Canon Oceania celebrates change makers with its 2022 Grants Program

Kotaro Fukushima, Managing Director, Canon Oceania
Kotaro Fukushima, Managing Director at Canon Oceania

Canon Oceania announced the winners of its 2022 Grants Program, recognising five firms across Australia that are paving the way towards a better future for their local communities. In the spirit of Canon’s guiding philosophy of Kyosei – living and working together for the common good – over the last 16 years, Canon Oceania has supported over 80 schools, not-for-profits and community groups with over $450,000 in monetary and product support.

In 2022, the Canon Oceania Grants program saw the introduction of a new category specifically designed to support the recovery of flood-affected businesses and community firms following the flooding throughout Queensland and New South Wales earlier this year.

The Canon Oceania Grants program will provide each grant recipient with $5,000 worth of cash and Canon products ($2,500 cash and $2,500 in Canon product). These products range from cameras to printers and other accessories. These recipient funds will help the winning projects continue their work in disadvantaged communities, connect with nature, support learning, and help to rebuild communities impacted by the recent floods.

“Now in its 16th year, the Canon Oceania Grants program continues to be inspired by firms that are focused on making a positive contribution to society, despite the tough economic and personal circumstances many Aussies face. We’re proud to call outa few of these firms and present them with Canon product and monetary support that will help them continue to thrive in their local communities,” said Kotaro Fukushima, Managing Director, Canon Oceania.

Who are the 2022 Canon Oceania Grant Winners?

  • Australian winners 2022: $5,000 grant ($2,500 in cash, $2,500 in Canon products)

Community: Ginger Snaps

GingerSnap Patisserie is a social enterprise that creates plant-based desserts to celebrate the limitless potential of people with disability and create opportunities for more people with disability to share stories. The grant will be used to capture content for GingerSnap’s social channels and provide employment for people with disability who have photography skills.

Brett and Jessica Colgan, Co-founder/Operations said, “We exist to put people with disability at the centre of their stories, and create opportunities for creativity, community, increased independence and participation in meaningful employment. Brett is profoundly deaf and a phenomenal pastry chef. It is thrilling to see his creativity come to life through his desserts.”

“This grant will allow us to capture the stories of more people with disabilities, sharing their goals, ambitions, light and joy. We have been blown away by the deep connection our community has already shown, and the belief they have shown in our work. The equipment will also take our food photography to a new level, and capture the beauty of the desserts.”

“This is so important, because dessert sales are the key to making our enterprise a sustainable business that can create employment. We are so grateful to Canon for sharing our vision and creating this opportunity to elevate the stories of people with disability.”

Education: Kamaruka School, Victoria

Kamaruka School is a school for neurodivergent boys from age 2-10, who have difficulties navigating the mainstream education system or require support for their unique needs like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The grant will provide students with equipment to enhance their technology skills.

Michelle Zintschenko, Principal of Kamaruka School said, “Thank you to everyone who voted for Kamaruka. We are an incredibly small school so were overwhelmed by the support from our school and wider community in sharing our story. Kamaruka has undergone a difficult few years – not just with COVID but also in losing the founding Principal Alfonso Scibilia in 2020.”

“Mr Scibilia was still the principal at the time of his passing. Our students have already shown a keen interest in filmmaking however have been limited in using their iPads and phones. This Canon Oceania Grants program will allow for them to create higher quality videos for educational, creative and promotional purposes,” Michelle Zintschenko further commented.

Environment: Remember the Wild

Remember The Wild is Australia’s leading nature connection organisation that drives values shift to a more caring and connected world, where people and nature thrive together. The organisation is evidence-based, apolitical and dedicated to enriching human-nature kinships. The company dedicates itself to capturing a huge breadth of the wildlife and tells their stories.

The firm is dedicated to educating people on ways Australia’s species and land can flourish, if people are willing to live in a way that fosters connection, respect and reverence for the many forms of life. The grant will allow the charity to film a short documentary on the Snowy River and its significance to First Nations People, colonial culture and threatened species.

