Last Straw

The Last Straw is a campaign to end the use of plastic straws in hospitality venues around Australia.

Canon Australia has announced the winners of its grants program, Inspiring Tomorrow, revealing four impactful projects 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, used 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 projects 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.

“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.”

Camera Story

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.

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. “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,” said Jacqueline Warrick, Director, Camera Story.

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. “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,” said Peter Osborne, Senior STEM teacher at Bayswater Secondary College.

Bayswater Secondary College

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.

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. “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,” said Founder of Last Straw, Eva Mackinley.

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 by young indigenous performers, photographers and a crew aged 12-26 years. “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,” said Danyon De Buell, General Manager of Riverland Youth Theatre.

Due to the overwhelming number of organisations trying to make a positive difference, Canon also gave five highly-commended entries an $300 voucher to spend on Canon equipment to help support and document their community initiatives.

For more information on Canon Oceania’s Grants Program 2017 – Inspiring Tomorrow, please visit the website.