Telstra Foundation

About

Telstra Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Telstra. We believe in the power of technology to enable all young people to thrive. We are proud to support the non-profits that – with digital at their heart – are creating a brilliant connected future for young people across Australia.

What We Do

Telstra Kids – Backing The Next Gen Of Digital Citizens & Makers

We want all young people to have the opportunity to create and engage with technology safely. We’re passionate about nurturing the next gen of digital citizens so we back learning at the grassroots to encourage kids to safely create, not just consume, technology. Our focus areas are digital citizenship and STEM skills – specifically coding, 3D printing and robotics.

Non-profit Innovators For Impact – Backing The Non-profits Changing Lives

Non-profit organisations inspire us everyday, particularly those tackling challenges facing young people. We invest in youth-focused non-profits that are reimaging solutions with technology. We work with teams that can think bigger, bolder and differently about what is possible for wide-scale social change. We drive impact by providing grants to encourage innovation and by investing in the sector’s digital innovation skills.

Telstra Impact Giving – Backing What Inspires Our People

We inspire and enable Telstra employees, customers and shareholders to give time, treasure and talent to great social impact causes. We increase philanthropic investments into the community sector by investing in digital tools to make giving easier, more personal and fun.

Make

Reimagine

Inspire

How We Work

We’re a small but passionate team actively engaged with our non-profit partners to help them create impact. We work with non-profit organisations based on fit with our focus areas, our research and the organisation’s track record of social impact via digital innovation.

With the exception of Telstra Kids Fund, we do not take unsolicited proposals for funding. Click here to learn more about this Fund or check out these great tools that can help you get your social impact project off the ground.

Chuffed.org

Have you ever considered crowdfunding?

Chuffed.org is Australia’s largest marketplace to connect socially conscious donors with great social cause projects. What distinguishes this platform from the rest is that all the money raised goes to the cause. It’s not frittered away by fees.

And as founding partner of Chuffed.org, we’re obviously chuffed to see it’s already changing lives. In just two years, Chuffed.org has raised $5 million from 50,000 donors to launch over 1,200 cause projects.

Get funding for your project and connect with new donors today. Visit www.chuffed.org

Digital Innovation Bootcamp

There is no doubt we are living in an extraordinary time, with the speed of digital innovation surpassing even the most forward thinking minds. For many non-profits this presents a big opportunity to deliver products, services and programs in new ways, all enabled by technology.

This got us thinking: how does a non-profit, with an appetite to innovate, access the skills and tools they need to do it effectively? There are many programs and accelerators for start-ups and entrepreneurs, but there’s not much out there that meets the needs of the non profit sector.

In response, we are running two new digital innovation skills and capability programs, custom-designed for sector. Our programs will be road-tested by 50 non-profit organisations in 2016, tune-ups made and will then be made available to all non-profit organisations.

Who we are

We are social innovation professionals committed to genuine social change. We work closely with the Telstra Foundation Board of Directors to identify investment opportunities and bring them to life.

Our Board

GEOFF BOOTH, CHAIRMAN

Philanthropy Professional - Ex Telecommunications Executive

Geoff became Chairman of the Telstra Foundation in 2011, following a career spanning 38 years with Telstra and one year as a Telstra Foundation Director. Highlights of Geoff’s 38-year-career with Telstra include his time at the helm of one of its largest business units, Telstra Country Wide, and leading the National Broadband Network engagement team. Geoff was instrumental in establishing the Telstra Indigenous Directorate and improving the availability of broadband and mobile telephony in regional and remote Australia. Geoff retired from Telstra in 2010 to have more time for his great loves: family, travel, fishing, the outdoors and the Telstra Foundation.

SUSAN BENEDYKA

Business Leader - Acclaimed Agriculturalist

Susan's passion is regional development. As the Managing Director of The Regional Development Company, she focuses on helping rural and regional communities throughout Australia to grow. Susan strongly believes in building a community’s capacity by developing locals’ talents and skills. She is also active in Board roles, having served on several regional and national bodies, and has twice been recognised in the Australian Farm Journal’s Top 100 Women in Australian Agriculture.

GERALDINE DOOGUE AO

Journalist - Radio & Television Host - Community Champion

Geraldine has had a long and varied career in Australian journalism, carving an enviable reputation in print and on radio and establishing herself as one of the most respected personalities on national TV. She has been awarded two Penguin Awards, a United Nations Media Peace Prize and a Churchill Fellowship. In 2003, Geraldine was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia for services to the community and media. She continues to passionately champion community issues.

JACKIE HUGGINS AM

Author - Indigenous Affairs Academic - Educator - Social Justice Advocate

Jackie is a respected author and academic. She has been recognised as a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the Indigenous community and by a Premier's Millennium Award for Excellence in Indigenous Affairs. Jackie is Deputy Director of the University of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit, is on the Board of Philanthropy Australia, and was previously Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia. Her motivation for being on the Telstra Foundation Board is derived from the long-term benefit it delivers in helping marginalised people move into the mainstream.

MATT PFAHLERT

Social Entrepreneur - Rural Development evangelist

Matt is Principal of Social Enterprise Unlimited, which supports businesses that solve social and environmental issues. In 2013, he co-founded the Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship and received a Churchill Fellowship to study the role of entrepreneurship in rejuvenating rural communities. Matt’s previously earned the Sir Weary Dunlop 'Young Australian of the Year' Extraordinary Achievement Award and Leadership Victoria’s (Fellow’s) Community Leader of the Year. His conviction that our kids’ wellbeing is paramount to a healthy society drew him to the Telstra Foundation and the positive outcomes it achieves.

TIM O'LEARY

Telstra Executive - Sustainability Leader

Tim joined Telstra in September 2011 as Chief Sustainability Officer, with executive responsibility for strategic community and reputational initiatives, corporate responsibility, environment strategy and employee sustainability. Tim spent twenty years in senior Corporate Affairs, HR and Sustainability roles at the National Australia Bank (NAB) and Mobil Oil Australia. He holds an Honours Degree in Arts and a postgraduate degree in Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. He is a member of Council at Newman College (University of Melbourne) and a Board member of the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence and Emotion 21, an arts organisation catering for the needs of people with Down Syndrome.

KATE McKENZIE

Telstra Executive - Telco Innovator

Kate joined Telstra in August 2004 as head of its regulatory group and, following a period leading the innovation, product and marketing divisions, she was promoted to the role of Chief Operating Officer in October 2013. Kate was previously Director-General of the Department of Commerce in New South Wales, ran the Workcover Authority for three years; she is currently on the Boards of FOXTEL and Allianz Australia. Kate brings to the Telstra Foundation deep experience in governance and a great understanding of technology, innovation and marketing - a perfect combination of skills to drive digital empowerment outcomes.

DR KARSTEN WILDBERGER

Telstra Executive - Telecommunications Expert

Karsten joined Telstra as Group Managing Director Consumer in January 2013, relocating his family to Melbourne from Germany, where he was partner and managing director of the Boston Consulting Group. Karsten has extensive telecommunications experience, having held senior executive positions at Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone. He has a PhD in Solid State Physics, a Masters Degree in Physics and holds a MBA from INSEAD. Karsten’s digital experience and his consumer focus are great assets for the Foundation as we amplify our connections with Telstra employees, customers and the community.

THE LEGAL STUFF

The Telstra Foundation Ltd is an independent legal entity, separate from Telstra Corporation Ltd. The majority of our directors – including the Chair – are independent of Telstra. The Board has established criteria and procedures for allocating grants which it may review and vary from time to time, including any criteria or procedures referred to on this site.