Indigenous students across Canberra and the region within the first year was met. The next step for AIME’s Canberra operations, in partnership with the Snow Foundation, is to increase the access and the number of Indigenous Students participating in AIME’s Programs across Canberra.

aime-anu-3

Date

March 2017

Scholarships – Royal Agricultural Society Foundation

The Snow Foundation has committed $95,000, over five years, to the Royal Agricultural Society Foundation (RASF) NSW for Rural Youth Scholarships.  This funding provides scholarships for tertiary education and training for local socio-disadvantaged rural students to achieve their education goals. In 2014-2015 scholarships were awarded to four students from Burrawang, Murrumburrah, Ulladulla and Yass.  These students are pursuing careers in medicine, education, disability care and veterinarian studies and have a great interest and commitment to returning to rural NSW to work.

For one student a career in medicine was ignited in primary school and reaffirmed in high school during a work experience placement with a rural GP.   Now in the second year of a Bachelor of Medical Studies/Doctor of Medicine this student after graduating aims to bring attention to the vast specialist shortage in rural areas and improve rural health care in his area. 

Completing a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy is a life-long dream for another student with a passion to help people.  Being raised in a small rural community, it became obvious that there was a need to improve health care access across rural Australia.  On completing the degree, the plan is to gain experience in several areas of occupational therapy including the elderly and traumatic brain injury. The learnings, knowledge and expertise obtained will allow this student to teach people skills and strategies to make their lives more comfortable and enjoyable.

Growing up surrounded by farms ranging from dairy to poultry, with strong rural roots saw our third student’s passion for animals flourish.  A  long ambition to help secure the future of rural NSW through work as a Veterinarian this student plans to assist primary producers to maximise productivity, improve animal welfare and profitability to ensure the animal production industry remains viable for future generations.

Completing a first aid course led the fourth student to enrol in a Bachelor of Advanced Nursing.  Growing up in a rural community at the south coast this student observed the gap that exists between the city and country in the area of health care. Being active in the community via school and sporting activities has given this student the passion to be an ambassador for equity in rural health.

 

Health

Motor Neuron Disease

Dr Nicholas Cole and his research team at Macquarie University have made great progress in their journey to finding a cure or treatment for Motor Neuron Disease (MND). The team uses zebrafish, an established research model, in their laboratory to generate zebrafish models of the disease to understand how motor neurons die in MND patients. This is possible as zebrafish are transparent and, at a cellular level, have the same nerves and muscles as humans. This means that the degeneration of motor neurons can be seen in a living animal, giving clues into the biological origins of the disease.

The Snow Foundation provided equipment for the fish lab to assist establishment in 2009, and since then have supported the salary of Emily Don a scientist who has subsequently gained her honours degree and PhD. Together Dr Cole and Dr Don have generated good data enabling them to publish papers in high profile journals including Nature, Frontiers in Neuroscience and Nature Communications. The laboratory has expanded and now supports a full time fish room technician, and has more than 20 users including six PhD students who are currently studying in the laboratory.

The Snow Foundation are thrilled with the progress of the MND research but also the development and training of the next generation of young medical scientists such as Dr Emily Don who shares with us her insights:

“In addition to the significant increase my research output, I have made substantial steps towards training the next generation of medical scientists. In 2017 I am focusing on determining how the most common genetic cause of motor neuron disease, the C9orf72 repeat expansion, causes the loss of motor neurons.  My aim is to generate zebrafish that contain long repeat sequences in order to study and understand the basic biological processes that result in motor neuron death.

 Macquarie University has assembled the nation’s largest and first dedicated MND Research Centre with a specialised team of researchers in genetics, biochemistry, cellular biology and animal models. Our multidisciplinary team are collaborating and dedicating our working lives to better understand and beat MND.

 I strive to keep contributing my very best and to maintain a position as in the MND Research Centre. As a young female early career research scientist, in an ever more competitive research funding environment, it is difficult to maintain continuous employment. Having The Snow Foundation support through my early career has enabled me to gain a foothold as a research scientist and provided the stability desperately needed to maximise the time invested in training me in the skills required to be a research scientist.”

Nick

Dr Nicholas Cole shows a MND patient the Zebrafish models used to try to understand the causes and cure MND.

Date

March 2017

One Disease

One Disease’s mission is to eliminate Crusted Scabies as a public health concern from remote Indigenous communities in Australia by 2022. One Disease has worked with over 90 Crusted Scabies patients and healthcare providers in the Top End of the Northern Territory since 2011, with early seed funding from The Snow Foundation for their ‘Healthy Skin Program’ in East Arnhem Land.

They have made incredible progress and are now working in 28 communities across the Northern Territory. Crucial to their success is their approach. The ‘Healthy Skin Program’ is culturally respectful and has been developed in partnership with the Indigenous communities.

In the past year, The Snow Foundation’s support has largely been for the Indigenous community of Maningrida, where five patients with Crusted Scabies receive ongoing support to work towards self-management.

