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Kids Thrive wins the inaugural community philanthropy award

We are excited to announce that Philanthropy Australia has awarded the inaugural Community Philanthropy Award to Kids Thrive for the Geelong model of our groundbreaking child-led social change program Kids as Catalysts.

Kids as Catalysts is a multi-award winning schools and community-based program that equips children aged 8-12 with real world experience in leading positive community change. The curriculum-aligned program gives students the skills to identify and solve real problems facing their community, through creative and collaborative projects.

The Kids as Catalysts program has been delivered in 35 Victorian schools since 2011 with outstanding feedback from all involved including children, educators, communities, funders and other professionals.

“Over the last two years, more than 600 students at Geelong’s Northern Bay College have forged partnerships with over 50 local community groups, and secured over $16,000 in funding to co-design and deliver more than 80 community change projects directly benefiting thousands of people in Geelong” says Creative Director, Dr Andrea Lemon.

“I am so proud of Kids Thrive and everyone involved – all the kids, educators and community, funders and partners to have won this award. After ten years of developing child-led change programs at Kids Thrive, it brings immense satisfaction to see this profound work being recognized by such a key philanthropic body, as well as seeing the enormous impact the program has on empowering children and their communities” said Dr Lemon.

“Every single child has a fundamental right to have a voice and to influence their own life and the world they live in. Kids Thrive brings this right to life for children, and anyone who bears witness to the results can have no doubt – we need child-led change!” Liana Buchanan, Victorian Principal Commissioner for Children and Young People.

“I felt really proud about myself that I could make a big change in the community. I can do more than I thought” Jack, 11 years old student.

Kids as Catalysts is a unique program with the power to build both child and community wellbeing through engaging in direct action. It is a program with great potential to support kids and communities through these extraordinary times as we endeavoUr to survive and recover from the Covid pandemic and climate emergencies such as bushfires.

Kids as Catalysts empowers children to recognise issues in their community, forge partnerships with local leaders and community groups, co-design and lead action-based projects to help drive local change.

Kids Thrive is launching a blended online model of Kids as Catalysts in 2021, ensuring more children and communities around Australia can benefit from this high impact program.

Kids Thrive would like to thank our Geelong-based community philanthropy partners, Geelong Community Foundation and Give Where You Live Foundation, for their support of the Kids as Catalysts program.

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