OCT Learning Impact Fund gathering momentum, first Innovation Fund awarded

  • 01-Oct-17
  • News Media Release

The Otago Community Trust Learning Impact Fund starts to gather momentum. The Trust launched its new Learning Impact Fund on 1 April 2017 with the aim to encourage new thinking and collaboration. 

The Fund has been delivered in two tranches, the $1.5million $for$ fund and a separate Innovation Fund.  Each fund has been set up as a three-year programme to help assist projects which support the education of Otago’s young people.

Trust chief executive Barbara Bridger said since its inception in April the Trust has received five expressions of interest with respect to the Innovation Fund.

“Two were returned as they did not fit the criteria of the fund, two are at present under review and we are delighted to announce that earlier in the week Trustees approved a $310,000 donation to support the Dunedin based Hills Cluster Project based learning initiative” Bridger announced. 

Simon Clarke Principal from Kaikorai Primary School said, “the ethos of the Hills Cluster project is to equip students with future focused skills and attitudes so that they may be successful lifelong learners.”

The Hills Cluster Innovation Fund will go towards introducing and building a constructivist approach to learning whereby students will learn by investigating and responding to authentic challenges.

This project builds upon work that Kaikorai Primary School and Balmacewen Intermediate have been piloting with students and teachers.  This pilot will be extended to the five schools within the Hills Cluster -  Balmacewen Intermediate, Kaikorai Primary School, Maori Hill School, Wakari School and Halfway Bush School.

Clarke said that “the Hill’s Cluster Principals are very excited about this opportunity to collaborate with the Otago Community Trust.  The fund will provide the right blend of hands on resources for the students and professional development opportunities for all of the 85 teachers within the cluster.”

Bridger explains that the Trust’s $1.5million $for$ fund is also tracking along well, albeit slower than we first anticipated. To date the Otago Community Trust has donated $175,508.50 to 22 Otago schools from this fund, covering a range of activities from mathematics programmes, IT equipment, robotics to programme specific reading materials.

“Schools applying to this fund must have 50% of the project cost available at the time of application, therefore we know a lot of schools are still fundraising before applying to the Trust” she said.  


Otago Community Trust Community Learning Impact Fund Donations to Date

Innovation Fund


Hills Cluster


$for$ Fund


Dunstan High School



Clutha Valley Primary School



Kaitangata Primary School



Waiwera South School



Balaclava School



Big Rock Primary School



Fairfield School



George Street Normal School



Halfway Bush Primary School



King's High School



Logan Park High School



Macandrew Bay School



Mornington School



North East Valley Normal School



Port Chalmers School



Sawyers Bay School



St Bernadette's School



Tokoiti Primary School



Outram School



Maheno School



Waitaki Boys High School



Millers Flat School




IMPORTANT NOTICE: Funding Portal Now Closed

  • 16-Mar-18
  • Announcements

Our application portal is now closed and will remain closed until the 15th of April 2018 to ensure a smooth transition as we move to our new on-line system.

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Research base at Long Point a step closer with $50,000 grant

  • 28-Feb-18
  • Funding Stories

The Otago Community Trust was pleased to award a $50,000 grant to the Yellow Eyed Penguin Trust in November last year, to help establish a yellow-eyed penguin field research base at Long Point in the Catlins. The yellow-eyed penguin or hoiho is a penguin native to New Zealand. However, this native species is the world's most endangered penguin. Some researchers fear that the hoiho could be marching towards extinction by 2060.

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Life Education - Learning with Harold the Giraffe 

  • 28-Feb-18
  • Funding Stories

Life Education is a charity that educates and empowers children to make healthy choices so they can live full and healthy lives. Our Communications & Marketing Coordinator was luckily enough to have a sneak peek into the Coastal Otago Life Education mobile classroom last month during its visit to Maori Hill School in Dunedin and viewed first hand their amazing new 3G screen in their mobile classroom.

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Wharekai Re-development - Te Runanga o Moeraki

  • 20-Dec-17
  • Funding Stories

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$125,000 for First Church Spire Restoration

  • 14-Dec-17
  • News Media Release

The First Church has received a funding boost of $125,000 from the Otago Community Trust. The donation will assist with the major restoration project currently being undertaken on the church spire. First Church announced last week that it would start a public appeal to fund the $600,000 refurbishment of the towering 56.4m spire after much more restoration work was found to be required due to the Church’s Category 1 Heritage New Zealand classification.

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