Community giving

Deakin plays an important role in the Warrnambool community – and not just as a higher education provider. We support, partner, sponsor and invest in numerous environmental initiatives, social welfare programs, economic development projects and arts institutions. All our activities are geared towards creating greater access and opportunities for the people of Warrnambool and the surrounding region.

Community grants

Each year, Deakin University sponsors a number of community grants that are awarded to organisations that help build skills, resources and expertise in the local Warrnambool community. 

The grants are distributed through the South West Community Foundation. Examples of previous grant winners are:

  • a specialist school that received a grant to purchase foam therapy equipment
  • an organisation that established the area’s first toy library
  • the Western District Health Service received a grant to bring a play to Warrnambool called Four Funerals in a Day. The performance is designed to facilitate community conversations about death, grief and living
  • South West Local Learning and Employment Network received a grant to implement the Brauer College Nurturing Secondary School Pilot. A nurturing room is intended to give students who aren’t ready for class in the morning a warm and welcoming place to go.

Local organisations are encouraged to apply for grants through the South West Community Foundation.

Find out more about South West Community Foundation

Deakin staff give back locally

Deakin's Workplace Giving program is one of the ways our staff help to make a positive difference in our local communities. Through Deakin's payroll system our staff can elect to donate to our giving partners. 

In Warrnambool, our giving partner is Brophy Family & Youth Services. The organisation is the primary provider for youth services in south-west Victoria. It offers accommodation, health support and education advice for the homeless, young people and families.

Find out more about Brophy Family & Youth Services

Hampden Football Netball League

As an extension of its ongoing support for elite athletes, Deakin University invests in future athletes through its sponsorship of the Hampden Football and Netball League. 

The Hampden League is based in south-western Victoria, with 10 clubs located in towns from Camperdown to Portland. Deakin sponsors two teams – the Deakin University under 18.5s and the Deakin University under 16s.


Find out more about the Hampden Football Netball League

Find out more about Deakin’s Elite Athlete Friendly program

Lighthouse Theatre

Deakin University is the principal sponsor of the Lighthouse Theatre. As the major performing arts centre of Warrnambool, the theatre is home to a seasonal line-up of performances including comedy, music, dance and drama. 

It also hosts educational sessions like the Deakin supported AUS Music Forum, community lectures and Deakin Warrnambool Campus’ annual graduation ceremonies.

Find out more about the Lighthouse Theatre

Hamilton Performing Arts Centre

Deakin University is a major sponsor of the Hamilton Performing Arts Centre. The centre is the major venue for performing arts, functions, conferences, seminars, meetings and expos in the Southern Grampians region. 

The sponsorship helps the centre continue to provide an exciting annual season of performances and activities for the local community.

Find out more about the Hamilton Performing Arts Centre

South West Regional Achiever Award

Deakin partners with the South West Institute of TAFE to sponsor the annual South West Regional Achiever Award. The award identifies the region’s high achievers, unsung heroes and volunteers, acknowledging excellence in their chosen profession or field of endeavour.

Candidates may have an academic, career, primary industry, sport, art or cultural achievement. Previous winners have been involved with regional initiatives, community projects and programs that positively impact the local community.

Find out more about the South West Regional Achiever Award

Leadership Great South Coast program

Deakin University funds an annual scholarship as part of the Leadership Great South Coast (LGSC) program. The annual community leadership program was designed to give aspiring and emerging leaders of the Great South Coast region an opportunity to undertake professional development training. 

Participation in the program also builds relationships between the business, community and government sectors. LGSC began in 2012 and, since then, more than 60 alumni have completed the 11-month program.

Find out more about the Leadership Great South Coast Program

Middle Island Maremma Project

Deakin is a proud to be part of the Middle Island Maremma Project. Middle Island, off the coast of Warrnambool, is home to a little penguin colony. 

A Deakin University study identified that tourism and potential attacks by foxes were having a negative impact on breeding and colony survival. By 2005 there were fewer than 10 penguins left.

In 2006, the island was closed to the public and Maremma guardian dogs were trained and placed on the island to protect little penguins from foxes during the breeding season. 

The project has been a huge success, with no evidence of fox attacks since. The penguin colony has grown significantly. People can now visit Middle Island on a summer 'Meet the Maremma tour' and experience the project firsthand.

The project is recognised as an innovative world-first and has received numerous awards. In 2014, a film called Oddball, based on the Middle Island conservation project, was released. 

The project also received the 2010 Australian Government Coastcare Award. It’s currently joint-funded by Warrnambool City Council, Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, Warrnambool Coastcare Landcare Group and Deakin University.

Find out more about the Middle Island Maremma Project