Helping us build up the Canberra community – 2021 Great Ydeas Innovation Breakfast

30 April 2021

On Thursday, 29 April, YWCA Canberra was joined by over 130 people at the Ainslie Football Club for our annual Great Ydeas Innovation Breakfast. The fundraising event, which provided an opportunity for members, supporters and partners to come together to show their support for YWCA Canberra’s housing initiatives, also presented us withwas also an the opportunity to showcase our 2021 Great Ydeas Small Grant recipients and to celebrate World YWCA Day.  

This year, our breakfast was especially important, as we launched our YHomes housing program. All money raised from the event has gone directly towards funding YHomes to help support ten women and their families access affordable and safe housing in a convenient location in Ainslie.   

Our event started with a heartfelt Welcome to Country from Ngunnawal Elder Aunty Violet Sheridan, who touched on the importance of housing for women in the community, and why supporting YWCA Canberra’s work can help address this overwhelming issue.  

“Without appropriate housing, we cannot embrace our fullest quality of life”.  

Our Chief Executive Officer, Frances Crimmins, then spoke on the work we do as an organisation, highlighting our programs in housing support, outreach support services and women’s leadership.  

“As a trauma and gender-informed service operating under a feminist framework, our services offer a safe place for healing and reflection where women’s lives and wellbeing are celebrated. 

“Innovation is at the heart of our housing mission”.  

Drawing on the challenges of last year, Frances also touched on the impact of coronavirus on women’s risk of homelessness, and the increased demand for housing support services for women in the ACT.  

 “In 2020, around 2000 people a month accessed specialist housing services in Canberra. Women accounted for more than half of this client base.”  

With this framework, YWCA Canberra’s Board Treasurer Katie Whitehead then introduced our YHomes program and addressed the impact and objective of our new development.   

“Housing is absolutely fundamental to gender equality. It’s the key foundation from which all other actions of empowerment can grow.”  

While referring to the importance of safe, secure housing, Katie emphasised how the new YHomes program will help to establish a better future for girls and women in Canberra.  

“Each unit we build will be one more piece of the puzzle, building towards a better future for women and girls in Canberra.” 

In the next segment of our event, we invited 2019 Great Ydea recipient Kate Crowhurst to address the audience and talk about her Great Ydeas project, Money Bites. Kate spoke about where her idea stemmed from and how she wanted to help address the larger issue of inequality by helping girls and women learn about money in an easier, more accessible way.  

“I wanted to start MoneyBites to make money bite-sized, and ensure we all had access to knowledge on how to talk about, earn, save and grow money.” 

“The importance of financial literacy for women is that it’s part of a solution to the current financial inequality women face in 2021. Although it’s not the whole solution, it’s part of it.” 

Kate made an insightful comment on the importance of teamwork and how working collaboratively with others can help create sustainable, long-term solutions.  

“Becoming a leader in your field may bring you a headline, but the reality is no one works in a vacuum, but there is more to be gained from partnering with others and working collaboratively on long-term solutions.”  

Our board member Kristin Blume then had the honour of announcing the recipients of our 2021 Great Yeads Small Grants program.  

Now in its 10th year, the Great Ydeas Small Grants program has helped more than 60 Canberra women and girls to progress projects including establishing a podcast, launching a public awareness campaign, running empowering programs for girls, attending a conference and launching a social enterprise. 

This year we were thrilled to announce that nine women were successful in securing a 2021 Great Ydeas Small Grant to help make a meaningful impact in the Canberra community:

  • Cinnamone Winchester, for her project Momento Mori: Bossy Magazine’s seventh print edition   
  • Jae Brieffes for her project, Young Visionaries Lab  
  • Kate Crowhurst for her project, Financial Literacy Workshops for Young Women 
  • Camille Schloeffel for her project Safe Response Toolkit  
  • Zainab Farouk for her project, Be Your Best – professional development conference, supported by Beyond Bank’s Great Ydeas Community Grant  
  • Serina Bird for her project, The Joyful Fashionista, supported by the Canberra Innovation Network Great Ydeas Innovate Grant  
  • Natalie Williams for her project, Currawong Collective, supported by the Canberra Innovation Network Grat Ydeas Innovate Grant 
  • Jean Du for her project, Primary, supported by Sustineo’s Great Ydeas Empowerment Grant  
  • Rae Knopik for her project, The CBR Gals Network Directory supported by Sustineo’s Great Ydeas Empowerment Grant

You can read more about these incredible grant recipients.  

Thank you again to everyone who attended the 2021 Great Ydeas Innovation Breakfast and donated to support our new YHomes program. We are thrilled to announce the breakfast raised more than $8000!  

To see photos from the event, check out our Flickr album. 

If you could not make it to the event but still want to show your support, you can donate to our housing support fund. 

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