First Anniversary Lunch a success!

Published on 11 December 2011

The Hands Across Canberra initiative celebrated its first year at a lunch on Tuesday 29 November addressed by the ACT Chief Minister, Ms Katy Gallagher and Dr David Kennedy from The Atlantic Philanthropies, which is dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people.

Over 250 people from business, government and local community organisations gathered to hear an inspiring address by Dr Kennedy focused on the incredible work Atlantic is doing around the world and in Australia. In preparation for committing its remaining funds by 2016, Atlantic has initiated Giving While Living Networks in Australia. Dr Kennedy shared Atlantic’s experiences in two states, Tasmania and New South Wales, and engaged with the attendees on how Canberrans could build a similar network for more effective giving and significant change.

The event was designed to facilitate and build connections between community organisations, individuals and businesses that might be able to support them in a variety of ways to build their capacity to do their great work.  The involvement of community organisations in this event was made possible by our Corporate Table Sponsors.

“Hands Across Canberra was launched in November 2010 with 25 organisations registered on our giving portal and I am pleased to announce that there are now 70 organisations profiled on the website that people can donate to,” said Mr Allan Williams, Chair of the Hands Across Canberra Foundation.

“Many of the organisations are represented here today and today’s event provides an important opportunity for all of us here to learn more about the need in our community, what all of these exceptional organisations are doing to help ease some of the strain, and what more can be done.

“Since we launched, we have been listening to the needs of our local community organisations, and also to individuals and businesses, and are now looking at ways that we might help to overcome some of the barriers to engaging with each other to achieve great things in our town,” Mr Williams said.

During the event, Mr Allan Williams presented four local community organisations with grants of $5,000 each to assist them in building their capacity to help people in need in our community. [Details below]

“I am delighted to be presenting this support to such deserving organisations. Hands Across Canberra hopes to build its philanthropic funds to be able to support more local community organisations in the future, particularly those that find it difficult to attract government or other funding.

“I am also delighted to announce today that John Hindmarsh of Hindmarsh is committing another $10,000 donation to the Foundation. John made a $10,000 donation at our launch and makes invaluable contributions to the organisation as a Board Member,” Mr Williams said.

For further information or to make a donation to a local community organisation, visit If you have any inquiries, please email

About the Grants

Karinya House for Mothers & Babies – Karinya provides supported accommodation, transitional housing and outreach services to pregnant and parenting women who are in crisis. The service operates on a twenty-four hour, seven days a week basis. This support is for Karinya to be able to extend its Client Welfare support to a greater number of clients and for a greater range of expenses faced that simply is not within their capacity nor funded by government.

The Communities@Work Galilee School – this funding will assist Communities@Work to conduct a school camp for the students attending the Galilee School. The school provides an alternative education program for disadvantaged and at-risk young people – it is something that the young people look forward to each year and is dependent on funding support. A school camp provides a fantastic and positive opportunity for staff and students to bond and work through educational and youth development outcomes beyond the walls of the school. This funding is to purchase sleeping bags to re-use each year and t-shirts for the participants.

Canberra PCYC – purpose is to address issues affecting young people today, and through this to reduce the incidence of youth crime. By providing the Police with a positive link to the community and provision of youth at risk programs, they are able to encourage stronger community relationships. They provide a wide range of activities designed to promote good citizenship within the ACT community in general, and youth-at-risk and the disadvantaged in particular. This funding will assist the organisation to build its capacity to establish its own foundation to channel corporate support towards making the organisation more sustainable.

Early Morning Centre – The EMC provides breakfast and a drop in centre for Canberra’s homeless each weekday. The centre has recently been refurbished and now they are in the process of developing social cohesion and community development projects and programs. This funding is for the EMC to be able to host their first Christmas Lunch for their guests (clients). Importantly, they have chosen a date that does not compete with existing lunches and so offers an extra meal during this time. They will also supply a hamper based on the crisis food packs to assist people during this difficult time of many public holidays and the close down of some services – the hampers will include double the food usually included as there is a 4 day break before the next EMC breakfast. The EMC will also purchase a full sized upright freezer to assist with bulk purchasing of produce for the daily breakfasts provided.

About Dr David Kennedy

Director of Australian Philanthropic Programmes, The Atlantic Philanthropies

Dr Kennedy manages the majority of the Founding Chairman’s grants around the world and he works with grantees throughout Australia and overseas, including Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Honolulu, San Francisco, Tucson and Gaza.

Worldwide, Atlantic has awarded grants of more than US$5.5 billion as at the end of 2010.

Dr. Kennedy is a former associate professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney. He has also taught at the University of New South Wales and Griffith University. He holds five university degrees including a Ph.D. from Cornell University, and has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels at universities in North America, Asia, and Australia.