What the JSK Fund does

The focus of the JSK Fund is providing opportunities for young people from a range of backgrounds so that they may contribute to their communities in a
positive way. The projects we have funded in 2016 are as follows:

1. Indigenous Scholarships for the Aurora Internship Project

The Aurora Project arranges for law and social science students to undertake internships with indigenous organisations.

In 2016, the JSK Fund provided a scholarship to an Indigenous law student, Carla Scafi, to enable her to travel to, and live in, Sydney for an internship with a native title barrister. Carla volunteered the skills she is learning at law school, and further developed those skills, through the internship. Carla writes:

“The opportunity to travel to Sydney to undertake my internship would not have been possible without the support of the JSK Fund. The support relieved the financial burden of travelling interstate and the associated costs such as accommodation and living expenses. I am very grateful to the JSK Fund and to have been part of the Aurora Project’s Internship Program as a defining part of my journey within the legal profession”

The JSK Fund also recently provided a scholarship to another Indigenous law student, Russell Byrnes, to undertake an Aurora internship with the Environmental Defenders Office (Northern Territory) in summer 2016/2017. Russell has a strong academic record, a keen interest in native title, environmental and public law and hopes to work in indigenous affairs in Northern Australia in the future.

In 2015, the JSK Fund gave its first scholarship to Bronte Wynn to complete an internship with the Northern Land Council. In 2016 the JSK Fund donated $6000 to the Aurora Project to fund the scholarships.

These scholarships are of great benefit to both the students – who develop their practical legal skills – and the public interest organisations they assist through their internships.

2. Support for the Seed Mob

Seed is an Indigenous youth climate network. It is building a movement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to make climate justice real for Indigenous people. It does this by running campaigns that work to protect country, while also building the capacity of young people to be a part of creating positive change.

The JSK Fund provided $3000 to support young Indigenous people to attend the Seed Mob’s Summit.

The Seed Summit brought together 77 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people for a three-day Summit that provided them an opportunity to learn, connect and gain the skills and support they need to be part of climate campaigns in their community. This included informative presentations, skill development, the launch of a national campaign aimed at protecting country, and opportunities to build relationships with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.

3. Oz Green Youth Leading the World Project

In 2015/2016, the JSK Fund supported Oz Green’s Youth Leading the world (YLTW) initiative.

Through YLTW, Oz Green trains young people to tackle environmental problems facing the world today. This involves running an annual congress that identifies environmental problems, plans personal and community action for change and connects people with the power to make change locally and globally. YLTW trains facilitators to run these congresses and develops their skills in advocating for change.

Oz green has achieved significant outcomes. Since 2009, it has trained 690 YLTW facilitators to run YLTW congresses and has directly engaged 12, 000 young people.

The JSK Fund’s support enables Oz Green to provide subsidised leadership development, facilitator training and ongoing mentoring for young people who would not otherwise be able to participate.

In 2016, the JSK Fund donated $15 000 for this project.

4. SVA’s Bright Spots Schools Connection

The Bright Sports Schools Connection (The Connection) supports school leaders in disadvantaged communities to improve the outcomes of their students. The Connection works with the leadership teams of schools in disadvantaged communities, engaging school leaders to share knowledge and build expertise to improve learning outcomes for their students. The connection includes three components:

  • Powerhouse Schools: high performing schools in disadvantaged communities that test and prove approaches.
  • Star Hubs: networks of aspiring schools that work together to share insights and best practice on school improvement.
  • Thought leadership Gatherings: engage all schools to network, share and improve practice.

The Bright Spots Schools Connection now serves schools from three states connecting 1700 educators serving 15,500 students in disadvantaged school communities and continues to grow. The Connection reports that 91% of Star Hub schools are implementing new practices and 82% are reporting that the practices improve learning outcomes for students.

The JSK Fund contribution has supported the delivery of Thought Leadership Gatherings and Star Hub days for Connection schools in Western Sydney. The Hub days have been co-designed and featured sessions looking at Program Logic, Design Thinking, and shared problems of practice trouble shooting. The results and feedback are overwhelmingly positive.

In 2016, the JSK Fund donated $10 000 for this program.