News & Insights

Making meaningful change: a new strategy for the Bennelong Foundation

July 1, 2024
min read

The Bennelong Foundation today unveiled its new strategy, inspired by the ambition that every person has the opportunity to shape their future and chase their goals. The strategy, which is focused on opening pathways to economic empowerment and social cohesion, guides the Foundation’s approach to grantmaking, partnerships and engagement.

This is the Bennelong Foundation’s first new strategy in 10 years. It launched today alongside a new brand and a new website.

“This new strategy is an evolution in how the Bennelong Foundation creates opportunities for meaningful change,” said CEO Laura Cochrane.

“We reflected on the learnings from funding more than 300 community-led projects over the past 22 years and considered the increasing complexity of today’s social and economic obstacles. We have centered our work on creating opportunities for people facing ingrained barriers within our social system."

The strategy is focused on funding education and employment opportunities as pathways to economic empowerment, and on developing community sport as a pathway for social inclusion and cultural connection.

Bennelong Foundation Chairperson Carena Shankar said: “We believe in empowering people by providing them with opportunities they may not otherwise have access to. One small opportunity can kick-start a journey that can be transformational, both for individuals and entire communities.

“Our new strategy recognises the importance of funding small scale community-led initiatives as well as backing new ideas that can influence whole systems.”

Founded by the Bangarra Family Office, the Bennelong Foundation and its sister foundation in the UK are the philanthropic arms of the Bangarra Group. In addition to financial grants and investments, the Foundations leverage the assets, time and expertise of the Group to connect business and philanthropy, build social impact leadership and cultivate a culture of giving.

The new strategy for the Australia Foundation strives to contribute to meaningful outcomes, including:

  • Better access to the education and skills people need to find a job, earn an income and become self-supporting​;
  • Easier for people to be part of community-level sport that fosters inclusion and connections, both social and cultural​;
  • Greater willingness among members of communities to cooperate with each other in order to prosper​; and
  • More opportunities to learn, work and connect with others, and to have a voice.

The UK Foundation, which was founded in 2019, also launched a refreshed granting strategy. It’s focused on funding initiatives that open pathways to social inclusion for new arrivals to the UK experiencing hardship, and for families facing barriers to accessing food and education.

Read more about the Bennelong Foundation’s strategy and granting approach here.

The new visual identify for the Bennelong Foundation was developed in partnership with Twosday Brand Studio. Our website was designed and built by Supernormal Labs.