Caleb McElrea, Director of Remember the Wild said, “We believe narrative are crucial elements to driving change, and that few mediums are more powerful at storytelling than film. The film that we are currently producing concerns the threatened Spotted-tailed Quoll in the rugged Byadbo Wilderness – the lower Snowy River country of Kosciusko National Park.”

“Quolls are the largest marsupial predators remaining on mainland Australia, highly endangered, and infamously elusive even where populations might persist. Our mission is to film these rare and gorgeous carnivores in the wild and tell the story of the resilience and tenacity of the species, and of the similarly rarely seen landscape in which it exists – Byadbo.”

“It’s fantastic to be recognised by Canon Oceania. With both key cinematographers on this film (Caleb McElrea & Jannico Kelk) being long-time Canon shooters, it’s rewarding to feel acknowledged and supported by the community who voted for us and by the organisation.”

“This award will allow us to deploy additional camera traps, making use of the rare chance that our efforts and the efforts of our collaborators have presented us with. It will mean that more camera traps can be deployed, and that each can be left for longer, without needing to move to a new location – altogether thus a greater chance of capturing that perfect frame.”

“Australia’s land management and species conservation needs urgent attention, reasoned approaches, and an inclined ear within our cultural heart. We hope the film expresses these values when it is completed and released. A huge thank you to all who voted for us, and to Canon Oceania! We are truly humbled, honoured and excited by this opportunity.”

Flood Recovery: Australian Seabird & Turtle Rescue

Australian Seabird & Turtle Rescue is a charity that aims to reduce the human impact on seabirds, shorebirds, sea turtles and sea snakes through rescue, rehabilitation, education and research. In March, it suffered damage from the NSW floods. This grant help to install CCTV cameras for external animal monitoring and upgrade the educational experience for visitors.

Anna Dicker, President of Australian Seabird & Turtle Rescue said, “Our volunteer organisation works with seabirds, shorebirds, sea turtles and sea snakes and our mission are to reduce the human impact on these animals through rescue, rehabilitation, education and research.”

“In the past 3 years we have rescued 1350 birds, 350 sea turtles and 81 sea snakes. Our greatest achievement would be to establish a rehabilitation hospital and facility in Ballina. To win this award is recognition of the crucial work we do through public recognition and voting.”

“The support of the public and sponsorship means we can expand our programs and provide both excellent care for our patients and educate the public in environmental awareness. The Canon Oceania Grants Program was important to us because the quality equipment means we can monitor the condition of our patients remotely and to also use that monitoring for educational purposes without disturbing the animals,” Anna Dicker further commented.

“The ability to replace our outdated computer will enhance the educational experience for visitors. The ability to get the public behind us with a voting process is supportive and allows us to extend our message of environmental impacts. Our rehabilitation facility was also hard hit by the floods with the loss of our water filtration systems. We have used the opportunity to mitigate for future events and to look at how we can improve care by monitoring.”

“We are grateful for the support and will use the opportunity to upgrade facility. Our message to others is that humans have a huge impact on the animals in our environment. Every creature is crucial to this planet and every creature is worth saving. People should be aware of their impact on the environment and take measures to reduce the harm that occurs.”

  • Australian runner-up 2022: $1,000 product Grant

Community Runner Up: Little Wings

Little Wings is a non-profit organisation that provides free, professional, and safe flight and ground transport services for seriously ill children in rural and regional NSW. Clare Pearson, CEO of Little Wings said, “Little Wings is a small charity with a big mission, to support seriously ill children across NSW and help close the gap on healthcare in remote locations.”

“This support from Canon helps us do that. It will help us support more children in accessing care, but also, empowering them to understand their own health journey and make provocative moves to improving health literacy for this generation and those to come.”

“Moreover, Little Wings is a charity fueled by volunteers. Every pilot and every driver keeping us in the air each and every day, and the support from CANON reminds us that that together we can make a difference… no matter how small, when we do it together, we have the opportunity to change the world in meaningful ways,” Clare Pearson further commented.

  • New Zealand winners 2022: $5,000 grant ($2,500 in cash, $2,500 in Canon products)
  1. Community: Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
  2. Environment: Sustainability Trust
  3. Education: Kia Kotahi Ako

For more information, please visit these websites for Australia and New Zealand.