Poverty & Disadvantage


Addressing the causes as well as the symptoms of poverty and disadvantage has been core to the Sidney Myer Fund’s grantmaking since its establishment in 1934. It reflects Sidney Myer’s own charitable endeavours during his lifetime, including substantial gifts to welfare agencies and providing a Christmas Dinner for more than 10,000 people at the Royal Exhibition Building in 1930. Over time the approach to grantmaking has evolved and sought to maximise its impact by providing multi-year support and coalescing around a specific focus area in each strategic period.

Poverty & Disadvantage Program grantmaking

In line with The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund’s strategic pillar of organisations, the Poverty & Disadvantage Program makes multi-year grants to support the general operations of organisations whose work as a whole aligns with the focus area.

The grantmaking focus area for the current strategic period is improved transitions from education to further education and employment for Aboriginal young people and young people from refugee backgrounds, aged 15 to 25 years.

The Poverty & Disadvantage Program does not accept unsolicited applications. As part of the development of a new strategy for FY24-28 a new focus area for this program is currently being developed. We are not currently taking enquiries in relation to the current focus area.

The Social Studio

Supported with a grant of $355,000 over five years, The Social Studio is a not-for-profit social enterprise. The Social Studio uses the vehicle of a fashion business to work with refugee and migrant young people to develop skills and confidence, and pathways to education, training and employment.

The Sidney Myer Fund’s grant is not directed to one part of The Social Studio’s work or another. Rather it is designed to provide flexibility, to be directed to whatever part of The Social Studio’s operations that its management determines is the priority.

Current grantees

During the current strategic period FY19-23, the Poverty & Disadvantage Program has made grants for multi-year general operating support to the following organisations:

  • Ganbina
  • Centre for Multicultural Youth
  • Stars Foundation
  • River Nile Learning Centre
  • The Social Studio
  • CareerTrackers
  • Multicultural Youth South Australia
  • Seed Foundation Australia
  • Aurora Education Foundation
  • Small Grants Program

    The Sidney Myer Fund supports two grantmaking programs making small grants of up to $10,000 each available to organisations and communities around Australia.

    Small grants for applicants in rural and regional Australia are available through the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal’s Strengthening Rural Communities program.

    The Australian Neighbourhood Houses and Centres Association’s Supporting Stronger Communities program makes grants up to $10,000 to tackle poverty and disadvantage in local communities in metropolitan areas of Australia, through the neighbourhood and community house network.