Great Ydeas Small Grants Program

About Great Ydeas

YWCA Canberra’s Great Ydeas Small Grants Program provides funds to local women, including female identifying and non-binary people and girls, to pursue a professional development opportunity, pilot a project, kick-start a business idea, or address a need in the community.

The program was launched in 2010 in celebration of YWCA Canberra’s 80th anniversary. Since then, more than 50 women have received grants of up to $2000 each. In the past, Great Ydeas grants have been used to fund education or training opportunities, launch social enterprises or community-based projects, seed funding for small business establishment or professional development opportunities. Priority is given to projects that empower women in our local community, and that have the potential to grow beyond the initial funding provided.


2018 Great Ydeas Recipients:

Julia Faragher, From Amateur to Artist

From Amateur to Artist is a documentary series about the lives and work of young female artists in the Canberra community. The series aims to feature a diverse range of artists, both in the sense of artist styles, such as musicians, visual artists and writers, as well as culturally diverse backgrounds. It will consist of five 4-6 minute episodes each featuring a different artist.

Each episode will contain three separately filmed segments: an interview, an average day in their studio or regular place of work, and a performance, exhibition or concert out in the Canberra community, wherever they share their art. From Amateur to Artist is about giving young female artists a voice and a chance for more people to access their art. It also provides an opportunity for the audience to learn about their journeys and get an insight into what a career as an artist actually looks like. Ultimately, the series is about empowering both the female artists themselves and young girls who may be discovering their own artistic potential.

Caitlin Figueiredo, Jasiri Trailblazer Fellowship

The Jasiri Trailblazer Fellowship is designed as an inclusive, resilience-building program that promotes leadership, active participation, and therapeutic potential, through self-defense and skills-based training.

The program will support 10 young, multicultural and Indigenous women aged 15-22 to participate in sessions and activities designed to unlock their leadership potential, fight stereotypes, and increase self-esteem and confidence, and build skills in social entrepreneurship, mentoring and professional and leadership development.

Yasmine Gray, GetAboutAble

GetAboutAble is an innovative Canberra-based start-up which, through its website, enables people with disability, their families, friends and supporters to share information about accessible and inclusive travel and leisure activities around the world.

Think of as a Trip Advisor for the 20% of the population that finds it difficult to experience new places and activities, mostly because of a lack of information about accessibility. GetAboutAble innovatively combines online map-based and text-based search tools and applying them to the accessible travel and leisure sector, addressing the lack easily available information for people with disabilities, their families, friends and carers who want to get out and about.

While the types of search/listing tools and revenue model used by are also used by a number of well-known online platforms in the travel and leisure industry, no global online platform yet exists that applies these tools and revenue model to the accessible travel and leisure market. The website won a 2017 ACT Chief Minister’s Inclusion Award for Innovation in Design.

Sita Sargeant, Change the Frame

Change the Frame ( is a youth-led initiative for young people aged 13-18. The aim of the program is for participants to leave with an understanding that all people are equal and deserve access to the same rights and opportunities. Through her project, Sita hopes to empower young people, and create a generation of more socially aware, inclusive and empathetic Canberrans.

Change the Frame will deliver an eight-week workshop series, introducing and defining the concept of intersectionality through feminism, masculinity, sex and gender, LGBTQIA+ identities, and healthy relationships. The series will conclude with a workshop exploring identity, and challenge participants to analyse their place in society and to brainstorm some of the ways they themselves can initiate change.

Ultimately, participants will have the ability to critically evaluate and discuss these systems, while also gaining a better understanding of, and empathy towards, a range of different lived experiences within society.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our 2018 Great Ydeas Innovation Partners:

CBRIN Mentoring/Lean Startup Workshop Series

The 2018 CBRIN Great Ydeas Innovate Grant provides a grant of $2,000 to a girl or woman of any age to pursue an entrepreneurial activity, such as a social enterprise start-up, or other small business idea.

Hayley Teasdale, Buzz Balance Ball

Hayley is a PhD candidate at the University of Canberra, working to improve balance for people with severe balance impairments. Her Buzz Balance Ball is a new medical technology that will rapidly improve balance and reduce the risk of falls for people with neurological conditions, as well as the elderly.

Hayley’s vision is to support people with neurological conditions to stay at work, stay engaged with their community, and stay independent for longer. Hayley is currently preparing to launch her Buzz Balance Ball under her own start-up, which will design, produce and manufacture innovative pieces of technology that can be used towards solving global health problems.

Hayley also received the 2017 NAB Great Ydeas Innovate Grant for this project, and YWCA Canberra is pleased to continue to support her incredible work through the Great Ydeas program for a second year.

EY Great Ydeas Creativity Grant

The EY Great Ydeas Creativity Grant will provide a grant of $2,000 to a girl or woman of any age to support a project, artwork, production, or business idea focusing on
architecture, dance, visual arts, literature, film production, music, or theatre.

Fiona Hooton, Lakeside Stories Pilot Project

Fiona’s Lakeside Stories Pilot Project is a digital story telling tour, intended to take place at night time, and comprises a walking tour at Lake Burley Griffin between the Commonwealth and King’s Avenue Bridges, and uses urban spaces for creative play.

The project is a social enterprise start-up with a cultural and environmental mission, and brings together years of research and experience interpreting Australian art and culture. Fiona will use stories of place to connect audiences to Australia’s cultural and natural resources, and motivate action to sustain them.

Microsoft Great Ydeas STEAM Start-Up GrantMicrosoft-logo

The Microsoft Great Ydeas STEAM  start-up grant will provide seed funding of up to $2,000 to a woman entrepreneur and/or small business owner of any age, in the science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics arena.

Alexandra Green, ANU Women in Leadership – Skills for the Future workshops

Through their involvement with ANU Women in Leadership, Alex and her team will use this grant to facilitate a whole-day workshop for women-identifying university students to develop skills and competencies using a range of digital software, in order to further prepare them to enter the workforce, and increase their future employability.

The workshop will provide the opportunity for attendees to participate in a range of practical professional development activities, learn about some of the aspects of the professional world that can be a bit unclear, (such as how to negotiate pay and superannuation), build self-confidence and empowerment, and make connections with other students across a range of fields.