Previous Sprouts

The seed for the Hamer Sprout Fund was first sown in 2012, however did not really take root until 2013. It was in 2013 that we really consolidated our identity, mission and aims, and decided to focus predominantly on environmental initiatives. Consequently we only have one Sprout for 2012, and multiple in subsequent years.

2016 Sprouts

Port Phillip Eco Centre:

The Habitat Action for a Sustainable Future project will provide a whole-community approach to habitat restoration initiatives through engaging two local primary schools and their families within the Elster Creek catchment.

Abbotsford Convent – Sapling School

The Sapling School is a hands-on, innovative environmental education program for children aged 3 to 5. Managed onsite at the Abbotsford Convent by ACF Head Gardener Simon Taylor, Sapling School will teach children the principles of sustainable living and the importance of nurturing our precious environment.

The Community Grocer

The Community Grocer Carlton has partnered with a local primary school to cultivate their 16 square metres of garden, encouraging students to get involved and learn more about growing food. The produce grown in the garden will be sold at the Friday market, purchased by The Community Grocer from the school so that there is a continuing source of income to keep the garden growing beyond one season.

Enova Energy

The Enova Energy Education project comprises of training volunteers as energy coaches who will travel to homes and events to assist individuals and groups to be more energy (and carbon emissions) aware. The goal is to create a more energy aware community in the Northern Rivers (NSW) and assist other communities to do the same.

Yea Community House & Yea Community Garden 

The ‘Break it Down’ project started in 2014 with the backing of Hamer Sprout funding – and successfully initiated a cycle-based food waste collection and recycling project in Yea involving local secondary school VCAL students. The food waste that was collected by students was hot composted and supplied the then newly established Yea Community Garden – which grows food for Emergency Relief (food support for those in need), the local free Community meal, and for people involved in the garden and passers-by. 

Flinders Local Action Group 

“Walking the Songline” (the Walk) is a project to celebrate and protect the first registered songline in Australia, significant to the Adnyamathanha people of the Flinders Ranges. A proposed national nuclear waste dump currently threatens the songline, which runs from the township of Hawker to Lake Torrens, a distance of around 70km.

Climate Media Centre supporting Farmers For Climate Actions: 

This grant will promote sustainable farming practices through lobbying politicians, writing articles in the media, and running community events where farmers can discuss innovative environmental practices.


2015 Sprouts

Port Phillip Eco Centre

Elster Creek Sustainable Schools provides a whole-community approach to sustainability initiatives with young people who live near Elster Creek and attend neighbouring schools.

Tipping Point

TippingPoint Australia are developing a two-term residency with high school students in Year 9 – 11 to explore and develop ideas around what the world might look like in 2050, with a particular focus on water, beginning with an Open Space workshop and culminating in a Youth Summit.

Brolga Wet Lands

Out near Castlemaine, over 100 years ago, a wonderful wetland was transformed into farmland. A pipe was installed, the water drained, and the brolgas had to go elsewhere to hatch their eggs and raise their families. With the rising recognition of the importance of wetlands to the health of our river systems and birdlife, the farms have been bought back by conservation groups. Now the pipe is being plugged. The Hamer Sprout Fund is supporting the efforts to establish native flora on the site and get a bird hide to allow people to witness the returns of the brolgas. 

The Community Grocer 

The Community Grocer Carlton targets the residents living in the high-rise public housing estate at 510 Lygon Street Carlton. It aims to increase their access to fresh and affordable fruit and vegetables. Carlton is a fresh food desert, where the cost of a Healthy Food Basket for a family of four is approximately half a weekly income from Centrelink.

Abbotsford Convent 

The Sapling School program is a hands-on, innovative environmental education program for children aged 3-5 years of age – managed onsite at the historic Abbotsford Convent. The Sapling School connects small groups (circa 30 per class) of kinder/prep-school aged children with the green haven of open space of the Abbotsford Convent grounds. ACF’s Head Gardener – landscapist and artist, Simon Taylor – will teach children the principles of sustainable living and the importance of nurturing our precious environment – including an introduction to indigenous ecosystems and herb/food production

Enova Energy 

Enova is a group of dedicated local professionals creating Australia’s first Community Owned Renewable Energy Retailer in Northern New South Wales. In 2014 the group received a grant from the Office of Environment and Heritage NSW to develop a business plan on how to create an energy retailer that was owned by the community and established to buy and sell renewable energy in an efficient and valued way.  

2014 Sprouts

Yea Community House $5000

Project: The 2013 ‘Break it Down’ project – a food waste collection and recycling project in Yea (see below for further details) – was so impressive, we were very happy to provide additional funding when Yea Community House applied again to expand their program. This year they designed and commissioned cargo bikes to assist the local secondary school VCAL students to collect compost from local cafes and businesses. Just to keep things interesting they also made a compost powered hot water system so that they had hot water to wash the compost buckets out). 
Yea Chroncle Cargo bike 2015Hot water setup Yea Chronicle 2015Yea Chronicle Front Page compost hot water

Planet Ark $4000

Project: The Planet Ark Digital Platform will provide an innovative approach to promote and create social and environmental change, in particular around sustainable resource use. 

