Small businesses recognised for second year in Canon’s 2021 Grants

Canon Oceania has announced the winners of its 2021 Grants Program, recognising seven organisations across ANZ that are paving the way to a better future for their communities.

As COVD-19 lockdowns continue to impact Australian businesses, Canon’s Grants Program includes a small business category and increased cash donations for the second year running.

Canon is awarding more than $30,000 worth of grants and Australian winners will each receive $5,000 in cash and products ($2,500 in cash and $2,500 in Canon products).

Australia’s winning projects will help communities connect with nature, support learning and communication for people with autism, and deliver therapy to children impacted by adversity.

“We are inspired by the breadth of companies working to make a positive contribution to society, despite the tough economic and personal circumstances that COVID-19 has created for many Australian communities and organisations,” said Dave Yoshida, MD Canon Oceania.

“This is true for small businesses impacted by the restrictions in a number of states.”

“We’re proud to support these organisations, providing them with tools that help them adjust to the ‘new normal’ and set themselves up for future success. We’re excited to see how this year’s winners use their grants to positively impact their communities and our environment.”

Canon’s Kyosei guiding philosophy of living and working together for the common good has supported schools, not-for-profits and community groups with more than $420,000.

Previous winners have used the grant to provide assistance and therapy dogs for children with disabilities, facilitate learning for children with hearing loss, and to stop dolphin cruelty.

Australian winners 2021 of $5,000 grant

Small Business: The Young Naturalist (NSW)

The Young Naturalist is a social enterprise which is especially interested in providing assistance to women and children in disadvantaged communities throughout Australia. 

It provides scientific nature programs to help children understand and connect with nature.

Co-founders Dr Aniuzka Kazandjian and Dr Fiona Benyon shared their excitement. “We bring Australian biodiversity to life and connect children with nature.”

“The Young Naturalist ensures this by providing experiences in microscopic investigation, citizen science participation and hands-on creation of biodiverse habitats.”

“The 2021 Canon Oceania Grant enables us to capture our Young Naturalists make their first scientific nature discoveries, creating tangible memories of their connection with nature.”

“Thanks to Canon, our Young Naturalists will be able to share their Nature discoveries with the world, by contributing their images to iNaturalist and the Atlas of Living Australia.”

“Canon cameras will contribute to the creation of our Young Naturalist series of Natural Sciences books and field guides, assisting children to identify our unique biodiversity.”

“We would like to express our sincere thanks to Canon Australia for sharing The Young Naturalist’s vision to ‘nurture the future custodians of our Natural World’.”

Education: Giant Steps Australia (NSW and VIC)

Giant Steps Australia operates a school, as well as providing intervention and adult services for children and adults living with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Its transdisciplinary program combines occupational, speech and music therapy with special education and psychology.

“We are extremely grateful to Canon for choosing Giant Steps Australia as one of its grant recipients,” said Andrew Frakes, Acting Principal, Giant Steps Australia.

“Giant Steps Australia work centres are tremendously facilitating learning for individuals with autism, many of whom are non-verbal and learn best with visual support.” 

“Using Canon’s equipment, we’ll be able to create purpose-built visuals and videos that are integral to improving communication between students and staff, carers and families.”

“We’ll also develop content to be shared through our online resource platform ‘The Autism Hub’, to help support individuals with autism in the wider community.”

Community: KidsXpress (NSW)

KidsXpress is a children’s mental health charity working to transform the lives of children impacted by adversity. It uses a trauma-informed Expressive Therapy program to promote healing in children under 12, as well as education services for those who care for them.

“When traumatised children are given the creative and emotional resources to work through problems as they arise, they’re able to turn these challenges into opportunities and build resilience,” said Margo Ward, Chief Executive Officer & Founder of KidsXpress.

“Canon Grant’s equipment will be used for our phototherapy sessions and enables us to invest in therapeutic resources like sensory tools and music instruments for our therapy centre.”

“We look forward to putting the grant to use. We are greatful to Canon for selecting us.”

Runner-up: $1,000 grant

Saving our Koalas (NSW)

Saving our Koalas is a charity dedicated to creating more habitats for endangered koalas.

Saving our Koalas raises funds through donations to plant koala food trees to provide habitats and food for koalas and other Australian native animals. Across the Tasman, Canon Grants are being awarded in New Zealand’s education, community and environment categories.

New Zealand winners of $5,000 grant

Education: Wakatipu Reforestation

Wakatipu Reforestation focuses on the protection and restoration of the native biodiversity of the Wakatipu Basin through revegetation projects, collaboration, education and advocacy.

The grant will enable it to grow its Educate for Nature program.

“The Canon grant will enable us to continue to support and grow our ‘Educate for Nature’ program, said Jo Smith, WRT Education and Outreach Officer, Wakatipu Reforestation.

“The grant will greatly assist us in the delivery of our hands-on environmental learning allowing us to connect children and community with nature.” 

“Thanks Canon, for playing a huge part in helping us to reach our goal of ensuring that every child within the Wakatipu basin can share our journey in restoring local biodiversity.”

Community: The Period Place

The Period Place is a period advocacy charity, with the goal of eliminating period poverty by 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. The charity will use its grant to allow them to facilitate greater learning opportunities in their education classes.

“We are so stoked to win the Canon Oceania Community Category Award. As a charity focusing on supplying vulnerable communities with period products, it’s hard to spend money on things we need internally for ourselves,” said Danika Revell, CEO of The Period Place.

“Having a printer that is fit for purpose for our team, means we’ll be able to provide better resources for our Impact Partners, and the individuals we support around Aotearoa.”

“With a projector, we’ll be able to deliver our workshops clearly, ensuring everyone can access them from The Period Place Hub properly.”

“The Hub is the first free community space in Aotearoa focused on periods, and thanks to Canon, it’s able to support the needs of so many more menstruators and their whanau.”

Environment: Far Out Ocean Research Collective

Far Out Ocean Research Collective’s mission is to foster knowledge and conservation of oceanic environments through research and education.

This grant will support their research of female parāoa/sperm whales in Aotearoa NZ. 

“We’re grateful for Canon’s support in these difficult times. The grant will support our photo-identification work in the first dedicated surveys of female sperm whales in Aotearoa.”

“The supports our photo-identification work in the first dedicated surveys of female sperm whales in Aotearoa,” said Jochen Zaeschmar, founder of Far Our Ocean Research Collective.

“The identification of individuals based on the unique marks on their tails is a cornerstone of our research and helps us understand population size, movements, and social structure.”

“We are thrilled to be able to reveal some of the mysteries of these enigmatic animals and to share our findings with the wider community.”