Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

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We support communities to build connection, capability and capacity.

Emerging evidence suggests community networks and structures facilitate collaboration, communication, sharing and learning. Well-connected systems, such as cohesive community networks, have the ability to recover from disturbances more quickly than those that are disconnected.

With ongoing challenges associated with natural disasters, the pandemic and economic pressures, there is an ever-increasing requirement for communities to be adaptive and resilient.

Broad community participation enables collective action and sustainable, positive change. Diverse forms of community participation tend to be more resilient, as they are able to compensate when parts of the system are lost or fail. Within a community, connectivity between different social groups increases information sharing and building of trust and reciprocity

The Trust’s support for communities seeks to grow connection, capability and capacity, ensuring community networks are diverse, open and regenerative, that the systems are well-connected, and that community representation includes broad and diverse participation.

We support backbone organisations working to build community connection and capability, leadership capability of individuals and organisations, and mechanisms to promote a strong and inclusive local economy. We prioritise communities who have identified and are realising their own goals and priorities.

The Trust prioritises long-term relationships with organisations working to affect change in Victoria and for Victorians.

To ensure that only organisations likely to receive support invest time in preparing applications, we invite a small number of applications to the Trust each year, and discourage unsolicited applications.

If your organisation requires support and is a Victorian-based charity seeking to build connection, capability and capacity in communities, you are welcome to email us to provide brief information about your organisation and proposed project.

Select organisations addressing the priority areas will be asked to submit a brief expression of interest. Following the expression of interest, a small number of organisations will be asked to submit a full application.

Trustees generally consider applications four times a year.