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Frequently asked questions

What is the Investment Dialogue for Australia's Children?


  • The Investment Dialogue for Australia’s Children is a 10-year collaboration between government and philanthropy to improve the wellbeing of children, young people, and their families, by working with communities to better coordinate efforts and resources to reduce intergenerational disadvantage in Australia. 

What will the Investment Dialogue actually do?

  • The Investment Dialogue will bring together governments and policy makers, philanthropic funders, communities, academic experts, practitioners, and service delivery groups, with a shared purpose of improving outcomes for children, families and communities. We will coordinate our efforts, share expertise, data, and resources to fund what works and what matters. We will work closely with local communities to build solutions that respond to local need.  

  • Together with community members, we want to help grow the programs and services which are already demonstrating strong outcomes in improving the wellbeing of children, young people, and their families. We will work with communities to identify gaps, implement innovative approaches, remove system barriers and determine what works. (link to our story) 

Who is in the Investment Dialogue? 

  • The Australian Government and 20 philanthropic organisations represent the current partners of the Investment Dialogue. There is an open invitation to other governments and philanthropic funders to join.

With government and philanthropy working together, who decides where the funding goes? 

  • The current system supporting investment in children is typically scattered across different levels of government, agencies, sectors and philanthropic foundations. Bringing these players together to better align and coordinate efforts and investment is a key step in converting resources into better outcomes for children, young people, families and communities.

  • Government and philanthropy will each maintain their own approval processes and have committed to continuous improvement regarding investment.

  • The Investment Dialogue is not about governments telling philanthropy where to direct their funds or about philanthropy stepping into fund government programs/responsibilities. It is about genuine collaboration for better outcomes. 

What will this investment look like in real life?

  • There is already a great amount of investment in children and young people, and many well developed and successful programs. We are not seeking to reinvent the wheel but build on and accelerate this great work and effort.  

  • Together with community members, we want to help grow the programs and services which are already demonstrating strong outcomes in improving the wellbeing of children, young people, and their families.  

  • Priorities and opportunities will be focused across four areas:  Projects and programs (aligning our investments to maximise impact), place-specific solutions that are community led, policy and system level reforms, improvements to data and evaluation practices.  

    • For example, philanthropy and government are already independently supportive of some great work focused on children and families, such as the Telethon Kids’ Institute’s Inklings program and the work of SNAICC: 

      • Inklings is an innovative program offering pre-emptive therapy for babies aged 6 to 18 months who are showing early differences in their social interaction and communication development while supporting caregivers to better meet their needs. 

      • Philanthropic dialogue members provide funding to SNAICC which is not tied to specific programs but bolsters SNAICC's organisational capabilities and capacity, enabling them to expand their advocacy and reach on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.  

  • These investments illustrate the types of initiatives from which we will build this new collaborative initiative.  

How does this sit with existing similar child-focused programs and spending? 

  • Many local communities are already showing the way with innovative and effective approaches and programs focusing on children. This is about bringing extra firepower to those efforts, adding value to them and listening to local people about what will make the biggest difference in their communities.   

  • A key element of the Investment Dialogue is improving systems – so that the many services and programs that are focused on children and families are llinked and work together to meet their needs. 

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