Extracted from Sony Foundation's FY21 Annual Report
For Australian youth, this last year has been one that has presented incredible challenges and it is our most vulnerable, who have experienced the widespread impact of these challenges. And, those too who have shown great resilience in the face of such adversity.
In an unprecedented year of need, Sony Foundation is proud to have donated over $2.2 million to fund essential youth services and programs, and build age-appropriate spaces for our young people. Despite the challenges COVID-19 imposed on fundraising for charities across Australia, Sony Foundation was able to fund all existing programs with a further $2.9 million committed to projects in the forthcoming year. Nationally, Sony Foundation’s programs have expanded to meet the increased need, and to fill gaps in the system that have consequently been brought to light by the impacts of COVID; with a specific focus on supporting young Australians in regional, rural and remote communities.
In FY20/21, Sony Foundation launched ‘You Can Stay’ an emergency accommodation program for regional youth cancer patients, requiring life-saving treatment in metropolitan hospitals. In its first year, You Can Stay provided 3,091 nights of free accommodation to regional youth cancer patients and their families, and in the next year, we aim to significantly increase this support. Sony Foundation expanded our Children’s Holiday Camp program to support the remote Kimberley and Fitzroy Valley regions of Western Australia, with the establishment of two new Holiday Camps.
Sony Foundation was not exempt from the shared global experience of COVID-19 shifting the way we do things, as we faced a continued hold on our major fundraising events. Sony Foundation is excited to announce a new innovative fundraising initiative, set to launch in early 2022. This initiative goes to the heart of Sony Foundation, bringing partners together to create, collaborate and bring about social change.
Thanks to Sony Foundation’s dedicated Board of Directors for their strategic guidance. In a year like no other, your wisdom and determination has ensured the ongoing success of the Foundation, and importantly greater support for the young people we work with. My sincere thanks to our Chair, Cathy O’Connor for her leadership, vision and brilliance, enabling Sony Foundation to expand and grow during this challenging climate. To our outgoing Directors, Denis Handlin, thank you for your support and unrivalled passion for the work of the Foundation over the last 23 years. Damian Eales, thank you for your wisdom, vision and guidance.
Chief Executive Officer,
Sony Foundation Australia