Indigenous education and skills development the focus of Envato's new charitable foundation

The development and education of Australia’s young Indigenous population is the focus of a new charitable initiative set up by one of the country’s leading tech companies.

Announced in Melbourne today, the Envato Foundation will support and partner with charitable organisations that focus on opportunity creation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Foundation, directed by a Board made up of current and former Envato staff has started 2019 by providing three organisations with grants totalling $630,000 across the next three to six years.

The inaugural recipients were the school to work transition program Ganbina, secondary school scholarship provider Yalari and the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

Envato CEO and Co-Founder Collis Ta’eed, said the initiative builds on the company’s established commitment to supporting charities, communities and organisations that are aligned with Envato’s values.  

“Aligning purpose and business is something that is important to us at Envato. Our company, and our industry, have experienced a huge amount of success, and it’s critical that we, and companies like us, take an active role in supporting the wider community.”

“Since Envato was founded in 2006, we’ve put 1% of all our profits to charitable ends. While for many years we distributed these to a mix of staff nominated charities, we felt it was time to take a more targeted approach. We’re proud to be an Australian company - and wanted to focus on a uniquely Australian challenge. That's why we created this Foundation.” said Collis Ta’eed.

Chair of the Envato Foundation board Briany Kalms explained that “It’s been eye-opening to learn about the huge disparities in education and employment outcomes that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities experience, but also exciting to find out that there are amazing organisations out there working to bring about positive change. Many of those organisations rely on corporate partners to support their work.

"I’m thrilled that Envato is taking on a stronger leadership role in our industry in actively supporting these organisations.”

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Yalari recipients at the 2019 Orientation Camp

Foundation recipients

Ganbina

Ganbina is Australia’s most successful Indigenous school to work transition program.  It provides mentorship to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, from the ages of six to 25 years old, to make sure they gain the education, skills and life experiences they need to unlock their full potential. The program includes learning support, life skills training, cultural appreciation, career guidance and financial assistance. More than 70% of Ganbina participants are engaged in education or work, well above the national average (58%).

Anthony Cavanagh, CEO:

“We’re very excited about the new relationship, and developing a deeper partnership with Envato. The three-year commitment, the continuity of the funding, is really important for our program. We’ve got the chance now to provide our kids with exposure to the world of tech services, get them thinking about whether they are interested in that kind of career. There’s definitely a lot of opportunities we can explore as this partnership progresses.”

“Ganbina focuses on empowering each and every young person enrolled in our program to realise their full potential so they can reach for the stars in leading their families and communities to a better way of life. That Envato can help us with this mission is incredibly exciting and rewarding.”

Yalari

Yalari is a not-for-profit organisation that offers quality, secondary education scholarships at leading Australian boarding schools for Indigenous children from regional, rural and remote communities. Since 2005, Yalari has been provided almost 500 Indigenous children from regional, rural and remote communities across Australia with the opportunity to receive a full boarding school scholarship for their entire secondary education.

Llew Mullins, Co-Founder and Managing Director:

“We are humbled to partner with the Envato Foundation in sponsoring two Indigenous students commencing Year 7 and supporting them through to graduation in Year 12.  Envato has also committed to sponsoring our Captain’s Camp for the next six years for our Yalari captains, where each year the camp teaches these students leadership skills and how to support the younger students.”

“Yalari’s core business is to empower Indigenous children from remote, rural and regional areas of Australia and the Torres Strait Islands through our secondary, educational scholarship and support programs to bring about generational change for these students, their families and their communities. Working together toward this common goal will certainly go a long way to bring about this positive change and allow these children to dream big and achieve. To have an organisation like Envato work with us in partnership for the education and empowerment of Indigenous children is imperative for the maturity of our country as we move towards a more just and equitable society.”

Indigenous Literacy Foundation

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation works in over 280 communities across remote Australia to provide books and literacy programs where they are needed the most. Its purpose is to make a difference to the lives of Indigenous families by not only gifting thousands of new culturally appropriate books – with a focus on early literacy and books written by Indigenous authors and illustrators – but also by running programs to inspire the communities to tell and publish their own stories.

Karen Williams, Executive Director:

“Envato is an amazing organisation who’ve demonstrated a real interest and commitment towards reconciliation and towards working with us to help achieve our vision of ‘equity of opportunity’. With Envato support, we can deliver that vision, through education (and our three programs) which we passionately believe will give all children living in remote Australia, future opportunities and choice around education, employment and their general wellbeing.  We thank you and look forward to taking small but sustainable steps in closing the gap.

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