The Planet Ark digital platform was launched in October 2014, encouraging more peer-to-peer promotion of environmentally sustainable habits in Australia. The playful design, positive messaging and responsive functionality of the website are the result of 12 months of careful development and social research, made possible by generous support from the Hamer Sprout Fund, Ian Potter Foundation and Planet Ark’s pro-bono creative agencies.

This year, with the Hamer Sprout Fund donation, Planet Ark have developed a drop-down menu for the home page which should help site visitors find their way around the site more easily. This is the kind of thing that makes a big difference to the impact of communications, but which can be tricky to find funding for.

The ongoing impact and influence of Planet Ark’s platform will depend on the creation and innovative application of sharable stories, photos, infographics and multimedia. With ongoing investment in quality content and maintenance for the site, we expect the Planet Ark site will inspire more Australians to spread ideas about environmentally positive behaviours with their own networks. Over time, as the Planet Ark site provides a valuable platform for sharing environmentally positive behaviour, we expect that the site will eventually become self-funding and ultimately contribute to the longer-term sustainability of our organisation.

Gould League $5000

 Project: Educational Website for teachers, students and public.

This year the Sprout Grant has gone towards increasing the impact of their School Programs by supporting teachers in embedding sustainability and environmental themes into their classroom lessons and school community. They have developed pre- and post-visit lesson plans and materials, including student action rubrics for each of our program themes, as well as supplementary resources such as fact-sheets that will support them in implementing sustainability actions into their school and grounds.

They have also made developments to their website, including an online learning portal and an integrated platform that allows people to book individually for Teacher Professional Development opportunities, Homeschool programs, Community Open days, Members Only events, Family Daycare programs and more. This system will allow them to engage a wider number of individuals with their fantastic excursion locations and the sustainability themes associated with them.


Climate Institute $5000 

The Climate Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research and communications organisation focused on highlighting the impacts of climate change and finding solutions, whether at the macro-economic level, or via particular sector initiatives.

Project: One of the main aims of the Climate institute is to influence the top of the investment chain to instigate large scale change as to how they manage climate risk, whilst also going from the bottom up to get pension fund members to pressure their funds to change. In 2014-15 they are also looking to increase the focus on investment decision making processes and their integration of carbon as well as climate risks.

They will be working both with key influencers within the investment world (including organisations like the Investor Group on Climate Change and existing partners like Westpac and BT) and also looking to find ways to exert external pressure (eg via shareholder resolutions) on key organisations with the ability to lead the shift to climate risk being integrated into investment decision-making. This process has already started, but with climate policy currently facing significant uncertainty in Australia, we need to find ways to remove key barriers to the more rapid adoption of this climate risk based approach to investing by super funds and institutional investors.

The South Coast Energry Group (SCEG) $4000 

The Surf Coast Energy Group (SCEG) is a diverse group of Surf Coast residents based in Victoria Australia, united by a concern for climate change and sustainability and doing something about it at a local level. Their Mission is to encourage positive behavioural change and promote understanding of Climate Change and resource use with the long-term protection and enhancement of remnant and native vegetation and fauna.

The project is to create a 3-5 minute professionally filmed and cleverly edited promotional video in conjunction with their sustainability forum entitled “Growth – Is Bigger Better?” The forum will feature charismatic host Rod Quantock, three prestigious speakers, and a Q&A for local candidates from the South Barwon electorate to answer the audience’s questions. The audience will consist of a diverse range of ages and local community groups from the Surf Coast and beyond, as urban sprawl is a major and unfortunate by-product of ‘infinite growth’ for many townships across the region. The forum and the subsequent video are the beginning of a bigger, longer-term campaign to raise awareness of the issues of growth as well as potentially providing a useful model for other regions.

Click here to view the final video.

Fair Food Adelaide $2000 

Fair Food Adelaide (FFADL) is a community organisation that aims to promote a fairer, more sustainable and resilient food system through events, programs and activism.

With the Sprout Grant, FFADL aims to develop a ‘Fair Food Guide’ which will be delivered across three platforms (online, a hard copy booklet and a fair food tour) to assist consumers who want to know how they can support local food producers and understand clearly where the food they are purchasing is grown and made. The aim is to change consumer habits to encourage people to feel empowered and involved in their food system.

 2013 Sprouts

Gould League $5000

 Project: Educational Website for teachers, students and public.
Gould League (est. 1909) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to connecting children with nature and inspiring them to enact and advocate sustainable behaviours. The Gould League provides engaging experiential opportunities for students of all ages to learn about the environment through a suite of excursion and outreach programs. Programs address waste minimisation, water conservation and biodiversity at the immersive Sustainability Centre in Moorabbin, forest ecology in Toolangi State Forest, marine ecology at Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary in Beaumaris and include outreach options for kindergartens and schools in Greater Melbourne.

