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Telstra Sets Out to Help Young People

9 May 2002 at 1:05 pm
Staff Reporter
Telstra has announced the formation of the Telstra Foundation, a philanthropic initiative that it says will strive to improve the lives of Australia’s children and young people as well as a major package of welfare assistance for low income families.

Staff Reporter | 9 May 2002 at 1:05 pm


Telstra Sets Out to Help Young People
9 May 2002 at 1:05 pm

Australian telecommunications giant Telstra has announced the formation of the Telstra Foundation, a philanthropic initiative that it says will strive to improve the lives of Australia’s children and young people as well as a major package of welfare assistance for low income families.

The Telstra Foundation will be chaired by Olympic track and field legend and business leader Herb Elliott MBE.

Telstra’s Chief Executive Officer Ziggy Switkowski said the Telstra Foundation would enhance Telstra’s strong history of community participation through its mission, which is to make a positive and lasting difference to the lives of Australian children and young people.

In its first year $5m will be allocated to the Telstra Foundation by Telstra Corporation, making it one of the largest grant giving programs for children and young people in Australia.

Dr Switkowski said the Foundation will focus on issues and programs where it believes it can make the greatest impact by supporting children and young people and, through them, the wider community.

Foundation Chairman Mr Herb Elliott endorsed the initiative saying that in a perfect world every person would live to their full potential.

He said this is what the Telstra Foundation is really about for him – helping children and young people to reach their full potential.

The Foundation has been under development for nearly a year and will operate independently of the Telstra Corporation. It includes two main grant-giving programs:

1. Telstra Community Development Fund.
2. Telstra’s Kids Fund.

The Community Development Fund supports Not for Profit charitable organisations that focus on helping Australian children or young people to overcome challenges and make the most of their lives. The fund will support cultural, health, education, and research and disability programs and address important social issues affecting young people.

Dr Switkowski said the Telstra’s Kids Fund provides smaller grants to support local organisations and activities in which the children of Telstra staff are involved, providing further recognition for the work of Telstra people and the close links of local Telstra people and their families within their communities. This fund provides grants for recreational, education, sporting, cultural, social and environmental projects.

He said Telstra recognises and understands the importance of social responsibility. It wants to build and strengthen our communities, support leading-edge research and help to address the root causes of many of the social issues our children and young people face, for example youth homelessness and substance abuse.

The Telstra Foundation’s Community Development Fund will be accepting grant applications twice this year with the closing date for applications being 31 May for a decision by the end of August and 27 September for a decision made by early December.

The Telstra’s Kids Fund accepts grant applications three times this year with the closing date for applications 31 May with a decision made by the end of July and 13 September with a decision made by mid November.

Following a recent Federal Cabinet decision on price controls, Telstra has also announced a new package of product and service options called “Access for Everyone” targeted at people who are on low incomes.

Telstra says it will phase in these new services, after July 1, this year.

The package includes:

(a) a free “18-Messages” voice message service which will be
particularly useful for homeless people and job seekers

(b) a Telstra Emergency Relief program which will be administered by welfare groups to provide assistance to financially disadvantaged Telstra customers

(c) HomeLine “Classic” which will be a line rental plan providing a relatively lower line rental price / higher call price option for customers who, for affordability reasons, have relatively low levels of telephone use (in time, this product will replace HomeLine Budget)

(d) improving the Telstra Pensioner Concession Scheme which already
supports approximately one million people, so they can to maintain their
social network by offering telephone call incentives and facilitating
access to the Internet.

(e) enhancing InContact by allowing outgoing calls to certain
counselling & support services and access to a message service.

If your organisation would like to attend an in-depth audio briefing or a general briefing about the new package please contact Robert Morsillo, Telstra’s Consumer & Business Relations Manager on 03 9634 5573
for an invitation.

Some Specifics on the Telstra Foundation:

The Community Development Fund will offer grants to charities with Deductible Gift Recipient status, for initiatives that benefit children and young people.

It will support issues such as Social issues (homelessness, cultural diversity, substance abuse), Disability, Health, Research, Education, Arts/Culture.Other areas will be considered.

Telstra says it is interested in supporting projects that:
• Develop innovative solutions and new approaches to issues affecting children and young people
• Are based on sound research and have strong likelihood of meeting their objectives
• Develop practical applications of new knowledge in areas including medical, scientific and social research
• Have the capacity to become self-sustaining and make a lasting impact
• Enhance social connections and the active participation of children and young people in their local communities
• Build more cohesive and stronger communities
• Address the demonstrated needs of children and young people from disadvantaged communities including indigenous, rural and remote communities
• Supports community organisations and activities that the children of a permanent Telstra staff member (and staff of 100% owned & managed subsidiaries) are involved with.
• Includes siblings, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, foster children
• $1500 maximum grant
• Proportionate monies will be divided between states and metro/regional areas across Australia
• Projects likely to be supported include cultural, recreational, sporting, environmental, educational activities
• Grants will be made three times a year
• Telstra Foundation Ltd separate company from Telstra Corporation Ltd.
• The Board will be made up of seven members, the majority of whom will be community (non-Telstra) members:

 Chairman of Telstra Foundation – Herb Elliott
 Telstra CEO, Ziggy Switkowski
 Professor Fiona Stanley
 Jackie Huggins
 Matt Pfahlert
 Managing Director Human Resources and Chief of Staff, Bill Scales
 Ross Baxter, staff representative, NGM Customer & Internal Relations
• Telstra Foundation team will include Manager Fiona Moore and three staff.

For more information you can check out the web site at or call 1800 208 378.

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