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What We Have Learnt from the ILC Grant Round Announcement

The eagerly awaited results of the latest ILC grant round were announced last week. Elizabeth analyses what the winning projects tell us, and what we can hope to see in ILC going forward.

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Updated 15 Apr 202425 Feb 2020

The eagerly awaited outcome of the latest ILC grant rounds was announced last week. All up, just under $68 million was awarded to 56 organisations. Unlike in previous rounds, this announcement was actually on schedule, which creates more consistency and certainty for the sector moving forward. Grants ranged from $320K- $4.1m for the Economic and Community Participation Program and $298K to $2.4m for the Mainstream Health Program.  

You can find the full list of grant recipients here.

A big congratulations to all of these organisations.

Now let’s delve into the details. 

ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION PROGRAM

In previous rounds, Economic Participation and Community Participation were two distinct grant streams. This round, they were merged into one program with one application process. This caused a lot of confusion, as clearly there are two separate outcomes here. Many organisations were not sure whether to submit separate applications or to combine two projects into one. Both programs are worthy of discrete and equitable funding, so the merger is quite concerning. Hopefully, this approach will be re-considered. 

With the 18 Economic Participation projects, it was really pleasing to see a broadening of the concept of ‘ready for work’, employer workplace support and volunteer opportunities. This round, there were also projects focused on building skills for self-employment, micro-business development and creating employment opportunities for peer workers. In one example, Consumers of Mental Health WA will be promoting lived experience as a valuable employable skill for supporting people with psychosocial disability.

The Community Participation guidelines were narrowly focussed on sport and recreation. However, grant recipients have taken this as an opportunity to tackle the structural barriers to authentic inclusion. Little Athletics Australia, for example, will be re-designing the traditional model of competition to eliminate participant segregation.

 

MAINSTREAM CAPACITY BUILDING PROGRAM

For the first time grants under the Mainstream Program focused on raising the bar within health services. This makes a lot of sense, as the interface between the NDIS and the health sector continues to take time to resolve. Primarily, successful projects will focus on re-designing models of care and upskilling the health workforce to improve engagement skills. With guidelines stipulating an emphasis on participation of people with disability, many grants highlighted their involvement throughout the design process. In the Southern Cross University project, people with disability will co-design learning resources for practice nurses.

GOING FORWARD

There have now been close to $357m in ILC grants awarded to 639 different projects. One thing we often hear from organisations operating in the ILC space, is how it would be good to have some form of an update about how each project is progressing. This would help organisations developing new applications, avoid duplicating the efforts of others and provide guidance for how to build on what has already been achieved.

 

The next round of grants for 2019/20 should be open shortly, so stay tuned.

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