The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest health and economic crisis in modern times, which has led to The Bryan Foundation freeing-up additional capital for rapid response funding to support three Queensland-based COVID-19 programs — to help communities at risk, fund vaccine development research and clinical trials.
The Bryan Foundation is supporting the University of Queensland’s (UQ) COVID-19 Vaccine Acceleration Project. UQ is one of four organisations globally selected by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), for funding the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. Phase I clinical trials start in July 2020 comprising 120 people in Brisbane. If that trial is successful, Phase 2 clinical trials will commence overseas involving 800 to 1,000 people. Photo top left: University of Queensland's Professor Paul Young with UQ's COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
The Bryan Foundation is also supporting Logan Together’s Coronavirus Emergency Fund. Logan Together is providing emergency relief funds and frontline services for individuals and families affected by coronavirus. Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation has also matched The Bryan Foundation’s donation, with the combined funds helping Logan Together to purchase recycled tablets, computers and data packs for families with no data access; together with helping local charities to provide home schooling, physical activity and mental health support services.
Another program The Bryan Foundation is assisting is the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) Foundation Coronavirus Action Fund that is working with Melbourne’s Doherty Institute on an Australasian COVID-19 Trial known as ASCOT. The ASCOT clinical trial is an adaptive study where different drugs can be trialled as and when required.
Communication, curiosity and conversation are key predictors of young children’s success later in life, according to new best practice resources on early childhood education launched in Brisbane in March 2020.
The Early Childhood Education Toolkit (ECE Toolkit), launched by Social Ventures Australia-backed education not-for-profit, Evidence for Learning, shows that communication and language approaches consistently provide benefits for children between the ages of two and five years old. Oral language acquisition is a predictor of a child’s success in formal classroom settings and life trajectories more broadly.
The ECE Toolkit is an accessible summary of more than 1,700 education research studies, made possible by the assistance of The Bryan Foundation. It provides an example of how philanthropy can ensure funding is invested in approaches that work best for Australian children.
To support the use of communication and language approaches, Evidence for Learning commissioned the University of Queensland to develop tip sheets for educators. They contain three oral language resources, available for free, which are based on a systemic review of current research and provide evidence-informed strategies to support rich conversations with young learners.
The launch event brought together a range of early childhood educators and policy makers from around Queensland to discuss how evidence can help great practice become common practice not just in Queensland, but across Australia.
The Bryan Foundation Executive Chair Jill Simes said the organisation was proud to partner with Evidence for Learning, saying: “The Evidence for Learning early childhood education initiative has the potential to deliver national positive impacts but also has special features to generate high value for early learning throughout Queensland.”
Chair of Evidence for Learning’s Early Childhood Education Expert Reference Council, Professor Karen Thorpe, from The University of Queensland said: “Evidence for Learning’s work in early childhood education supports educators in their everyday decision-making. By collating and analysing the most current evidence, Evidence for Learning mobilises the best knowledge in early learning research for the benefit of educators, children and our nation’s future.”
[26 March 2019]: The Bryan Foundation is proud to announce a new collaboration with Social Ventures Australia (SVA) to launch a ground breaking evidence based toolkit, to ensure Early Childhood Education (ECE) is being spent on programs that actually work and improve ECE practices for children before they start school.
The Bryan Foundation’s Executive Chair, Jill Simes said the new partnership with SVA was one of the most significant and ambitious projects the Foundation has embarked upon to date.
The Foundation’s funding will be used to:
“The E4L ECE program has the potential to deliver great national positive impacts but also has special features to generate high value for early learning throughout Queensland,” Jill said.
“The program will generate evidence to ensure early childhood expenditure is directed towards programs that actually work and the Foundation is extremely proud to partner with SVA.
“SVA’s primary aim with Evidence for Learning is to reduce the impact of social disadvantage on student achievement by supporting teachers and school leaders to adopt and embrace evidence based research, that will achieve better outcomes within the vital early childhood learning sector,” she added.
Evidence for Learning Director Matthew Deeble says: “High-quality early learning has a significant positive effect on a child’s readiness for school, and it has the greatest benefit for those from disadvantaged families. That’s why we’re dedicated to greater evidence directed towards helping early childhood educators. As we did with our work in schools, we will consult widely and involve closely early childhood education research and practice experts as we combine the global knowledge with Australian experience to present clear and useful learning to busy early childhood educators.”
Thirty-five Queensland schools will share in $3.3 million of philanthropic funding and support over three years to help them improve family and community engagement and enrich student learning at their schools.
