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Oh Myer God! $180,000 to Make Your Big Solution for Social Change a Reality

Do you have a game-changing solution to a significant Australian challenge but don’t know how to get it off the ground? Finding the time and funding for social innovation can be difficult. You can have what you think is the best initiative in the world, but without the resources to make it happen, all you really have is, well, an idea. And ideas are a dime a dozen.

To make things even more challenging, because you’re an individual, it is likely that your idea is ineligible for funding from many grant-makers, trusts, and other philanthropic funders which are limited to funding organisations with charitable status. Fortunately, new programs headed by forward-thinking organisations are emerging to help budding changemakers really make a difference.

Imagine having the opportunity to dedicate an entire year and receive $180,000 to pursue your ambitious social change idea. It may sound too good to be true, but The Myer Foundation & Sidney Myer Fund are offering exactly that to exceptional leaders from various sectors, including private, public, and not-for-profit, regardless of their professional backgrounds.

For over a decade, the Kenneth Myer Innovation Fellowship program has empowered Australia’s brightest and self-directed leaders to develop breakthrough solutions to the country’s most pressing challenges, ranging from poverty and inequality to sustainability and environmental issues. What sets this program apart is its focus on supporting individuals rather than organisations.

As a Fellow, you will have the unique opportunity to focus on your initiative for 12 months and fully devote yourself to transforming it into a concrete action plan. While the competition for these Fellowships is fierce, the rewards are well worth it. The Kenneth Myer Innovation Fellowship can propel you to new heights, turning your dreams into reality.

To increase your chances of being selected, take inspiration from Fellowship alumni who generously share their tips on how to make your application stand out.

“Clearly articulate the problem you are trying to solve, talk about why it’s important, does it align with the Kenneth Myer Innovation Fellowship’s themes and what impact you’re trying to achieve. Don’t be afraid to be bold and confident in your experience. Finally, think about your financial model and how the company will be sustainable long term.”

– Laura Simmons | CEO & Founder at Theratrak | 2023 Fellow

“To stand out get straight to the point in communicating your idea. Be very clear on why this matters, why the timing is right and why you are the right person to get it done. Start with small sustainable steps whilst also communicating your big ideas for scalability. The impact of the Myer Fellowship is hard to quantify. The freedom to give your idea wings, a community who has your back, amazing mentors and finances to step outside the daily grind to try to make change for the better! Nothing compares… and as a 2023 Fellow its only just beginning!”

– Rebecca Scott | Founder & CEO at Eazilee | 2023 Fellow

“Don’t be afraid to think big. Communicate the big picture and how, if your idea has the opportunity to breathe, it can bring a measurable positive impact to many. Remember, even the tallest oak tree began as an acorn. Your acorn needs watering in order to flourish.” 

– Max Burt | Founder at The WheelEasy Foundation | 2021 Fellow

“To stand out, I think you need to be really clear about your purpose or what you are trying to achieve, not just what work you want to do – but to explain in a simple way what outcomes you are seeking to achieve, and how you will measure that.” 

– David Pearson | CEO at Australian Alliance to End Homelessness | 2020 Fellow

“I think the key to getting heard is to be super clear on your idea. It’s also important to be clear on your personal story and to be explicit about how your idea addresses the foundation’s objectives, but above all you should focus on articulating your idea. My other observation is that the panel seem to be drawn to practical proposals, which ties back to expressing your idea clearly… Applications stand out when they tell a personal story and show the applicant’s conviction in their project. The Fellowship took SunTenants from a passion project to my sole focus to a service acquired by a large solar monitoring company and policy directions integrated into multiple state government programs.

 – Björn Sturmberg | Founder at SunTenants | 2017 Fellow

“To stand out you need to be super clear and to the point. Try to be very specific about the problem you’re solving and even more clear about how your solution… and then what you can achieve in 12 months to advance towards that… I’d also recommend highlighting why this specific opportunity would be the game-changer for you the step-change that’s needed to achieve the change you want to see.”

– Lucinda Hartley | Co-Founder at Neighbourlytics | 2018 Fellow

“The most important thing is demonstrating both the long-term, positive social impact of the idea AND how the idea will sustain itself financially. Many people have great ideas and think they can achieve great things if only they had some money. But very few can show how an idea will both change society AND generate the money to sustain itself over 10 years.”

– Andrew Robinson | Co-Founder at QuestaGame | 2016 Fellow

“Get a friend to read it beforehand to make sure it makes sense… Be clear about how it will make Australia a better place and why you are best placed to do it.”

– Anna Rose | Author, Speaker & Environmentalist | 2016 Fellow

“Don’t be afraid… even if your idea is out there don’t be afraid to spruik it. Know your topic.. for any business to succeed you need to know all aspects, from market opportunities, competition, barriers to entry and regulatory landscape. Showing what you know will strengthen your application. Don’t rush your application… this is an amazing chance to change your world; don’t rush it!”

– Claire Leach | Founder at Hatch Biosystems | 2014 Fellow

“Concise language… have as many people as possible read your application to make it clear and to the point. Evidence… providing some trusted evidence to back up your assertions is important. The idea is king… while it’s lovely hearing about your achievements, in this application your idea is king. Your story… show why you are the right person to make your idea a reality.”

– Sarah Doyle | Founder at What the Doctor Said | 2017 Fellow

“Have a clear set of milestones and deliverables that you can work to over the 12 months… engage additional mentors from your career who you can ask advice of and be specific as you can! Test early and often… establishing a feedback loop with stakeholders and potential end users as soon as you can is crucial. Be inclusive… particularly with tech products, make sure you are thinking about it from the start.”

– Emma Koster | Founder at Hello Cass | 2018 Fellow

“Think deeply about your social impact mission, then figure out how best to quantify the impact. Social impact and commercial success can co-exist… Think deeply and test your ‘Why’… Why you are doing your initiative? Will you want to give up before you even make an impact?”

– Huy Nguyen | Co-Founder at Enabler Interactive | 2018 Fellow

“Clearly identify a need and imperative, how your idea will address the issue and what the outcomes will be… Workshop your idea so you can clearly and concisely articulate it in a compelling way… Demonstrate your passion and how you are best placed to deliver on your idea… Explain how the initial support from the Myer Foundation will be sustainable beyond the Fellowship.”

– Ben Schokman | Human Rights Lawyer | 2014 Fellow

Got a game-changing solution to a significant social or environmental issue in Australia, the Kenneth Myer Innovation Fellowship program is now looking for passionate and committed social entrepreneurs to support in 2024 – APPLY NOW. Applications close at 11.59pm AEST, Sunday September 10, 2023. Don’t miss out!

Social Change Central
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