The TPG Telecom Foundation is our company’s charitable arm.
The Foundation’s purpose is to create opportunities to improve the health, wellbeing and education of Australian communities in need.
It supports TPG Telecom's commitment to our purpose, to build meaningful relationships and support vibrant, connected communities.
Community investment through the Foundation plays an important role in our overall approach to operating a sustainable business.
The Foundation partners with DGR1 charitable organisations to fund specific projects with clearly defined objectives. We look for charity partners operating primarily within Australian who wish to incorporate technology in their projects to achieve scalable outcomes for communities in need.
The Foundation's Trustee Board is comprised of senior TPG Telecom employees and two independent directors. The Board is responsible for the governance and financial management of the Foundation and ensures that the Foundation delivers on its purpose and goals.
The Foundation and our People
The Foundation also exists to empower TPG Telecom employees to support charities they are personally passionate about, through volunteering, matching staff fundraising and workplace giving.
In 2021, we launched our new TPG Telecom Giving initiative, a platform that provides our employees with new and exciting ways to engage in charitable activity and support the vibrant and connected communities around them.
The Foundation partnered with Catalyser, a social technology company, to launch the platform for employees to manage their volunteering, fundraising and micro donations.
ACON (Open in new window), Australia’s largest health organisation specialising in community health, inclusion and HIV responses for people of diverse sexualities and genders (LGBTQ+ people), will expand its ‘TransHub (Open in new window)’ nationally. This platform provides localised, accessible and evidence-based information and resources to support the health and wellbeing of trans people, their allies and health providers.
Infoxchange (Open in new window), a not-for-profit social enterprise that aims to tackle the biggest social challenges through technology, will continue to extend and scale its ‘Ask Izzy’ platform, which the Foundation first funded in 2019. This free and anonymous web-platform provides access to over 350,000 services that support people experiencing disadvantage across a range of needs, including services for victims/survivors of family and domestic violence, First Nations Peoples, mental health and wellbeing, housing, addiction, and people living with disability.
headspace (Open in new window), Australia’s National Youth Mental Health Foundation providing early intervention mental health services to 12–25-year-olds, will develop and implement a technology solution which will automatically establish a headspace online account when a young person first visits a headspace Centre. This will allow a young person to take advantage of helpful, evidence based mental health resources and services online whilst they wait for an in-person appointment, significantly reducing the impact of current wait times for face-to-face clinical support.
MissingSchool (Open in new window), a not-for-profit dedicated to addressing the educational and social isolation faced by children who miss school because of serious medical conditions, will scale its ‘Seen&Heard’ platform. Seen&Heard will drive school inclusion on a national scale for critically ill and injured children through telepresence technology, and support their parents, peers and teachers to enable continued learning and social connection in their school community.
Guide Dogs Australia
Guide Dogs Australia (Open in new window), which delivers essential services to Australians who are blind or have low vision, will extend its 'CatchUp (Open in new window)' project. This free, interactive, and accessible online platform, connects Australians with low vision or blindness to opportunities to socialise, learn and gain support through a personalised and accessible online experience.
Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA)
Cerebral Palsy Alliance (Open in new window) (CPA) provides family-centred therapies, programs, equipment, research, advocacy and medical, technological and wellbeing support for people with cerebral palsy and their families. CPA will expand Australia's first disability tech start-up accelerator, 'Remarkable (Open in new window)’, so it can support earlier stage projects, providing the tools and guidance needed to progress start-ups that improve the wellbeing, independence and inclusion of people with disabilities.
Starlight Children’s Foundation
Starlight Children’s Foundation (Open in new window) will launch its ‘Virtual Starlight Express Room’ program, which enables sick kids to access its ‘Captain Starlight’ program virtually. The Virtual SER is a digital platform that provides children with live, interactive engagement and connection designed specifically for the hospital context. The platform is accessible 24/7 from any mobile device and in any hospital across Australia, including to children admitted in regional and remote hospitals.
2021 ongoing projects
Since December 2019, we have partnered with not-for profit social enterprise, Infoxchange, on their 'Ask Izzy (Open in new window)’ platform. This free and anonymous web-platform provides access to over 350,000 services that support people experiencing disadvantage across a range of needs, including services for victims/survivors of family and domestic violence, First Nations Peoples, mental health and wellbeing, housing, addiction, and people living with disability.
The use of the app continues to be free-rated on our mobile network and we have trained our people across our retail network and contact centre to share this valuable tool with our customers.
The TPG Telecom Foundation awarded two grants to Infoxchange in 2021 for two 12-month projects.
The first project, ‘Connected Communities’, works with people in remote and disaster-prone areas to co-design community solutions and digital tools to improve disaster preparedness and community resilience.
The second project, ‘Ask Izzy Connect’, will develop the training and tools needed to support frontline staff in retail and call centre settings to effectively recognise and respond to people in crisis.
Garvan Institute for Medical Research
The Foundation’s 2021 funding round also saw it grant funds to the Garvan Institute for Medical Research (Open in new window) for a 12-month project called ‘Genomics in the Cloud’.
This project is aimed at building a new database of genetic information that is more representative of Australia’s cultural diversity so researchers can better understand the genetic and cellular basis of disease.
It is expected that this project will result in direct benefits to rare disease patients and their families through new diagnoses, allowing them in many cases to access better family planning options, more effective medical treatment, and clinical trials for new therapies.
The Foundation has been a long-term partner of Garvan Institute for Medical Research (Open in new window), helping them to analyse complex data and accelerate important scientific research.
This was achieved through the multi-award winning DreamLab App (Open in new window), which was developed in 2014 by Vodafone Foundation Australia, and uses the processing power of idle smartphones.
In Australia, the computational power of DreamLab has been harnessed by the Garvan Institute for two projects to date.
Project Genetic Profile looked at the genetic similarities between brain, lung, melanoma and sarcoma cancers. With DreamLab’s help, the research project was completed in half the time it would have taken Garvan’s super computers.
The second project, Demystify, was completed in 2021 with over 26 million different micro-problems solved from over 500 million calculations run on people’s phones while they were asleep. 133,916 people allowed cancer problems to be downloaded from the cloud and calculated on their devices before being sent back to the research team.
Garvan researchers have used that data to understand how different patients respond to various drugs, help predict which patients will benefit and develop new strategies for treating cancer.
DreamLab has also had great success with a number of important, international research projects including a COVID-19 research project in partnership with the Imperial College London.
The DreamLab Corona-AI project was launched in April 2020 by the Vodafone Foundation and Imperial College London and used artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyse virus-host and molecular interactions to identify combinations of drugs and food molecules with anti-viral properties. You can learn more about current Dreamlab projects here (Open in new window).
Hello Sunday Morning
The Foundation has previously partnered with Hello Sunday Morning (Open in new window), an organisation that aims to change the world’s relationship with alcohol, one Sunday at a time. The Foundation’s funding helped to establish Daybreak (Open in new window) – an app which provides an anonymous and supportive environment for consumers to set alcohol change goals and to then work with health professionals to achieve them.