The Citizen Advocacy Trust of Australia exists to support, promote and safeguard the existence, independence and quality of Citizen Advocacy Programs throughout Australia. It seeks to do this by raising money for the distribution of grants to eligible Citizen Advocacy Programs (in Australia), to support the development of new Citizen Advocacy Programs and for Citizen Advocacy board and staff training.
The Trust believes the unique quality of Citizen Advocacy work needs to be maintained over time and protected from the potential distortion sole reliance on one funder can bring. When Programs are reliant on a single source of funding (which is the case in Australia) they are very vulnerable to being closed or directed to perform functions incompatible with making many good citizen advocacy matches. Other activities may seem beneficial, but unless a Citizen Advocacy Program is free to focus only on making and supporting good matches, its efforts are severely compromised and more and more vulnerable people are once again completely alone to face a world that largely devalues them.
The purposes of the Trust therefore are:
1. To raise money and distribute it to eligible Citizen Advocacy Programs to help maintain the strength and independence of their advocacy, and
2. To encourage Programs towards excellence by awarding grants to eligible applicants for projects which increase the likelihood that many good and lasting matches will be made.
Presently the Trust is small and learning; it has started fundraising and received some generous donations but the need is great and we want to do more. The Trust cannot achieve its goals without your help.
Is the Trust a Peak Body for Citizen Advocacy?
The Trust is not a peak body, nor does it represent Citizen Advocacy Programs to government or other industry bodies. It does not provide an advisory service or consultancy to Programs, or tell Boards how to run their Programs. There are other sources and individuals who can and do provide consultancy and training to programmes, both from within and outside of Australia, but those functions have no direct connection to the activities of the Trust. (However, the Trust may make a grant to a Program to help cover the costs of Citizen Advocacy Programme Evaluations, training or consultancies).