University of Tasmania, the National Ageing Research Institute and The GroundSwell Project are the major beneficiaries of the latest major grants from one of Australia’s most significant trusts, The Wicking Trust.
The grants, totalling more than $8 million over six years in discretionary distributions from the Trust, are in addition to ongoing funding commitments to Vision Australia and O’Brien Foundation (formerly the Microsurgery Foundation), which continue to be funded in accordance with the direction of the Trust founders John and Janet Wicking.
“The Wickings live on through the legacy of the Trust, which continues their commitment to improving the wellness and quality of life of older people and people with Alzheimer’s disease in Australia,” says Tabitha Lovett, General Manager, Philanthropy and Not-for-Profit Services at Equity Trustees which has managed the trust since 2002.
“They had the foresight to understand that their investment in philanthropy had the ability to grow and continue to serve the causes dear to them well beyond their lifetime.”
2017 Wicking Trust major grants:
$3.72 million over five years to University of Tasmania for the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
The five year commitment from the Trust will enable unprecedented expansion and reach of its dementia training offering via Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) – a format in which the Centre is now a global leader; it aims to reach more than 400,000 Australians and 1 million people globally over five years, positioning the Centre as the global leader in empowering change through dementia education and research. This grant extends the Trust’s support of the Centre to almost $8 million over 14 years.
$3.18 million over five years to the National Ageing Research Institute for the Melbourne Ageing Research Collaboration: Improving the Lives of Older People
The initiative brings together a cross-sector consortium to propel theory into practice, supporting initiatives that prevent or mitigate the ‘geriatric giants’ which stop older people from living independently and, at the end of life, experiencing a good death.
$390,000 over three years to The GroundSwell Project: Building Death Literacy: New Conversations, Innovative Practices
The grant provides seed funding for an innovative project which supports this emerging world leader in the field to develop and pilot a national Death Literacy benchmark tool and conduct the first national survey of death literacy in Australia.
In addition, the Wicking Trust has engaged The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) to support this project by investigating what is needed to build ‘death literacy’ in the Australian community as the basis for better end of life experiences.