This work has improved the lives of so many like Adam’s family whose children had recurring Crusted Scabies for four years, prior to the help of One Disease. “It’s been six months since the children were treated in hospital and we have not seen white crusts since. Thanks to One Disease, our family are no longer itching and scratching, fighting this mite. I don’t have to warn friends and family not to hug the children. I feel safe knowing scabies has gone and so has the risk of serious long term health issues,” Adam’s story.

One Disease is working to put Indigenous health back in the hands of the Indigenous people. They encourage education and embed systems that allow for ongoing self- management of Crusted Scabies on a local level - to make sure that Adams story isn’t repeated.

20161013_0073a

Dr Sam Prince, Founder and Chair of One Disease at The Snow Foundation 25th anniversary celebration

Date

February 2017

Rheumatic Heart Disease

Rheumatic Heart Disease often commences with a scabies infection and is 100% preventable yet our Indigenous Australians have amongst the highest rates in the world. To raise awareness and assist with prevention, The Snow Foundation provided funding for a documentary film, tool kit, two smart phone apps and medical research.

The rheumatic heart disease documentary titled “Take Heart” is supported with a free action tool kit for communities, schools and clinics. This film premiered in March 2016 and has been screened around the country and on SBS. With sponsorship from BUPA, 14 short films and action tool kits have been distributed to Top End health clinics and some schools. The Snow Foundation and Aspen Foundation hosted a screening for politicians at Parliament House, in October 2016. For more information see http://www.takeheart.tv.

Without a vaccine, indigenous children must take penicillin every month, on time every time for the rest of their lives. The two smart phone apps have been developed to enable kids to stay on track with their penicillin injections, as currently only 50% are on time.  The medical research into a vaccine for rheumatic heart disease is headed by Professor Michael Good AO, a National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Principal Research Fellow at Griffith University.

Take Heart_Brooklyn post-op_Darwin Australia_Moonshine Movies Brooklyn, post-operation, Darwin

Date

February 2017

Social Welfare

Karinya House

For more than ten years The Snow Foundation has supported Karinya House, providing funds towards a caseworker position. Their reputation of providing a safe and nurturing environment for mothers and babies, who would otherwise find themselves alone in vulnerable circumstances, is well-known and we are proud to help amplify their good work.

Zara was referred to Karinya House when she was pregnant with her second child. Zara was living with her 5-year old son and waiting for her new husband to be granted a visa to join her in Australia.
Zara had migrated to Australia with her ex-husband several years prior but after experiencing domestic violence she separated and had since remarried. Zara spoke to a hospital social worker about how lonely and isolated she was feeling and was referred to Karinya House for emotional support.

On first meeting with Zara, Caseworkers were impressed with her strength and resilience. In the two years since she arrived in Australia, she had completed her study and was now working in two casual jobs to support herself and her son. After leaving her abusive ex-husband she lived in women’s refuges until she was allocated her own Housing ACT property. Zara was extremely capable and independent but also worried about caring for her son and a new baby with very little support.

During her pregnancy, Zara was provided with emotional support through regular phone calls and meetings with her Caseworkers. She was busy with work and caring for her son, and grateful for the opportunity to talk about her experiences and feelings. Zara enjoyed celebrating Christmas with other women from Karinya House as she would otherwise have been alone at this time. Karinya House also helped in practical ways; providing transport to and from school for Zara’s son while she recovered from dental treatment and assisting Zara with access to essential baby items that helped relieve financial stress.

Zara was anxious about going through labour and birth alone. Karinya House offered Zara the security of knowing she would have a support person with her in the event her baby was born before her husband arrived in Australia. Caseworkers also wrote a letter supporting Zara’s husband’s visa application.  David’s visa was granted, and he arrived in Australia shortly before the birth of baby Layla. Over the next few months, Zara and her family experienced a challenging period of adjustment to a new baby and moving to a new country for David. Karinya House Caseworkers assisted the family with accessing their Centrelink entitlements, linking in with support services for new migrants and understanding their housing options.

Although David and Zara were very capable, they needed help to navigate our often-complex systems work in Australia.  Zara struggled with feeling financially dependent on her new husband given her previous experiences of domestic violence, and she talked through these feelings with her Caseworker.  David returned to work in a fly-in-fly-out role when Layla was only 3 weeks old. Volunteers from Karinya House provided respite care for Layla for a few hours a week while David was away to give Zara a chance to rest. Zara was also referred to the Maternal and Child Health program to assist her with caring for baby Layla.  The Karinya House Group program gave Zara an opportunity to get out of the house and socialise with other women and Zara made a priority of attending the program and other special group activities throughout her time as an outreach client.

At the time of publication, the family are working hard to settle into their new lives and becoming increasingly independent. They are hoping to soon move out of their ACT Housing property and into a private rental property. The children are settled in school and David is continuing in his fly-in-fly-out job. Both David and Zara are looking for employment that will better suit their new family situation.

Date

October 2019

Assistance Beyond Crisis (ABC) Micro Finance Program

A microfinance program offering interest-free loans for people who have experienced and left a domestic or family violence situation.

