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Thousands of dollars up for grabs for Christian women

The Aussie awards bringing ‘gospel-shaped’ ideas to life

There’s just a week to go to apply for a slice of $60,000 available to Christian women leading gospel-shaped initiatives.

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The Anglican Deaconess Ministries (ADM) Annual Funding Event seeks to uncover Christian women who have ideas to engage the public on matters of faith. This year, ADM have adapted the awards to offer funding for various stages of idea development: from seed funding to help develop an idea, to prototype funding that can further develop a project that’s had some initial testing or start-up funding that can help extend an existing project.

ADM spokesperson Dr Annette Pierdziwol says pitches are welcome from women leading social enterprises, ministries, community organisations and businesses.

“You can apply for funding to explore your idea or to find the next stage for your established company,” she says. “We welcome initiatives in any form of organisation.”

A total of $60,000 in funding will be awarded at the event … No one will go home empty-handed.

Tasmania’s 2019 Australian of the Year, Bernadette Black, is a previous recipient of ADM funding through its Annual Funding Event. Black is the founder of Brave Foundation, an organisation dedicated to helping expecting and parenting teens. Having found herself pregnant as a teenager, Black has gone on to dedicate her life to helping other teen parents. She used the ADM funding to further her own professional development through an intensive leadership program at the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the US. She also received mentoring through ADM’s one-year incubator program, which offers regular support among similarly-minded Christian women in leadership. You can read more of Bernadette’s story in this Eternity feature.

Actress and writer Anna Weir (McGahan) also received funding in the 2018 round of ADM funding to expand her work on ‘The Fireplace’, an online and face-to-face community for Christian creatives to encourage one another in the love of God. The funding allowed her to create a professional website and host interstate events to encourage creatives around Australia to get involved.

“I believe we could use this funding to empower artists across Australia with intention and identity, and that we would see a generation of creative believers rise up, passionate about informing the culture of the arts industries, and boldly sharing the love of Jesus,” Weir wrote in her funding application.

Expressions of interest are welcome until July 6, when ADM will then invite selected applicants to pitch their idea at the Annual Funding Event in September. A total of $60,000 in funding will be awarded at the event, with $5000 to the best idea, $15,000 to the best prototype and $30,000 to the best start-up and beyond. No one will go home empty-handed, with $1000 awarded to all other women who pitch on the day. The winner of the People’s Choice Award will receive an additional $1,000 on top of any other award.

For more information or to apply, visit deaconessministries.org.au.

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