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A social change campaign to tackle ageism, a National Death Literacy Benchmark tool, a strategy to engage political leaders on better servicing an ageing population, and promoting the right to age well: These are the initiatives awarded a share in the Wicking Trust Major Grants for 2018.

The Wicking Trust, managed by Equity Trustees, is one of Australia’s most significant charitable trusts. It was established in 2002 and now distributes more than $4 million each year.

“Philanthropy has the ability to make real and measurable differences to causes and people. After a vibrant lifetime of partnership and generosity, John and Janet Wicking left behind the J.O. & J.R. Wicking Trust. It is a fitting tribute to their commitment to each other, and the causes they both cared so much about in their lifetimes,” said Jodi Kennedy, General Manager, Charitable Trusts and Philanthropy, Equity Trustees.

 The Wicking Trust Major Grants program aims to achieve systemic change in the areas of ageing and Alzheimer's disease. These grants are in addition to ongoing partnerships with Vision Australia and the O’Brien Institute, two charitable organisations specified in the Will which established the Trust. 

 “It’s no secret that Australia’s population is ageing and the number of Australians over the age of 65 is expected to more than double by 2055,” Ms Kennedy explained. “We are now faced with a challenge to create a society that fully understands the economic and social impacts of ageing and embraces the opportunities presented by this demographic shift.”

 “The Wicking Trust seeks to improve the wellness and quality of life for older people and people with Alzheimer’s disease.  To realise this goal the Wicking Trust’s Major Grants program aims to identify and invest in organisations that are well-placed to create enduring change in policy and/or practice , in part through grants, but also in bringing together a community of organisations that share the same goals. We believe that together more can be achieved towards these goals.”

 Four major grants (detail over the page) were:

  1. The Benevolent Society ($1.5m over 5 years) - EveryAGE Counts – a campaign to tackle ageism.
  2. Per Capita Australia Limited ($480,000 over 2 years) - Centre for Applied Policy in Positive Ageing (CAPPA)
  3. The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) ($900,000 over 3 years) Ageing Well Systems Lab
  4. The GroundSwell Project (GSP) ($175,000 over 2 years) - Building Death Literacy: New Conversations, Innovative Practices

 “As a leading Australian provider of philanthropic funds, about five percent of our annual distributions are directed towards supporting initiatives specifically in ageing and aged care,” explained Ms Kennedy.

“It’s our role to ensure that we honour the intentions of the founders of these trusts, and that we ensure the money has an impact in the areas of need identified by the founders, and empowers change in our community to address the issues we face.  Equity Trustees is proud to manage the Wicking Trust and promote the work it supports.”

In addition to the major grants, in 2017 the Wicking Trust made a further commitment to Vision Australia of $4.4m over four years in support of their Digital Transformation initiative. The Wicking Trust has a long-standing partnership with Vision Australia, the leading provider of blindness and low vision services in Australia.

Project descriptions

The Benevolent Society                                                            $1.5m over 5 years

EveryAGE Counts – a campaign to tackle ageism.

The Wicking Trust is the first major funder to support this multifaceted social change campaign which aims to change the way we think about ageing in our community. This grant will enable the crucial foundational work required to secure the future of the campaign which will:

  • set the foundations for the essential conditions for current and future generations to age well
  • positively change social norms and public discourse on ageing
  • mobilise a holistic political response to the opportunities presented by our ageing population
  • reframe the perception of getting older.

Per Capita Australia Limited                                                     $480,000 over 2 years

Centre for Applied Policy in Positive Ageing (CAPPA)

This commitment is a two year extension grant for an initiative currently funded by the Wicking Trust. CAPPA undertakes research and social innovation projects that focus on finding solutions to emerging issues resulting from Australia’s ageing population, with the aim to increase the social and economic wellbeing of older Australians and change the framework through which ageing is viewed.

The funding ensures CAPPA cements its position as a leader in the development of policy to promote positive ageing in Australia, and in the provision of policy solutions to address complex issues facing people as they age. CAPPA will complete its existing suite of social innovation projects and develop plans for new interventions in applied policy. They will develop a long term strategy for the engagement of political leaders and decision makers to take a positive, optimistic approach to programs and services that support an ageing population.

The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI)                $900,000 over 3 years

Ageing Well Systems Lab

This commitment is a three year extension grant for an initiative that was initially funded for three years by the Wicking Trust. This additional funding will enable TACSI to continue its work towards ensuring all Australians have the right to age well. This includes:

  • To continue to build a national coalition of partners to gather and share case studies that demonstrate innovative examples of in home care and housing as people age.
  • Finding solutions that can match the scale of the problem around home and housing as the population continues to age
  • Engaging policy decision makers and build their capability to elevate the outcomes of the Lab to influence national policy decisions around home, housing and ageing
  • Publishing learnings through regular blogs, papers, short documentaries and conference presentations to influence the thinking and action of those who can affect change.

The GroundSwell Project (GSP)                                                $175,000 over 2 years

Building Death Literacy: New Conversations, Innovative Practices

In the 2016 Major Grants Round, funding was provided to The GroundSwell Project to enable the organisation to develop and pilot a National Death Literacy Benchmark tool and conduct the first national survey of death literacy and to disseminate their findings at the end of a three year period. In addition, a small amount of core operating support was also provided to GSP. This grant is an extension of core funding to support the continued development of GSP’s work.

Download the full Media Release here

Media inquiries:

Alicia Kokocinski

Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications      

03 8623 5396 / 0403 172 024

Equity Trustees was established in 1888 for the purpose of providing independent and impartial Trustee and Executor services to help families throughout Australia protect their wealth. As Australia’s leading specialist trustee company, we offer a diverse range of services to individuals, families and corporate clients including asset management, estate planning, philanthropic services and Responsible Entity (RE) services for external Fund Managers.

Philanthropy services are provided by Equity Trustees Limited (ABN 46 004 031 298, AFSL 240975) and Equity Trustee Wealth Services Limited (ABN 33 006 132 332, AFSL 234528), both companies are part of EQT Holdings Limited (ABN 22 607 797 615), a public company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX: EQT).