Local Canberra research showed that 80%-90% of local women seeking support for domestic violence experienced financial abuse and that 25% were left responsible for a debt accrued by their partner.  Over half of them become homeless in the first year, post-crisis which is why support during this time is vital.

In the ACT, there are avenues of support for low-income victims of domestic violence. But for people in the middle-income bracket (earning over $50,000), there are fewer options available.  These domestic violence survivors make up a "missing middle" in Canberra. In 2016, the Snow Foundation, along with Women’s Centre for Health Matters, Deloitte, Ernst and Young, KPMG and PwC, held community round tables which determined that access to finance was a key factor in a woman’s decision to leave, stay in or return to an abusive relationship.  These results were the catalyst for the Assistance Beyond Crisis loans scheme.

This micro-finance program aims to close the gap for the 'missing middle' – working parents or individuals, who have experienced and left domestic violence situations but need help getting back on their feet and avoid homelessness or returning to a bad situation to alleviate financial hardship.

These loans have helped pay rent and rental bonds, get critical household appliances like refrigerators and washing machines or pay for car registration and repairs or legal cost.

Loans are co-funded by donations from companies such as Beyond Bank Australia, Deloitte, KPMG, EY, Service One Alliance Bank, PWC, and by community donations from the Funding Network, The Snow Foundation, and the Rolfe family, among others. This innovative funding model has been recognised by both the Small Grants Awards from Philanthropy Australia and the Workplace and Business Awards and is being implemented in the Hunter Valley.

To date this program has already helped more than 35 women and 70 children with interest-free loans after leaving domestic violence situations.

“I would like to say how appreciative and lucky to have been to be able to be granted an ABC loan. I left my abusive husband last year, after years of torment towards me and my sons. That morning (unbeknown to me at the time) he had drained all joint bank accounts.  I had applied for legal aid for assistance with a violence order and had been rejected due to earning “too much”. It didn’t matter that my husband had taken it all, and left me paying all liabilities, they only saw the $ income. I was forced to find a private lawyer and was lucky enough to have found a lovely firm that allowed me to pay my bills when they become due rather than having to foot a hefty $3000 or more upfront to sit in trust. The ABC loan seemed to pop up at just the right time! I can’t recall where or how I first found out about this, but it was like someone had read my mind. There are people out there who do earn “too much” for assistance and are turned away, but what about the ones like me that didn’t see a cent of their earnings cause they had been lumped with debts (approved on the basis of two incomes), had lawyer fees and needed help with bills, beds and basics after being forced into a situation they wouldn’t wish on anyone. I applied for the loan and was lucky enough to be granted money to assist me through the difficult (not only financially- but mentally) time. It was an easy process, with the most caring souls at the other end of the line/email. I have now got back on my feet and have been trying to pay more toward the loan to try and pay it out so that others can have the same opportunity that I had. Loan recipient.

 

Date

October 2019

Good 360

For the first time generous businesses will have an easy solution to donate excess stock to people in need. The seed funding provided by the Snow Foundation has enabled us to become fully operational and since our launch a few weeks ago we have more than $3 million worth of donated goods.

Good360 Australia Founder and Managing Director, Alison Covington

Good360 provides charities nationwide with access to free, new goods donated by businesses, enabling charities to save money, expand programs and strengthen their impact. Products include toys, clothing, beauty products and bedding. Charities simply pay a once off $250 annual membership and receive products for free, they just need to pay for freight cost.

Since launch in March 2015 to November 2016, Good360 has received millions of excess goods from 40 retailers and re-distributed $3m worth of goods to 400 charities. Good360 provides a social and environmental solution by helping charities help individuals while reducing the negative environmental impact that occurs with unwanted goods going to land-fill.

The Snow Foundation has worked with Good360 since 2014 when we gave $100,000 to fund the development of the Good 360 GivingPlace software that provides the platform for donations and distribution. The foundation also committed $25,000 to Good360 for operational funding.

In 2015 the Foundation committed $100,000 per annum for 3 years for operational resources and together with a team of 8 funders collaboratively funded the first 3 years of operations to the value of $1.5 million.

The Snow Foundation has also paid for over 50 charities to have a Good360 annual membership. This provides them with free products which may be items that are essential or even a little bit special like the products Dad’s Place ordered.

Dad’s Place is a home that fathers who are separated can spend time with their children overnight. It provides a suitable and a familiar and safe accommodation and it encourages fathers to address the issues that may be a barrier to resolving their homelessness.

Dad’s Place received many amazing products and goodies from Good360 - sheets, doona covers, pillows, towels to improve the home. They also received “Welcome Packs” which include basic needs such as toiletries, and a small gift for each child. By ordering from Good360 they have the benefit of being able to obtain a higher quality product – Lush men’s packs which were a real treat with the Dads. The cost savings have allowed them to make their donated dollar go further by purchasing more essentials therefore assisting more families.

 

Date

November 2016