Bridging the Digital Divide

Social Justice Small Grants 2020

The focus for the Social Justice Small Grants program in 2020 was  ‘Justice in the digital world’.  Projects that assist people who are currently excluded from online communications due to age, income, geography, cultural background or disability, were prioritised.

The Farm in Galong, NSW: The Farm in Galong Restoration Project
This project will provide disadvantaged women with access to computers and IT support to develop literacy, numeracy and technology skills and access to online courses including educational and mental health courses.

CatholicCare Sandhurst, VIC: Iawa App
The Iawa app will provide a local, culturally relevant service directory to help families engage in antenatal, maternal child health, kindergartens, playgroups and other family supports.

Prison Network, VIC: Post Release Online Support Group
This project involves the development of a post-release online support group for women in regional and remote areas, tailored to support their needs around mental health, homelessness, poverty, addiction and domestic violence.

Cultural Diversity Network Inc, NSW: Safety for newly arrived migrants and refugees
The project will train and upskill refugee and newly arrived migrant women to use digital devices, educating them about e-safety, counteracting social isolation, and successfully integrating these skills into their day to day activities and work environments.

Carers of Africa, QLD: Keeping up to Speed with Technology for Women
Carers of Africa will provide computer sessions for women from disadvantaged backgrounds, equipping them with basic computer knowledge and skills, ensuring better access to information and an improved way of life.

Syrian Mosaic Community in Brisbane, QLD: Computer Principles, Learning is a Social Justice Issue
This project provides funding to purchase devices and to create educational classes required for learning the basic principles of computers, in addition to teaching Arabic and English.

Parramatta Women’s Shelter, NSW: Cyber safety and security project
The project provides access to computers and software for clients of Parramatta Women’s Shelter to promote safer and more positive experiences online.

Churches Housing, NSW: Connecting domestic violence survivors to affordable rental housing
The project entails the development of an app to help connect domestic violence survivors to affordable rental housing, Australia wide.

The Reconnect Project, NSW: Staying connected
This project will enable women, who do not have access to mobile digital technology, to access a reconditioned device and tools to connect digitally with essential services and their own social network.

Women’s Information, Support and Housing in the North “WISHIN”, VIC: Switched On – digital inclusion for women who have experienced homelessness and family violence.
This project will support up to 270 women per year who have experienced homelessness and family violence. They will have access to computers for completing job applications and short training courses, to access Centrelink and Medicare, as well as other essential services

Life Changing Experiences Foundation, NSW: We-Care Online Community
The purpose of this project is to protect vulnerable groups from online exploitation and manipulation. The “We Care” online community will offer support to vulnerable girls by providing a safe online space where they can find connection, mentoring, information, guidance and resources.

The program will be delivered online and face-to-face, alongside the organisation’s mentoring programs.
Funding of this project was made possible by a donation from the Cath Leary Social Justice Foundation. 

Parramatta Mission, NSW:  Internet Access for Women and Children
Parramatta Mission’s Thelma Brown Cottage provides accommodation for women and children escaping family violence. Seed funding was requested for set up costs for families to be connected to the digital world.  COVID-19 has highlighted the need for women and children to access online technology for education, accessing online services and support and making appointments. It is expected that each year, 600 women and children will benefit from this project.
Funding of this project was made possible by the Sisters of Mercy North Sydney.

The theme for the Social Justice Small Grants program for 2020 was determined prior to the pandemic, which has since illustrated how essential it is for all members of the community to have access to online communication in order to stay connected and address social isolation.