Here is an outline from the Gould League about how the Sprout grant helped them:

The generous $5000 grant received from the Hamer Sprout Fund and Australian Communities Foundation has funded Gould League’s engagement of a local, professional website developer ‘Traffic’ to build us a whole new website in the WordPress platform. The developers have worked in close consultation with our Operations Manager, who has in turn coached a small team of dedicated volunteers (including corporate volunteers to support the build.

We’re thrilled to be making the new site live. The site will dramatically improve the user experience for our customers, amplify community engagement with our organisation and save our organisation upwards of $4000 per annum on hosting and application fees plus countless administrative hours.
This easy to use, streamlines and modern site will allow us to ‘put our best foot forward’.

The sight boasts:

  • A user-friendly experience for teachers to ‘Search Our Programs’, determine how our programs are connected to the curriculum and book online with east
  • A secure and comprehensive online bookstore which also processes donations and membership applications and renewals
  • E-newsletter quick subscribe and integration with our contact form, booking system and shop
  • A blog roll style news page which will allow us to share up-to-date content and link to it via our social media channels
  • More accessible links to volunteer, donation and membership opportunities

This upgrade is vital to the longevity of Gould League, ensuring we demonstrate excellence and continuous quality improvement.
It would not have been possible without the Hamer Sprout Fund’s generous support, thank you!

Amy Stace
Gould League

Check out Gould League’s brand new site here.


Climate Institute $5000 

Project:  The Sprout grant has supported a new project designed to harness superannuation in the context of climate change – both in terms of how retirement savings might be exposed to climate risk and how those savings can help transition Australia to a clean energy future. The report and project offers a number of simple steps to assist people to engage with their superfunds so that they can move from being accidental to active investors and start challenging the dangerous short term focus in business and politics that threatens retirement savings.

The Climate Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research and communications organisation focused on highlighting the impacts of climate change and finding solutions, whether at the macro-economic level, or via particular sector initiatives.

Centre for Sustainable Leadership $5000

Project: The Fellowship Program aims to support emerging leaders striving for a sustainable future.
The Centre for Sustainability Leadership has a range of programs to develop the skills, knowledge and networks of emerging leaders. This includes individuals wanting to grow their influence and networks, corporates looking to engage and fast track emerging leaders, or communities aiming to connect and develop leaders in its region.

Yea Community House $4000

Project: ‘Break it Down’ will initiate a food waste collection and recycling project in Yea (a rural town of approx 1000 people), with the aim to involve local secondary school VCAL students in the design and implementation of the project.
Yea Community House is a focal resource for the Yea and surrounding districts, delivering activities and services that support and inspire, in an atmosphere where people enjoy taking part. The Community House provides social, educational and recreational activities for the community in a welcoming and supportive environment.

View an overview of the project here.   

Planet Ark $4000

Project: The Planet Ark Digital Platform will provide an innovative approach to promote and create social and environmental change. 

Planet Ark is one of Australia’ s leading environmental charities, dedicated to uniting people, businesses and governments through positive environmental actions. Established in 1992,. Planet Ark creates simple, powerful and positive actions that help people, governments and businesses reduce their impact on the environment by promoting sustainable resource use, promoting low carbon lifestyles and connecting people with nature.

Preserving Memories $1000

Project: “Preserving Memories” is an intercultural intergenerational project that shares and celebrates the knowledge and skills of people who grow their own food in the City of Darebin. Many of the migrants who have settled in Darebin in the 1960s and 1970s continued their rich cultural traditions of vegetable gardens  when they came to Australia and settled in Darebin.  This heritage has a strong connection with sustainability and reaches out to communities not normally engaged in the issue of climate change.
Thank you for your support, and we look forward to keeping you updated on these projects throughout the year.

2012 Sprouts


Signal is a creative studio for young people aged 13 to 20. At Signal, you can work alongside professional artists in a collaborative way. Located in the heart of the city, Signal is a place for making, showing, inspiring and developing Melbourne’s creative talent – in every medium. Signal is open to young people from all walks of life and ability – you don’t need any experience to take part in Signal.

The Signal building’s environmental design concepts

The Signal building was once – quite literally – a signal box. It signalled trains in and out of Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station.

Once the signal box was decommissioned, it was left to its own devices. The box was damaged by fire several times before the City of Melbourne recognised it’s potential.

Simple environmental design concepts were employed in converting the building from a disused railway signal box into its current use as a creative studio for young people in Melbourne. At night, heat is purged from the building and collected rainwater is used to flush toilets. Reclaimed timber was used on the stairwell and photo-voltaic panels feed the computers, projectors and automatic controls on efficient lighting.

sprouting seeds