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Canon supports grassroots groups to inspire a better future through its inaugural Grants Program

The organisations and school rewarded will help Aboriginal women explore identity through imagery, reduce the impact of plastic on our oceans, and engage students in STEM subjects.

Canon Australia has today announced the winners of its inaugural Grants Program, Inspiring Tomorrow, revealing four impactful projects from WA, VIC, TAS and SA that will contribute to a better tomorrow across Australia’s environment, education and community.
Across the Oceania region, Canon has awarded over $30,000* worth of grants comprising of Canon equipment in-kind to projects that aim to see Aboriginal women standing strong, secondary students restoring and monitoring wildlife, businesses and consumers reducing the impact of plastic straws in the environment, and a diverse youth group exploring creative expression.  
In previous years, winners’ projects have helped to improve oceanic health and educate children on sustainability practices. Living Ocean, last year’s environmental winner, put the grant towards cameras that better helped them document whale migration and beach clean-ups. While education winner, Helensvale State High School, utilised time-lapse photography to monitor predator insects that prey on seasonal food crops, encouraging students to think about how the agriculture business impacts on sustainability.
This year’s grant recipients were selected based on the positive impact their project will have on society or the environment, as well as the impact  Canon’s range of products will  have in bringing each project to life. Due to the overwhelming amount of organisations trying to make a positive difference, in addition to the grants, Canon also awarded five highly-commended entries an AUD 300 voucher to spend on any Canon equipment of their choice, to help support and document their community initiatives.

The winning projects across Australia include:
WINNERS ($5,000 grant)
• COMMUNITY: Camera Story (WA) – Camera Story is undertaking a photographic project titled Women Standing Strong that will see young Aboriginal women turn the focus on themselves as they explore identity, cultural narratives and femininity through the camera lens.
• SCHOOL: Bayswater Secondary College (VIC) – Students will restore a frog pond, gardens and local creek with native plants and bird boxes to attract wildlife. A STEM Digital Photography Elective Program will be introduced to inspire students to learn the skills of high resolution nature macro-photography, wildlife-photography and astro-photography.
• ENVIRONMENTAL: The Last Straw (TAS) – The Last Straw is a campaign to end the use of plastic straws in hospitality venues around Australia. The Last Straw aims to tackle the issue from both sides, encouraging consumers to use less plastic straws while encouraging businesses to give out less straws through staff training and alternative options to straws.
RUNNER UP ($1,000 grant)
• COMMUNITY: Riverland Youth Theatre (SA) – This organisation connects youth with the opportunity to develop their creative expression using performing arts. Set in Motion: Nunga Rhythms is a project being undertaken by young indigenous performers, photographers and a crew aged 12-26 years.
“This year we expanded our Environmental Grants program to encompass broader community and social categories. We received more applications than ever before and are in awe of the remarkable work Australians are undertaking to help their communities for the benefit of future generations. Canon is proud to be able to support these initiatives and provide schools and communities with the tools they need to further enhance their projects,” said Yusuke Mizoguchi, Managing Director, Canon Oceania.
“Kyosei, which translates to ‘working together for the common good’ is our corporate philosophy and we feel this Program encapsulates this premise perfectly. We’re excited to see how the grants will be used to support these projects that are making an incredible difference.”

Community Award Winner – Camera StoryCommunity Award Winner   Camera Story
The winner of the community grant is Camera Story, a community group that aims to build the photographic capabilities and understanding of self-expression for people in under resourced areas. Camera Story is focused on allowing Indigenous Australians to participate in a program that encourages them to evolve, connect and express themselves through positive images.

The grant will help to assist the Women Standing Strong project, which aims to allow young Aboriginal women to explore their identity, cultural narratives and ‘femaleness’ through a series of workshops. The workshops aim to motivate young women to explore photographic portraiture as a way of communicating ideas of identity. It hopes to give them the tools to dismantle negative ideas that have influenced self-perception/self-image and create an environment where the girls will learn the power of creating positive images to share with the world.

