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Media Release

Applications now open for St.George Foundation’s $600,000 Inspire Grant

12 February 2019

Applications are now open for St.George Foundation’s Inspire Grant; a three year grant designed to provide innovative interventions that will change the course of a child’s life.

St.George Foundation CEO, Vanessa Barry says “The grant is designed to help children who are impacted by physical, social or economic disadvantage though innovative programs that provide alternative pathways to education. As our largest grant since the Foundation was established by St.George Bank in 1990, our hope is that it will help fast track large-scale programs of work that are ground-breaking for children experiencing some of the toughest times in their lives. These programs also provide sustainable outcomes for children long into the future.”

The 2018 Inspire Grant recipient, Whitelion, will use the $600,000 funding to help at-risk young women stay in education. As an alternative approach to school suspension, the program aims to prevent young women from disengaging with mainstream education when they’ve been suspended or expelled. The funding aims to support up to 195 young women aged 12-17 across New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.

Whitelion’s Director, Strategy, Communications and Marketing, Rowena Middlemiss says “The Inspire Grant allows us to provide at-risk young women with an alternative, highly supportive, innovative and flexible learning environment that will help them to reintegrate with mainstream education or connect them to a new vocational pathway and prevent them from ‘falling through the cracks’. More than this, it aims to give these young women the courage and opportunity to change the course of their lives, forever.”

MissingSchool was the 2017 Inspire Grant recipient and is using the $600,000 to fund 75 telepresence robots - an Australian-first for maintaining continuous school connection for seriously sick or injured kids who miss school for long periods of time. The robots live in the classrooms of these students, allow them to take their lessons in real time, be seen and heard and even move around.

Vanessa Barry says “MissingSchool has achieved so much in the first 16 months of the Inspire Grant. The organisation has already acquired 47 robots, achieving connection for 49 students to their schools. There are currently 23 applications for robots, with placements expected to double in 2019. We are thrilled to be playing our part in helping revolutionise access to education through the introduction of this state-of-the-art technology on a national scale. The robots are helping seriously sick or injured children keep in touch with their teachers and importantly, maintain their friendships.”

Megan Gilmour, CEO MissingSchool says “The funding received from St.George Foundation for the robot pilot has not only accelerated change across Australia, but is bringing support for the issue towards us to catalyse a long-term solution for the more than 60,000 children who miss school often or for long periods because of serious illness. If it was not for the support of St.George Foundation, this ground-breaking program simply wouldn’t exist.”

Applications now open: St.George Foundation is now seeking its next Inspire Grant recipient to receive $600,000 in funding

Eligible applicants must have a national program that provides innovative opportunities for children in Australia who are experiencing disadvantage to reach their full potential, through alternative pathways to education.

Full eligibility requirements and Expression of Interest forms are available now. To find out more, please visit

Alicia Campagnolo
0435 697 355


St.George Foundation was established by St.George Bank in 1990. Since that time, it has partnered with more than 800 community organisations across Australia to invest more than $30 million to help to provide a brighter future for children in Australia who are experiencing physical, social or economic disadvantage.

To find out how you can support St.George Foundation please phone 1300 726 023 or email