Education Minister Grace Grace today [8 March 2019] announced 15 projects had received an inaugural Queensland Fair Education Program grant from national education charity, Schools Plus.
“The program provides project funding direct to schools as well as additional support from education experts to coach and mentor the schools to help them deliver their projects,” Ms Grace said.
“Among this year’s successful applicants are projects focusing on parent and student engagement, the early years and kindergarten, Indigenous language and culture, literacy, wellbeing and the transition to high school.
As the lead in a cluster of local schools, Redcliffe State High School was awarded $250,000 over three years to deliver its Respect project.
Redcliffe State High School Principal Shona McKinlay said her school was looking forward to working with the other seven schools in its cluster to promote positive relationships between parents, carers and schools.
“This grant will allow us to employ a social worker to work with parents and carers to promote a more collaborative school community and maximise our students’ learning outcomes,” Ms McKinlay said.
“Over time, this valuable resource will be available for the other schools in our local cluster enabling families and schools to work better together in the best interests of our students.”
Schools Plus CEO Rosemary Conn said the grants would make an immense difference to the successful schools, located throughout Queensland from Mornington Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria to Mossman in the far north, Yelarbon in the south and Cunnamulla in the west.
“Our organisation aims to close the education gap by connecting donors who recognise the value of a great education with the Australian schools that need it most,” Ms Conn said.
“Our unique Fair Education Program is a perfect example of how we work with schools to deliver initiatives that have the greatest impact for students.
“The program has already been very successful in New South Wales so we are pleased to have the support of Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and The Bryan Foundation to bring it to Queensland.”
The $3.3 million program includes project funding of up to $70,000 for individual school projects and up to $250,000 for school cluster projects. A full list of the successful recipients can be found below.
Caboolture State School
— NGARA (Hello) – Dance and Story Telling
Darling Heights State School
— Community Intensive English and cultural program for LBOTE parents
Toogooloowa School, Ormeau (Independent Schools Queensland)
— LEM Phonic Program
Pumicestone State School
— Step into Prep
Bundaberg State High School cluster (including Norville State School, Walkervale State School, Bundaberg West State School, Branyan Road State School, Avoca State School, Bundaberg Central State School)
— Ignite Family and Community Engagement Initiative
Yelarbon State School
— Supporting children and empowering families to transition to school through engagement in kindergarten in our rural community
Redcliffe State High School cluster (includes Scarborough State School, Hercules Road State School, Clontarf Beach State School, Humpybong State School, Deception Bay State High School, Deception Bay State School, Deception Bay North State School)
— Respect Project
Loganlea State High School
— Uplift Logan – Raising the Profile of Logan Youth
Raceview State School
— Character Matters
Mornington Island State School
— Engaging parents/carers in the teaching of reading – building partnerships, adult learning and literacy, the local reading intervention team at MISS, and future employment capacity
Ravenshoe State High School
— Whatever It Takes: A program to improve learning outcomes by engaging students, their families and the wider community in tailored, flexible learning pathways
Mossman State School
— Indigenous Language Project
Marsden State High School cluster (includes Marsden State School, Burrowes State School, Crestmead State School, Waterford West State School)
— A community of exceptional learners
Kawungan State School
— RISE (Respect, Inspire, Support, Engage
Cunnamulla P-12 State School cluster (includes Sacred Heart Primary School, Eulo State School)
— Keeping early years in the spotlight (K.E.Y.S.)
The Bryan Foundation is delighted to announce Irish PhD student Robert Emo is the inaugural recipient of the WH (Walter Heywood) Bryan PhD Scholarship in Queensland Earth Sciences who will carry out his doctorate at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
A special presentation was held at Old Government House within the grounds of QUT’s Gardens Point campus on Tuesday 20 November, to celebrate and welcome Robert on his exciting new endeavour.
The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation (ALNF) was founded in 1999 by speech-language pathologist, Mary-Ruth Mendel and businesswoman Kim Kelly, to help people in Australia’s most marginalised communities to gain literacy skills.
ALNF has identified a critical gap in service delivery for children and families to meet vital early learning needs, particularly for vulnerable children, many of whom experience language and literacy delays as a result of socio-economic disadvantage.
The lack of access to and participation in quality early childhood education results in a significant ‘school readiness gap’ and research shows that this gap continues to widen if developmental vulnerabilities are not addressed in the before-school years, and supported during the transition into school.
