Children enjoy hands-on STEAM education activities at the Outback Exploratorium, Emerald. Photo Jesse Lindemann, Central Highlands Development Corporation.
Tim Fairfax Family Foundation Annual Report 2020-2021


TFFF partners with organisations delivering initiatives that promote student engagement and assist young people to develop their aspirations for further education and career pathways. Educators are developed and supported through professional development, peer networks and whole of school approaches.

The figures in the infographics below refer only to funding approved in the 2020/21 financial year.


new approval


total approved


organisations supported

Akeyulerre Spotlight

Akeyulerre Healing Centre is an Arrernte-governed Aboriginal Corporation in Mparntwe in Central Australia, established after a group of elders met outside a house across the road from the old Alice Springs Jail. The elders talked about setting up a place where Arrernte people could come for traditional healing, and so this house became the home of the Akeyulerre Healing Centre, named after the rocky hill behind the centre that marks an important cultural site. For more than 20 years, Akeyulerre has used this house as “a place for healing”, as well as expanding to run a number of related programs and social enterprises for Arrernte families and community.

The Elders who set up Akeyulerre were also adamant about the need for children and young people to learn the stories of their land and the kinship structures at the heart of Arrernte cultural life. TFFF helps to uphold this wisdom through capacity support for the delivery of the Ingkenteme (Bush Schools) Program, which takes Arrernte families back to their homelands for cultural camps where senior Elders teach the young ones about their land.

Recognising the importance of education delivered through an Arrernte cultural framework, TFFF funding enables Akeyulerre to double the number of Ingkenteme camps it is able to run each year, in turn doubling the number of Arrernte families and children experiencing this necessary opportunity. Since receiving TFFF support in August 2020, Akeyulerre has facilitated six family camps and one healing camp for well over 200 Arrernte family members, with plans in motion to run another six camps before the end of 2021.

As each Ingkenteme trip is quite private in nature, directed and attended by the family involved, Akeyulerre is now piloting a new camp design to spread the benefits of the program across specific family groups. Together the community decided to trial an Alwekere (Women’s) Camp – for young mothers and babies to come together for friendship, support and guidance from their peers and older women – and an Artwe-Areye (Men’s) Camp – for discussions around health and wellbeing, leadership, supporting families and kids, and Arrernte men’s roles in modern society. The first Artwe-Areye Camp was delivered in June with great success, and many people are looking forward to the first Alwekere Camp later this year, with local service providers coming forward with a range of in-kind support for the initiative.

​Excitingly, Akeyulerre is in the process of building a new fit-for-purpose facility to support the organisation as it operates today. The Arrernte Living Culture Centre will be a place where the language and culture of the Arrernte people can be maintained and strengthened, while encouraging understanding and respect for Arrernte culture amongst the broader community.

“Over the next few days [the family members] were able to share many stories and histories as we travelled across their ampere (place/camp/Country), visiting, waterholes, springs, bores, old campsites, and sacred places and hearing the stories of the stockman days and earlier times. Stories that cross right over and connect the kids to family and country on the Queensland side of the desert … 

I heard one of the men telling his grandson about how he was with other Elders, explaining that they have the same relationship as the young fella has with his cousins on his mother’s country: ‘That is the proper Arrernte way, you have to support X and Y like this too.” 

Observations from the Camp Coordinator

Where We Fund - Education

Education Organisations

Akeyulerre (new approval) Ingkenteme (Bush School) Program

$100,000 ($300,000 over 3 years)

Supporting the expansion of the Ingkenteme Program through increasing staffing resources and program funding to double the number of bush camps each year, on which senior Elders teach Arrernte children and young people about their homelands, song lines and kinship structures.

Australian Schools Plus Fair Education Queensland

$284,000 ($1,379,000 over 4 years)

Fair Education Queensland is designed to empower school leadership teams to meaningfully engage with parents and school communities with the aim of improving outcomes for students.

Central Highlands Science Centre (The Outback Exploratorium) STEAMing for the Future Capacity Support

$154,000 ($453,000 over 3 years)

Strengthen internal capacity through the employment of key operational roles and the expand their work throughout the Central Highlands to inspire and engage young, curious minds in the world of science.

Desart Desart Art Worker Program

$179,000 ($762,000 over 5 years)

Employment of an Art Worker Educator and delivery of various professional development initiatives in art centres throughout Central Australia.

Laidley Community Centre Early Connections

$71,000 ($206,000 over 3 years)

Facilitating the employment of a dedicated project worker to drive establishment and delivery of the Early Connections program, a place-based and community-led approach to improving early childhood development in Queensland’s Laidley region.

Queensland Theatre Regional Theatre Enrichment Strategy

$220,000 ($1,110,000 over 5 years)

Building the capacity of Queensland Theatre to engage and respond to the creative needs of schools, communities and performance venues throughout regional Queensland with curriculum-aligned resources, workshops, support and professional development for teachers and teaching artists.

Seed Foundation Australia First Peoples Health – Growing Our Own

$150,000 ($750,000 over 5 years)

To improve training and employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students interested in careers in health. Seed Foundation provides wraparound support to address gaps in the transition from school to training, university and employment.

University of the Sunshine Coast Rural and Remote Education Program

$130,000 ($370,000 over 3 years)

Provide bursaries to pre-service teachers to encourage them to take placements and ideally employment in rural and remote areas of Queensland.

The Tim Fairfax Family Foundation is based in Meanjin (Brisbane).