“We have seen the enormous difference in participants through these types of creative camera workshops. Using a DSLR camera encourages people to slow down, observe the world around them and better understand themselves. They leave with a better understanding of their own identity through the process of painting with light. It’s hugely rewarding for Camera Story to be the recipient of the Canon Inspiring Tomorrow Community Grant. Putting our community behind a lens changes their ability to communicate, helps their self-confidence and strengthen connection to their true identity and to others,” shared Jacqueline Warrick, Director at Camera Story.

School Award Winner – Bayswater Secondary College

Bayswater Secondary College

(Pictured above: Year 8-10 STEM Elective Class

that will be involved in the

“Living in Harmony with Nature & Wildlife Project”)

Students at Bayswater Secondary College are working on a unique project titled Living in Harmony with Nature and Wildlife, which is deeply rooted in developing STEM education and fostering skills that can be used in the careers of the future. The project will aim to teach students macro-photography and wildlife photography in a practical way, inspiring them to consider a broad range of career prospects.

By restoring the school frog pond, gardens and local creek with native flowering plants and bird nesting boxes, students will watch as these areas are rehabilitated and flourish with activity. Participants of the program will also learn the technical skills for photographing planets, nebula and galaxies in deep space by attaching a Canon Camera to a Research Telescope.

“We are very honoured to be receiving this grant, especially given the competition was rolled out across the nation! The students feel proud that our school is being supported in such a positive way and are excited to use the cameras to explore macrophotography, along with astro-photography. We are excited to share this project with the world, as students will record and publish their scientific research online, using the raw data to integrate with a science class on Arduino computer programming,” shared Peter Osborne, Senior STEM teacher at Bayswater Secondary College.

Environmental Grant – The Last Straw

The last StrawThe environmental organisation, Last Straw has been awarded the Canon grant for positive environmental change. Last Straw aims to end the use of plastic straws in hospitality venues around Australia through public engagement with the cause and business awareness of the impact that plastic straws have on the natural world. The campaign is based on a strong call to action, as 500 million straws are used and thrown away every day, meaning a huge toll on our oceans and landfill sites.
Last Straw intends to use this grant to produce high quality videos for their social media channels, hoping to increase their engagement and educate a wide range of people. Through creating videos that are both fun and informative Last Straw plans to bring awareness of the program to additional businesses nationwide and make consumers more aware of the amount of straws they use on a day to day basis. They will also be receiving a Canon printer, allowing them to use sustainable materials to print signage and training manuals.
“This grant is going to change the way we connect with the world. Video is one of the key tools to communicate with our audience and it drains most of our budget, as we normally have to hire the equipment. Owning our own camera will be pivotal to creating informative videos, making more people around the world aware of the harm that plastic straws can have on the earth,” shared Founder of Last Straw, Eva Mackinley, who was thrilled to hear the organisation had received Canon’s Inspiring Tomorrow Environmental grant.

Runner Up Grant - Riverland Youth Theatre
Riverland Youth theatre 1
Riverland Youth theatre 2

Riverland Youth Theatre (RYT) is a not-for-profit community initiative at work in the Riverland region of South Australia. RYT connects children and young people with opportunities to foster their creative expression, performance and technical skills using performing arts as a tool to facilitate this.
Servicing over 24,000 square kilometers, RYT has been assisting Australians who are culturally and linguistically diverse, those with a disability and those who are gender diverse for over 32 years. Ultimately RYT offers inspiration and challenges for participants of all different backgrounds in an inclusive and supportive space.
The runner-up grant will assist with the “Set in Motion: Nunga Rhythms” project, a fusion of contemporary and traditional dance and music, along with storytelling through the performance. The production will be documented on film and then shared with the broader community. This will act as a vehicle for intergenerational conversation about local and cross cultural cooperation. Canon’s community grant will be used to fund new video and audio recording equipment for capturing the documentary.
“We are so thankful for the Canon runner-up grant, as it will allow us to professionally document the Set in Motion production. It is crucial that we are able to share the amazing work done here at Riverland Youth Theatre, hopefully inspiring others to get involved and become more inclusive. The youth we help to guide and inspire are highly engaged with the programs on offer, and this filters positively into the community,” shared Danyon De Buell, General Manager of Riverland Youth Theatre.

For more information on Canon Oceania’s Grants Program 2017 – Inspiring Tomorrow:

https://www.canon.com.au/about-canon/community/grants

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