AMP’s Tomorrow Fund gives Australian citizens and permanent residents of all ages, walks of life, interests and abilities the chance to share in $1 million in individual grants.
AMP’s Tomorrow Fund attracted thousands of inspiring people who needed financial support to take a special project to the next level. In November, AMP announced 47 grant recipients – the AMP Tomorrow Makers who came across nation and represented a range of endeavours.
Who are the Tomorrow Makers of 2014?
In its first year, AMP’s Tomorrow Fund attracted almost 3,000 applications and uncovered a fantastic array of talented Australians. Among them are 47 amazing Australians including writers, medical researchers, dancers, artists, inventors, disability advocates, social innovators, athletes and adventurers—people with the passion and talent to make a difference and make Australia proud.
In Sydney, pioneering IT professional Eric Yeung is giving back to the community in retirement. Eric has set up a consultancy, ATS (Assist-To-Succeed), which provides pro bono IT support to charities. Working with a small group of like-minded retirees, he devises IT solutions that help charities operate more effectively.
His AMP Tomorrow Fund is helping him to transform ATS into an incorporated social enterprise: “It helped me make a step change and magnify the effect ATS can have, allowing me to reach out to a wider community of social service providers and a wider group of volunteer consultants.”
AMP Tomorrow Maker Nicholas Gleeson is already on track to realise his dream. Nicholas lost his sight at age seven when an automatic supermarket door struck his head, causing a retinal detachment. But being blind has never held him back. Now 54, he has raised two children with his wife, Heather, who is also blind; climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, trekked to Everest base camp, and completed the New York Marathon three times as well as the gruelling Comrades Marathon in Africa.
The accessibility advocate and motivational speaker is using his AMP Tomorrow Fund grant to take on another challenge – trek the Simpson Desert from Poeppel’s Corner to Birdsville. He began training in earnest earlier this year and wants to record the sounds and sensations he feels so others can get a sense of the beauty and isolation of the Australian outback.
“I’m an ordinary person who has followed my dreams,” Nicholas said. “I hope my trek will inspire Australians of all abilities to do the same.”
In Brisbane, Kristie Lahey is using her AMP grant to build up Nooko&Co, her furniture and lighting design practice. The small businesswoman is passionate about producing her designs locally and promoting Australian-made products. Kristie is about to open a small studio to expand her line.
“Competing with low-cost imports and replica furniture is always our greatest challenge,” she said. “I believe strongly in supporting the Australian design and manufacturing industries and feel we’re able to offer a product that holds onto the craft of furniture making within Australia.”
Find out more about AMP’s Tomorrow Fund grants at ampstomorrowfund.com.au.And stay up-to-date with news from AMP’s Tomorrow Fund by following @ampfoundation on Twitter or liking us at Facebook.com/ampaustralia.