The Bryan Foundation’s executive chair, Jill Simes said vulnerable young children demonstrate specific needs in areas of language and literacy development and require targeted support in fostering vital pre-literacy skills, including phonemic awareness, oral language development, vocabulary knowledge, emergent writing, print awareness and early comprehension skills.
"It was ALNF’s innovative ‘Early Language & Literacy program’ (EL&L) that struck a chord with the Foundation and its particular relevance to our recently established partnership with Logan Together, targeting early childhood years,” Jill said.
“ALNF’s EL&L program adopts an approach that incorporates a unique strategy of combined speech pathology and early childhood education that focuses on strengthening foundational language, communication and early literacy skills.
“EL&L’s coordinated, whole-of-community approach is consistent with objectives being set in the Logan area and particularly those being set through the ‘Early Years Neighbourhood Networks’ initiative coordinated by Logan Together, in partnership with the Queensland Department of Education and Training, which is also supported by The Bryan Foundation,” Jill added.
“The program seeks to work collaboratively across community, in prior-to-school and school settings, to implement an initiative that is designed to enhance the pre-literacy skill development of children in a developmentally appropriate time frame. Through this additional instruction, children will be better equipped to take advantage of literacy instruction in school.
“The principal aim for the Early Language & Literacy program is to close the gap so all children are ready to commence school and are ready to learn, regardless of socio-economic status…and it is this philosophy that mirrors that of the Foundation’s,” Jill concluded.
The Bryan Foundation’s principal focus of supporting and empowering vulnerable young Queenslanders to change their lives through education is proud to announce a new partnership with Logan Together.
Logan Together is a ten-year childhood development, inter-generational and anti-poverty movement supported by all levels of government, NGOs, human services sectors, businesses and the Logan community, targeting childhood development from birth to age eight.
Established in 2015, Logan Together’s roadmap engages a life-course approach with goals set at each stage from pregnancy through to the newborn and toddler years, and then on to kindergarten and school.
The Bryan Foundation’s executive chair Jill Simes believes Logan Together’s roadmap, which addresses the fundamentals of early childhood support and learning, resonates strongly with the Foundation.
“Logan Together harnesses the power of collective impact to coordinate action across every age and stage of childhood and we believe these are the fundamental building blocks to children having the best start towards a fulfilling life.
“Logan Together’s vision is that by 2025, children in Logan will be as healthy and full of potential as any other group of Queensland children and The Byran Foundation shares that vision.
“We are proud to support the work being carried out by the dynamic backbone team at Logan Together and its many supporting organisations and community groups,” Jill said.
In Logan Together’s words: ‘If we can help an extra 5,000 kids blossom in their early years we’ll have achieved our goals…the difference we make now for our kids will have a big impact on the future.’
The Bryan Foundation (TBF) is delighted to announce a new partnership with the Schools Plus Fair Education program to bring the initiative into Queensland schools in collaboration with funding partner, Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.
Fair Education was first introduced to NSW in 2016 through a partnership between Schools Plus and Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation – following 12-months’ research and consultation with leading education industry experts.
The Bryan Foundation’s executive chair, Jill Simes said the Schools Plus Fair Education Queensland program aligns with TBF’s vision and principal focus of supporting and empowering vulnerable young Queenslanders to change their lives through meaningful education.
“The Fair Education program aims to create systemic change in the Queensland education system and improve the outcomes for some of the state’s most marginalised students.
“The program is specifically designed to develop the capacity of school leaders in disadvantaged schools to design and deliver evidence based initiatives that effectively engage families and communities in student learning.
“There is significant international research that shows students do better at school when their families are actively engaged in their learning and within the schools’ community” – Jill Simes, executive chair
The program aims to build the capacity of the school leadership teams to design and implement activities to strengthen family and community involvement, with grants accompanied by expert coaching to support schools in designing and rolling out their projects.
Jill went on to say, “It is not the school projects themselves that are important, but rather the implementation of the projects to develop the capacity of the school leadership team, by embedding increased engagement of teachers, students, parents and the community and leading to improved student learning outcomes.
“The Bryan Foundation is proud to partner with Schools Plus and Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, to bring the Schools Plus Fair Education program to Queensland and we are looking forward to this dynamic collaboration that will allow both parties to leverage and maximise the impact and output of our joint funding support.”
The Bryan Foundation has established a new PhD Scholarship in the Earth Sciences, available to a successful candidate hosted at one of three tertiary institutions in Queensland, being The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and James Cook University.