A more complete democracy and an economy with fairness at its heart.
Our focus is on advocacy and policy influence for:
– fairness in political participation
– fairness and quality in public debate
– a fair, accountable and open government
– a fair and equitable tax system and social safety net
If you are looking for support for an initiative aligned with these areas, contact us below.Submit an expression of interest
Our civil society partners
Raise the Rate Campaign
Australia’s income support system was designed to help people when they are going through tough times. But Newstart is not working – the rate has not been increased in real terms for 25 years while living costs have gone through the roof. The current rate of $40 per day is too low to give people the support they need to get by. Instead of supporting people, the current Newstart rate forces them into a cycle of debt, social isolation and humiliation that undermines their efforts and risks them slipping through the cracks into entrenched poverty. Raising the rate will mean people can focus on their futures rather than having to be totally consumed with financial crisis. Mannifera's support is helping to resource the campaign.
Australian Associated Press 2.0
Mannifera funded the first tranche of the due diligence required to enable a philanthropic-led bid for ownership of Australian Associated Press. The bid was successful and AAP, a vital part of the Australian media landscape, remains open and viable. AAP provides a crucial newswire service that underpins journalism and reporting across print, radio and other broadcast media. This is an exciting and bold step by Australian philanthropy.
COVID-19 Rapid Advocacy Fund
Australian Progress, together with Australian Communities Foundation and Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) are partnering on this project. As Australians grapple with the impacts of the pandemic we are seeing outpourings of community spirit and concern. This energy is being channelled into creative and innovative advocacy efforts to achieve policies that transform our society, protect vulnerable communities and look after one another. This is a collective donor pool that can rapidly inject funds into strategic advocacy campaigns seeking ambitious policies in response to the pandemic in Australia. To date, 17 projects across a diverse range of areas including affordable housing, gambling reform, mental health and Australian democracy have been funded.
First Nations Workers Alliance
The Community Development Program (CDP) is a work for the dole program that only operates in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. It is, in many respects, inherently unfair, disempowering and racist. CDP workers have 70 times the financial penalties imposed upon them than non-remote dole workers. In 2018, more than 350,000 fines were handed out to 33,000 CDP participants. Fines for missing activities under CDP account for more than half the total penalties across the entire welfare system in Australia. The First Nations Workers Alliance (FNWA) campaigns, through education, outreach, political lobbying, voter mobilisation, and public forums, with CDP workers to end the program and replace it with one that works for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to provide them with self- determination and the dignity of fair work.
Mannifera is providing core operation support to Equality Australia, the organisation that has emerged from the Equality Campaign that was crucial to achieving marriage equality in Australia. EA is a lean campaigning organisation to tackle human rights abuses against LGBTIQ people that persist beyond the YES vote on a national level. A major priority will be defeating the proposed Religious Freedoms’ Bill, a dangerously unconventional piece of draft legislation introduced in Parliament in late 2019. The Bill poses a threat to the hard won rights achieved through the YES campaign and could be used to discriminate against women, people with a disability and other marginalised communities.
From deaths in custody, to child removals, land rights and closing the gap, it is clear that there are deep structural barriers to improving the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These barriers are compounded by a deficit language that is prolific in mainstream media and in white Australia. It’s a language that makes it impossible to share a bigger vision and turns people away from becoming resourceful allies. This grant to Original Power, in partnership with Australian Progress, will research and develop a persuasive new narrative to build public and political support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination and justice.
Digital Rights Watch
This funding will support, enhance and promote the necessary debate about digital rights in Australia through enabling Digital Rights Watch to analyse the key issues facing Australians today, and making clear recommendations for policy makers to consider and adopt. It will assist DRW to transition from a mostly volunteer-based organisation to dedicated staffing, with stronger capacity and means to implement projects and campaigns that defend and promote equality, freedom and established human rights principles in our digital world. This is first significant philanthropic grant that DRW has received.
The Indigenous Law Centre at UNSW
The Indigenous Law Centre at UNSW is the backbone organisation that coordinates the ongoing national dialogue process to ensure First Nations voices remain at the heart of delivering on Voice, Treaty, Truth—the three pathways to justice set out in the Uluru Statement. The mandate that came out of the Uluru Statement—to enshrine a voice to parliament in the constitution—was historic. Mannifera is providing core operational funding to support and scale the dialogues to ensure grassroots First Nations voices are heard and have a seat at the table as the Government co-designs a comprehensive response to Voice, Treaty, Truth.
The Centre for Public Integrity
Public trust in our democracy is low. A perceived lack of integrity in and accountability by Australia’s political, corporate and bureaucratic processes and institutions has eroded public confidence that the public interest is always put first. The Centre for Public Integrity is a relatively new independent think tank dedicated to preventing corruption, protecting the integrity of our accountability institutions, and eliminating undue influence of political donations in politics. This is especially important during the coronavirus era when parliament is suspended and governments acquire great power in order to deal with the pandemic. Funding from Mannifera will provide core operational funding for the work of the Centre.
Australian Democracy Network
Advocacy by independent groups in civil society is vital to a healthy democracy. In the last few years the ability of civil society organisations to speak out and share their unique knowledge, expertise and experience has been threatened by new laws and practices that are eroding their independent voice. In response, around 40 civil society organisations came together to form the Hands Off Our Charities alliance. Hands off our Charities has already greatly increased the capacity and interest of civil society in protecting and strengthening its voice. Mannifera's support will allow the Alliance to hire a senior campaigner to take the work further and ensure Australian charities are protected from adverse policy changes. This work will ultimately ensure Australia’s strong, vibrant civil society brings its unique expertise and experience to public discussion and decision-making.
The Democracy Project
The extent to which money has infiltrated our political process, and the non-transparent influence of corporate lobbying, is an issue of growing concern for many Australians. It is a bi-partisan problem which is leading to increasing disillusionment with the democratic process, and with our institutions of government. Democracy For Sale is a documentary film that aims to shine a light on some of these challenges as well as illuminate ways to improve fairness, transparency and confidence in our democratic system. Mannifera's support will assist with the film's social impact campaign.