Voiceless, the Fund for Animals is awarding grants totalling $141,000 to 17 organisations as part of its inaugural 2004 Annual Grants Program, including three grants of $20,000 each
Internationally renowned actor Hugo Weaving will present the $20,000 grant recipients with their awards at a media conference at the Sherman Galleries, Paddington on Monday 29th November at 11am . In his role as a Voiceless ambassador and one of five who judged the applications, Weaving says the organisation was greatly encouraged by the overwhelming number of applications submitted.
"The Voiceless Grants program received over 110 detailed applications from educational institutions, councils and animal organisations around Australia ," said Weaving. "It’s hard to believe that hundreds of thousands of animals are suffering unnecessarily in a country like ours, but it’s encouraging to see that so many people are trying to make a difference."
According to Voiceless founders and co-directors, Ondine Sherman and Brian Sherman AM, the hardest part of the process was selecting the final recipients from amongst so many worthy submissions. "As a philanthropic organisation, we judged each submission on its merits and on its potential to help alleviate the suffering of animals," said Brian Sherman. "Most of our recipients are unlikely to receive any financial support for the excellent work that they do and Voiceless is delighted to help them make a difference."
The grants were selected from three project categories, Education/Awareness, Consumer Choice and Law/Policy. Voiceless has awarded $20,000 to the following three recipients;
Animal Liberation ACT, which will be embarking upon a lobbying and awareness campaign to ban the production of battery eggs in the ACT, our nation’s capital; Compassion in World Farming, the Australian arm of the world’s leading organisation on farmed animal welfare, which will pilot a range of animal welfare educational material in selected schools with the aim of developing critical thinking skills and fostering compassion amongst school children, and Humane Society International, which proposes to introduce a ‘Humane Choice’ certification label for the humane farming of animals.
"The judges were impressed by the energy, vision and commitment demonstrated by the individuals and organisations devoted to improving the lives of animals" said Ondine Sherman.
The mission of Voiceless is to promote respect and compassion for animals, increase awareness of the conditions in which they live and take action to protect animals from suffering. JM Coetzee, Nobel Prize Literature Winner in 2003 and author of ‘Disgrace’, ‘Elizabeth Costello’ and ‘Lives of Animals’ is Patron of Voiceless.