Featured funder: CAGES Foundation
Sefa’s Senior Relationshop Manager, Miranda Lee, has been working with CAGES Foundation to help Lismore’s Jarjum Indigenous pre-school expand their operations.
Miranda speaks to Rachel Kerry, Executive Officer at CAGES Foundation.
How was the relationship with Sefa formed and how has it evolved?
CAGES Foundation started talking with Sefa years ago. We had common interests around how we could use the investment capacity of a foundation’s capital for social impact as well as the donations. When these conversations first started social impact investing was quite innovative and experimental.
What is CAGES Foundation’s main focus at the moment?
CAGES Foundation has a primary focus of supporting community led initiatives in the early childhood sector which will ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children reach their full potential. CAGES Foundation has also developed a social impact investment strategy which focuses on Aboriginal businesses. We have been in a long-term partnership with First Australian’s Capital who invest in Indigenous economic independence by linking 60,000 plus years of Indigenous business experience with the modern market place.
What key lessons have you learnt from your support of and involvement with Jarjum?
Jarjum have reiterated the importance of trusted and community led services in community. It is important that we value and invest in a robust Aboriginal controlled early childhood sector which provides effective services, trusted by children and their families, which are based in culture. We also learnt that investment is a powerful tool in supporting organisations, however the role of grant money must still be recognised. A donation can help organisations become self-determined and independent and lower the risk for investment that they are seeking.
Who/what has inspired you lately?
Our community partners continue to inspire me every day. Their resilience, achievements, knowledge and insight teach us so much about the power of people. I feel such privilege to work with people who are amongst Australia’s first nations people, the longest living culture in the world.
*Image appears with the permission of CAGES Foundation.