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The Stegley Foundation was a private philanthropic trust established in 1973 by the late Brian and Shelagh Stegley. The Stegley Foundation's role was to promote social justice through social change. The Foundation was committed to the principle of empowering disadvantaged sections of society and making local and other levels of government more responsive to the needs of their constituents.
The Stegley Foundation was always intended to be a limited-life trust. It was not established in perpetuity, but was always intended to spend its capital within thirty years. Established with an initial corpus of $2 million, it was stretched to enable a total distribution of $6.4 million over its 28-year life. A total of 671 grants were made by the Foundation.
Among the Stegley Foundation's major grants:
- $70,000 over two years (1986-87) to fund a project involving Aboriginal people in the development of a national park and associated tourist enterprises. The project aimed tp assist the traditional owners participate in park planning and management, control tourist access, develop an Aboriginal ranger training program, and produce brochures and material about the history and Aboriginal significance of the area.
- Establishment funds for the Community Advocacy Unit at the School of Social Science and Planning at RMIT (2000). The Unit esigns and delivers educational and training programs on advocacy and social action for members of community and non-government organisations, including workshops on strategic campaign planning, specific forms of advocacy, a range of advocacy and social action skill sets and the use of new technologies. The Unit hosts public seminars and conferences on topical social and environmental justice issues, and also supports the design and delivery of accredited undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum on advocacy and social action at RMIT University.
- Seed funding for development of the ruMAD? Program. Initially called the "education about philanthropy project", ruMAD? grew out of the Stegley Foundation's desire to keep encouraging an awareness of giving after it ceased to exist. ruMAD? is a schools-based program, which is values-focused and student-led, and encourages students to make a difference. Activities and projects are based upon student identified values and interests which motivate them to enact change within their school and community. The program is now hosted by the Education Foundation.