The Woodside Development Fund

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ONE SHARED GLOBAL VISION: Every child thrives in their development, learning and life 

​ ​ ​ ​1 area of focus - early childhood development

​ ​3 strategic areas of investment: catalyse, scale and maximise impact

Over 50 Western Australian communities  benefit from our delivery model

14 Australia-wide communities will benefit from leveraged funding

9 major initiatives funded so far

​ ​ ​ ​$A20m will be contributed by Woodside over 10 years


What is the Woodside Development Fund?

Frustrated with the status quo of funding multiple individual organisations and projects across a range of issue areas, in 2014 Woodside decided to do things differently. As an exciting new approach to social investment, we chose to allocate a proportion of our social investment budget towards a single systemic issue and launched the Woodside Development Fund to focus on early childhood development.  Our Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Peter Coleman, is the Founding Patron of the Fund.

For those who are yet to hear about The Woodside Development Fund, some quick facts are below.

  • A$2 million per annum, ten year initiative.
  • Focus on projects that contribute globally to the education, health and well-being of children aged zero to eight years.
  • Commitment to collaborating with other leaders in the sector.
  • Outcomes and key performance indicators will be long-term and measurable.
  • Work collaboratively to reduce development vulnerability and improve outcomes for early childhood.
  • Represents the next step for our social investment and complements other community partnerships.

Why is it important?

The early years of a child's life have a profound effect on their future. There is a wealth of evidence to validate that when a child enters school, healthy and ready to learn, not only does she or he do better, his or her life chances will also fundamentally change for the better.  

In 2009, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed on the National Early Childhood Development Strategy with the vision that "by 2020 all children have the best start in life to create a better future for them and for the nation." Woodside is committed to creating a sustainable future for the communities in which we operate. By investing in early childhood, we can aim to help prevent issues before they start.

Together with others committed to early childhood development and the overall vision, we will support projects that will:

  • Bring about meaningful, long-term positive change in communities;
  • Build a sustainable workforce for the future; and
  • Demonstrate impact through a shared monitoring and evaluation process.

Where are we now?

In 2014, Woodside committed over AU$1.8million to collaborative initiatives through the Woodside Development Fund.

In the early phases of investment the Woodside Development Fund has been focused on investing in leadership development, capacity and capability building, collaborative facilitation and seed-funding for place-based initiatives.

Investment Highlights

Build capacity and capability

Building Partnerships (Ngala)

Building Partnerships offers innovative learning and development opportunities to people working in communities with children and families, with a particular focus on WA Child and Parent Centres. The program targets capacity building initiatives designed to increase the impact of services for children and families in communities.

More information can be found on Ngala's website:

​Connecting Early Years Networks

The Early Years Network offers professional development, education and training for WA's 40+ Early Years Networks, increasing knowledge, capability and collaboration. This program aims to support Early Years Networks to become or remain sustainable and achieve their full potential.

More information can be found on WACOSS's website:  

Connect organisations and communities

Connecting Community for Kids (Cockburn & Kwinana Collective Impact Initiative)

A placed-based collaboration initiative with WACOSS, Western Australian Government and senior representatives from the Community to empower parents, local services, industry and civic leaders in the communities of Cockburn and Kwinana. The initiative promotes working together to make a lasting difference in the lives of children pre-birth to 8 and their families. The overall aim of the project is to develop and manage a collective impact approach to early childhood development in the region.

More information on the community consultation phase of the initiative can be found here:  

 Not in our Town (Dampier Peninsula Children and Family Wellbeing Project)

A placed-base collaboration initiative with Save the Children, community organisations and community members to decrease vulnerability and risk factors for children in the communities of Djarindjin, Ardyaloon, Lombadina and Beagle Bay on the Dampier Peninsula in the Kimberley.

 Myanmar Education Consortium (MEC)

An international collaboration initiative with Australian Government, PLAN Myanmar, Save the Childrenand local organisation Pann Pyoe Latt to deliver early childhood development activities in the township of Thar Baung in the Ayeyarwady Region, Myanmar. Parenting groups and home-based playgroups will be established in ten villages across the township.

More information can be found on MEC's website:  

Drive change

Opportunity Child

Along with the ten20 Foundation, Woodside is co-convening Opportunity Child, a national leadership initiative to support the successful implementation of collective impact projects focused on the early years.

This collective initiative aims to bring together community and national partners to transform childhood outcomes for 65,000 Australian children currently considered developmentally vulnerable.

Opportunity Child will do this in the following ways:

  • Building a learning system that brings together local community backbones with national participants to focus on Collective Impact for children
  • Support a national portfolio of communities (remote, regional and urban) to develop local capability for collective impact
  • Connect learning across the Opportunity Child portfolio about the enabling conditions communities need to improve outcomes for children, with other national and international learning
  • Share and scale capabilities and learning to contribute to systems change

More information can be found on Opportunity Child's website:

Next steps?

The key focus going forward is to monitor if The Woodside Development Fund is making an impact and contributing to reducing to the overall vision. We understand that in order to drive change, we need to track progress.

The Woodside Development Fund monitoring and evaluation framework will capture social impact, systems outcomes, and business impact and project management milestones. Social Ventures Australia are assisting Woodside in the creation of an effective framework and reporting model.

We will also continue working to build alliances that bring together resources and expertise to drive change through collaboration.

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Children at an Early Years Centre in Myanmar.

For more information on the Woodside Development Fund, download the brochure here: