21 April 2020

Hands Across Canberra to administer Chief Minister's Charitable Fund

| Ian Bushnell
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Hands Across Canberra CEO Peter Gordon, Minister for Social Services and Social Inclusion Rachel Stephen-Smith, Hands Across Canberra Chair Diane Kargas Bray, and Chief Minister Andrew Barr. Photo: Tim Benson.

Hands Across Canberra CEO Peter Gordon, Minister for Social Services and Social Inclusion Rachel Stephen-Smith, Hands Across Canberra Chair Diane Kargas Bray, and Chief Minister Andrew Barr. Photo: Tim Benson.

Not-for-profit organisation Hands Across Canberra will administer the Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund, initial funding for which was announced in the 2018 Budget.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr made the announcement at the launch of the fund today at Canberra City Care in Charnwood.

The ACT Government has provided $5 million in seed funding to kick-start the fund, which Mr Barr said would provide targeted support for the community to deliver help where it was most needed and explore innovative ways to meet that need.

Mr Barr said Hands Across Canberra was a trusted not-for-profit organisation with strong networks in the community, and was well placed to administer grants from the fund.

Hands Across Canberra Chair Diane Kargas Bray said the $5 million investment provided the start of a perpetual fund to ensure it had the ability to support those most in need in the future.

“This gift to the community is inspired. It is a great example of collaboration between the Government and the community to create long-term change. With the increased capacity more people will benefit from this support,” Ms Bray said.

“The success of Hands Across Canberra has demonstrated the good will in our community, and we believe that the Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund will encourage an even higher level of philanthropy locally.”

Mr Barr said Canberra was Australia’s most inclusive city, which strove to ensure everyone had the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

“We already have the highest rate of volunteering in the country and have a strong social conscience,” he said. “I’m therefore excited that all Canberrans will become philanthropists through this fund, and expect our community will also be pleased to see their tax dollars at work, supporting our friends and neighbours who need occasional or ongoing support.”


Hands Across Canberra is an independent community organisation, working with more than 160 local community charities to improve outcomes for the most vulnerable people in our city.

It was founded in 2010 by a group of Canberra leaders with the idea of creating a foundation to help fellow Canberrans and give back to the community.

Hands Across Canberra has also just announced its 2018 Project Support Grants to 22 recipients including three co-funded by the Snow Foundation – the Newborn Intensive Care Foundation, the St Benedicts Community Centre and Domestic Violence Crisis Service.

The Project Support Grant Ceremony was held at the Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC) in Erindale, which received a grant that will go toward its new Play for Change program. Hands Across Canberra said this program would enable disadvantaged young people to play on two football teams where they could interact and thrive in a positive environment.

The grant rounds enable community organisations to apply for project support of up to $10,000.

CEO Peter Gordon said the Board developed a list of priorities for funding. “These priorities included young people at risk, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community programs and capacity building of community organisations and social enterprises,” he said.

The 2018 grant recipients are:

  • ACT Down Syndrome
  • Tjillari Justice Aboriginal Corporation
  • Kookaburra Kids
  • Mental Health Foundation
  • Getaboutable
  • Lifeline
  • Yeddung Mura Aboriginal Corporation
  • Uniting Care, Kippax
  • Holy Cross Tuckerbox
  • Volunteering and Contact ACT
  • Domestic Violence Crisis Service
  • Mental Illness Education ACT
  • St. Benedicts Community Centre, Queanbeyan
  • CREATE Foundation
  • YouthCARE Canberra
  • St. Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn
  • The Right Direction
  • Newborn Intensive Care Foundation
  • Canberra PCYC -Tuggeranong
  • Canberra PCYC -West Belconnen
  • This is my Brave Australia
  • Marymead

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