CHAIR & CEO LETTER FY22
Sony Foundation is an organisation truly greater than the sum of its parts.
Driven by passion and committed to purpose, we are dedicated to delivering impactful outcomes to our supporters, partners and to the young people who need us.
Our Corporate and Media Partner network is the backbone of the Foundation. People who want to make a difference, not just talk about it. People who give for no other reason than because they care and people who when asked, say yes more than no. And, the reason why many millions have been donated to fund our holiday camps, build cancer centres and give our young people who have been dealt a much harder hand than each of us - a hand up.
What started as a small Foundation in 1998 with the six Sony companies coming together to fund one Holiday Camp for children with disability has grown to have the backing and investment of: 51 corporate partners comprising of some of Australia’s largest media companies; support from generous philanthropists and the unrivalled power of Sony Music artists.
Throughout this time, a core belief has driven this growth – it is – that we can do better together.
It is also a core belief in our charity programs – for our young people, we know that human connection and inclusion are what make all the difference.
Whether it be young people with cancer, disability or disadvantage, their biggest challenges are too often isolation, loneliness, lack of inclusion, and fair and equitable access.
This past year, our partners had faith in us to deliver on their generosity. And, this did not waiver in such uncertain times during the pandemic. Sony Foundation continued to deliver important programs and expand into new areas of need. A highlight being a pilot of the Sony Holiday Camp program, tailored to the needs of Indigenous children with disability held in Broome, WA. A collaboration with Majarlin Kimberley Centre for Remote Health at the University of Notre Dame and Broome Senior Highschool, and with funding from 7 Telethon. We received an overwhelming response to this first remote Sony Camp, with 87.5% reporting that they had never had access to overnight respite.
This Sony Camp model captures the essence of what Sony Foundation is about – the ‘we’; the collective and collaborative mindset of our partners. And, bringing a voice to those who too often get overlooked and ignored. This year, Sony Foundation donated $2,200,000+ to fund essential youth services and build specialised and age-appropriate youth centres and sanctuaries. Our reach was considerable with: over $1 million in free accommodation provided to 120 regional cancer patients through our You Can Stay program; our fifth You Can Centre open and operational at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse;24,000 hours of disability care training completed by 770+ high school and university students and over 3,000 young people having access to Sony Foundation funded youth sanctuaries and programs in communities recovering from the Black Summer Bushfires. In this year’s impact report are incredible stories of lives that have been touched by the Foundation. Let these stories be the inspiration to continue to challenge the status quo. Together we need to work collaboratively to find the solutions to complex social issues. Doing better together.
So, a heartfelt thank you. Thank you for your donations, your time, for giving your word and for following through with your commitment.
We also want to say a special thank you to the Board Directors – a team of genuinely committed people who steer this Foundation with great wisdom and talent and with no other agenda but to make sure every dollar makes a difference.
And, to the hardworking team of Emma, Karen and Tom who tackle the insurmountable to achieve well beyond the capacity of a small team.
CATHY O'CONNOR, CHAIR
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director,
oOh!media Pty Ltd
Chief Executive Officer,
Sony Foundation Australia