The Opening the Doors Foundation addresses the severe educational disadvantage still being experienced by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, by providing assistance so that they are able to choose and successfully maintain a positive education environment for their children.

The Foundation provides grants towards the funding of educational costs not otherwise funded from government or other educational funding sources to cover costs such as school uniforms, books, school camps, excursions, levies (IT and other), health and wellbeing activities, leadership opportunities, music tuition, curriculum extension program (CEP) and other school associated costs.

Founded in 2001 the Foundation financially helped 32 students at Catholic schools, in 2003, the Foundation received DGR status and expanded support to Aboriginal families choosing any non-government educational setting. Over the years numbers steadily increased and in the 2017 school year the Foundation supported 757 students.

It is only through your support that we continue to grow and are in a position to help Aboriginal students and their families.


Opening the Doors Foundation is privileged to have Co-Patrons representing both the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities: Emeritus Auxiliary Bishop Hilton Deakin and Professor Joy Wandin Murphy, Wurrundjeri Elder.

The Foundation is currently governed by 8 Trustees, the majority of whom are Aboriginal.

John Arthur AOM (Chair), Vicki Clarke, Carol Messer, Professor Gabrielle McMullen AM FRACI, Professor Henry Atkinson, Jason Kelly, Nerita Waight, Melissa Brickell

Read article about the Foundation’s Launch and Archbishop Hart’s Address.