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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.

The Opening the Doors Foundation operates with the aid of a mix of funding from grants, donations, bequests, sponsorships, and fundraising.
Donations $2 and over are tax deductible. Your donation will be used to help the Foundation to


  • Empower and support Aboriginal families to make choices in educational opportunities for their children

  • Help open the doors of independent educational institutions in Victoria for Aboriginal students; and

  • Be a model of self-empowerment and self-determination by creating an organisation that responds directly to the needs of its own community.


We give thanks to our many generous donors and share with you some stories about your donations at work:


‘…. my oldest child was attending a local school where his grades were not the best, he was not a happy child and was put in the too hard basket. After countless visits to the school, I pulled him out and out him in the local Catholic School. Since then his grades have improved because he is now at a school that takes an interest in him. … Because of your help my children now have a brighter future’.


‘When I can I like to pay my own way through life. That is what my Elders taught us. I also have an extreme amount of pride.. .this year I managed to secure some employment for a few months and felt that since I was getting an income for a few months… the limited amount of funding our organisation (offers) was better used on those more needy..’


In 2008 the Opening the Doors Foundation received a grant from the Brotherhood of St Laurence to create a DVD to showcase the work of the Foundation in the Victorian community. It lets the people who receive funding, or those involved in ways such as community Elders or Koorie Educators give their view on the importance of the Foundation. So whether you are considering donating, thinking about applying, a regular donor or supporter watch the video

So here's a few examples of how your generous donations make make a difference:

$800 funds a secondary students booklist for a year
$750 dresses a student in their winter uniform
$500 covers extra tuition for VCAL subjects
$450 provides musical instruments and/or lessons
$300 sends a student on school camp
$250 provides a calculator for a secondary student
$120 provides a new pair of school or gym shoes
$90 supplies a student with a new school bag
$50 buys a school hat

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