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Annual Report 21: Diverse Ventures in 2021 (continued)

29 June 2022, Research and Reports

Transforming humanitarian practice 

Centre for Humanitarian Leadership

Photo L: Medical staff examine a Rohingya mother and her daughter at Save the Children’s primary healthcare centre in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. 
Photo: Jonathan Hyams / Save the Children
Photo R: In 2021 CHL graduated 157 students through an innovative accredited program combining theory with practical humanitarian experience.
Photo: CHL website

The Centre for Humanitarian Leadership (CHL) is an innovative joint venture between Save the Children and Deakin University which seeks to transform the humanitarian sector by producing world-leading research and offering accredited education courses.  

In 2021 CHL graduated 157 students from the Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Leadership and Diplôme d’Études Supérieures en Leadership Humanitaire. Designed by practitioners, academics and leadership experts, this ground-breaking program combines accredited theory, action-based field experience, and unparalleled access to humanitarian leaders from around the globe.  

In April, CHL welcomed more than 1,000 participants from 90 countries to the third bi-annual Humanitarian Leadership Conference. The two-day digital event featured 230 speakers from around the world who, through a range of presentations and workshops, all contributed to discussion on practical steps to combatting systemic racism, power imbalances and colonial practices in the humanitarian system. 
CHL continued to contribute to knowledge and innovation in the humanitarian sector through our working paper series, the Humanitarian Leader, which published ten papers in 2021. One notable publication, ‘Reimagining protection: Dignity, wellbeing and safety’ by Dr Andrew Cunningham, explores the meaning of protection using the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar as a case study. 

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Increasing our impact by investing in innovation 

Save the Children Australia’s Impact Investment Fund 

Save the Children Australia’s Impact Investment Fund (IIF) is a ground-breaking endeavour that addresses pressing social and humanitarian issues for children and emphasises innovation by investing in high impact enterprises. The Fund, which is an Australian-first for an aid organisation, was established in 2020 and provides equity and debt investments to enterprises and initiatives that achieve outcomes in relation to healthcare, education, and child protection.  
In 2021, we invested almost 30% of the fund in four exciting companies working across education, health and fundraising-tech. One such investment was in Ngutu College in South Australia, an incubator space that integrates Aboriginal knowledges and the arts into a program compliant with the Australian curriculum. 

Investment case study: Ngutu College 

Ngutu College was founded on the view that quality primary and secondary education forms the foundation for a positive lifetime of education, employment and health outcomes. The college creates an experiential environment, which seamlessly integrates Aboriginal knowledge and the arts into the formal Australian curriculum. Our Fund was one of the investors that provided Ngutu College with the start-up funding needed to open its doors. Andrew Plastow, the college’s Principal and Founder, told us: 

We are truly grateful for the funding from Save the Children and our other lenders as it has enabled us to begin. We are growing and will soon be able to sustain ourselves through recurrent funding, but it required this start-up funding become possible.

Andrew Plastow, the college’s Principal and Founder

Ngutu College seamlessly integrates Aboriginal knowledge and the arts into the formal Australian curriculum.
Photo: Ngutu College


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A precious gift to children of the future 

June O’Doherty’s lifelong dedication to children  

In 2021 we received a total of over $3.7 million from supporters who chose to include a gift in their will to Save the Children Australia. Each gift, no matter the size, was a personal and profound commitment to our shared vision of a better world for children.   
We thank all our supporters who have pledged a gift in their will for their compassion and kindness to continue to be there, helping take care of the children of the future. It enables us to create opportunities that work towards creating a brighter future for the children of tomorrow.  
This year we learnt of a gift that June O’Doherty has made in her will to Save the Children. In subsequent conversations she revealed that the decision to give a gift in her will was quietly enacted years ago.  
Having also had the good fortune to get to know June and some of her extraordinary life story this year, it made perfect sense when she explained “…I wouldn’t have been involved for so long if I didn’t feel strongly that this was the best organisation to look after children.” June always allocated an annual amount for giving, so for her it was natural to extend that involvement for as long as possible by providing for a gift in her will.  

June’s gift in her will was a natural extension of her lifetime of generosity
Photo: June O’Doherty. Supplied.

Although June is no longer able to participate in a hands-on manner, we are deeply touched by her ongoing interest and support. The gift in June’s will is a continuation of her lifelong dedication to children and her kindness in action, which includes thirty years of branch presidency, public speaking on behalf of the organisation, numerous cash gifts and long-term child sponsorship. 

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Our resilient retail volunteers  

Adapting to the challenges of COVID-19 

Our retail volunteer community showed resilience in adapting to the impacts of COVID-19 in 2021. In addition to volunteers contracting the virus, the workforce was impacted by lockdown restrictions, close contact regulations, high turnover rates due to unease working in face-to-face environments and the rise of frustrated customers in response to mask and QR code requirements. 

To support our volunteers through this challenging time, we re-trained our volunteers following lockdown to ensure our teams were prepared with the latest information. Regular health and wellbeing check-in calls with volunteers were instigated and personal protective equipment (PPE) was provided to all staff and volunteers. 

Throughout the year we supported our volunteers’ decision not to attend if they felt nervous and we continued to follow all COVID-19 safety regulations when state requirements were dropped to protect the safety and peace of mind of both our volunteers and our customers.  

As of end of December 2021 our total volunteer force was 2,054, of which 1,855 are retail volunteers. 

David's story: I knew within one week that I already loved the place and the people  

David is an inspiring volunteer with a bubbly personality who loves to have a laugh with volunteers and customers. He works at our Morley Op Shop in Western Australia and his favourite part of the job is sorting through the interesting assortment of donations that arrive each morning. He started volunteering in early 2020 and has just celebrated his second anniversary.  

While Save the Children is his first volunteering position, David told us it didn’t take him long to know it was a perfect fit, "I knew within one week of starting and being trained by the other volunteers, that I already loved the place and the people." 

David beaming in front of a beautifully ordered bookshelf at the Morley Op Shop, WA. 

He loves that he gets to meet likeminded people in his community and can connect with other Anglo-Indian people to talk about their heritage. What's most endearing about David is his respect and concern for his fellow volunteers and dedication to helping each person have a good time while working. Oh, and one more thing David wants you to know, he is “ecstatic” about Daniel Ricciardo being an ambassador for Save the Children!  

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