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Canon offers $30,000 in grants to Aust/NZ schools, non-profits

Canon Oceania has opened its 2019 Grants Program, with over $30,000 worth of cash and Canon equipment up for grabs across Australia and New Zealand.

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 Checking a new Canon camera. Photo: Camera Story

Over the past 13 years, the program has awarded about $400,000 to support almost 80 schools and not-for-profit organisations. Last year, awardees delivered after-school photography lessons to more than 800 children, a field guide to preserve our environment, and educational content to raise awareness of and mitigate plastic pollution.

“Thirteen years since the inception of this Grants Program, we never fail to be inspired by the not-for-profit organisations and schools that are so dedicated to serving their local communities,” said Dave Yoshida, MD, Canon Oceania.

“At Canon we believe in the Kyosei philosophy, which is about living and working together for the common good. In the ever evolving times we live in, we encourage people to be the change they wish to see in the world, and hope that the Grants will help them make the next vital step in their journey.”

Winners will be selected from three categories – environment, education and community – based on the positive impact of their project on their community or environment, and the importance of technology for their success. The Grants program received 110 nominations and over 80 submissions last year.

One of three winners last year was Big Fat Smile, a not-for-profit, community-owned provider of child education, care, recreation, cultural and inclusions services in NSW and the ACT. As the winner in the community category, they used the Grant to deliver over 50 photography lessons through their after-school program, reaching over 800 children in more than 10 locations.

Michele Peden of Big Fat Smile said: “The Canon Grant and introduction of a photography program to our Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) 5 – 12-year-olds program opened many children’s eyes to the world of photography. The cameras, as opposed to phones, changed the children’s perspective of what can be seen and achieved through the lens. Their creativity was sparked and was extended through the expert tuition of our ‘Photo Guru’ as well as OSHC Directors. Some students worked collaboratively, while others concentrated on their own works. Most importantly, the children had fun while benefiting from a rich, photographic learning experience. We plan to roll out a Big Fat Smile students photography competition later this year.”

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Winning in the education category last year was The Nature School Primary, which undertook a photographic project enabling students to create a photographic field guide of local flora and fauna. It enabled students to understand the impact of species decline and raise awareness of the issues with the local community. 

Ocean Crusaders, last year’s environment category winner, aims to mitigate plastic pollution from coastal waterways and beaches, and used its grant to develop educational content and encourage communities to participate in clean-up initiatives.

On a mission to protect Australia’s rainforest, 2018 runners-up Rainforest Rescue used its grant for a program to determine the health of existing trees, and established the need to plant more trees in the Daintree lowlands to restore damaged rainforest blocks.

The 2019 grants will be awarded under the following categories:


  • ·1 x Environmental Grant - AU$5,000
  • ·1 x Education Grant - AU$5,000
  • ·1 x Community Grant - AU$5,000
  • ·1 x Runner-up Grant - AU$1,000

New Zealand

  • ·1 x Environmental Grant - NZ$5,000
  • ·1 x Education Grant - NZ$5,000
  • ·1 x Community Grant - NZ$5,000

Submissions are open now till Friday 26th July via

This year, the wider community will vote on finalists in August and grant winners will be announced in September. 

For more information about Canon Oceania’s Grants Program 2019, please visit: