Opportunity, inspiration and community collaboration at the Great Ydeas Innovation Breakfast

2 May 2017

Eliza Hughes

Eliza is the Communications and Marketing Officer at YWCA Canberra

On Thursday 27 April, we were thrilled to welcome more than 170 partners, members and friends to QT Canberra for our Great Ydeas Innovation Breakfast (formerly known as the Round the World Breakfast), in recognition of World YWCA Day. World YWCA Day is celebrated in 120 countries, and provides a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate our connection to 25 million women and girls through the global YWCA movement.

In her opening remarks, Executive Director, Frances Crimmins welcomed guests, and thanked them for coming together to support the YWCA Canberra Clubhouse, and for joining us to celebrate the recipients of the 2017 Great Ydeas Small Grants program.

Frances drew attention to the hidden inequality that exists in Canberra, and highlighted the importance of programs that ensure that vulnerable Canberrans, and particularly young people, are not left behind. She demonstrated how the Clubhouse is just one of YWCA Canberra’s programs that seeks to bridge this divide, and called for a whole of community response to the inequality that lies below the surface of Canberra’s affluent façade.

Frances then introduced our keynote speaker, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, who spoke about the positive impact that business, innovation and entrepreneurship can have on communities. On entrepreneurial and business ventures, Ms Carnell said “it’s so important that we support young people to have a go”, adding “it’s never the right time to start (a new venture), so sometimes you just have to take a leap”.

Following the keynote address, we had the pleasure of hearing from four former recipients of our Great Ydeas grants, who have since launched some innovative and community focused programs. We heard from Caterina Giorgi, Heidi Zajac, Hannah Wandel and Hannah Massingham who discussed their ongoing success through their respective projects ForPurpose, Cooking Circles, Country to Canberra and womenCANplay, in a panel on ‘The Impact of Opportunity’. 

All four women agreed that the connections they had made and the support they received as a grant recipient were most valuable outcomes, perhaps even more than the funding itself. Adding to this, Caterina advised that when starting a new project, you must to be prepared to embrace failure and the journey of learning. Heidi explained that it helps to be patient and open-minded, particularly in the early phases of bringing your project to life. Hannah Wandel encouraged the new 2017 grant recipients not to be afraid to ask for help and initiate conversations with people who you can draw support from, while Hannah Massingham thanked YWCA Canberra for the credibility that the Great Ydeas program brought to her project.

The 2017 grant recipients were announced by YWCA Canberra President, Jude Burger. A record nine Canberra women and girls were supported to pursue a range of projects in the categories of small business, community development, the arts, diversity and inclusion, social enterprise, and professional development.

With the support of a number of business and philanthropic partnerships, this year’s grants program offered a pool of $20,000 in funding. We are very grateful to our partners, Microsoft, NAB, Australian Catholic Superannuation, EY, Soroptimist International ACT & Monaro, and the CBR Innovation Network. Through the Great Ydeas program, we are proud to have demonstrated the collective social impact we can make when corporate, philanthropic and community organisations work together. You can read about each of this year’s grant recipients here.

Before farewelling guests, Frances and Jude congratulated all grant recipients and announced the winners of the raffle, from which all proceeds will go towards upgrading equipment in the Clubhouse.

We would like to thank the following organisations who made a generous donation to our raffle:

And to our supportive corporate partners who purchased tables:

You can find all the photos from the event on the YWCA Canberra Flickr page, and see local news coverage of the event here.

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