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The Inaugural Mary Reibey Grant recipient is The Sydney Story Factory

07 March 2012

On Thursday 8th March 2012, International Women's Day, Westpac is excited to announce the recipient of the inaugural Mary Reibey Grant is The Sydney Story Factory.

The Sydney Story Factory (SSF) is a not-for-profit creative writing centre for children. Volunteer tutors offer free help to tell stories of all kinds. Programs are targeted at disadvantaged children, especially those from indigenous and non-English speaking backgrounds, but are open to all. The SSF’s vision is to improve children’s life chances by developing their writing skills and love of language, and helping them realise their full creative potential. The $50,000 grant will be used to partially fund the organisation’s on-site after-school programs.

To learn more or to get involved with The Sydney Story Factory please visit their website

The Westpac Foundation has partnered with Women’s Markets to award a $50,000 grant to a not-for-profit that was founded by or managed by a female.

These were the requirements: 

1.    Your organisation was founded by a woman and its current CEO is a woman

2.    Your organisation is a social enterprise or a not for profit with a social enterprise project.

3.    Your organisation is relatively new (established less than 15 years ago).

4.    Your social enterprise initiative reflects one or more of the following areas: social inclusion, indigenous, education or the disabled.

5.    Your enterprise has deductible gift recipient (DGR) status or is auspiced by a DGR.

6.    Your enterprise operates/trades in Australia.

Mary Reibey

Described at the time as persevering and entrepreneurial, Mary Reibey had presence in colonial Sydney business circles.  

Widowed in 1811 with seven children to raise, the former convict took control of her late husband’s trading business and property interests and grew them. 

More ships were purchased to expand trading with India and China and the commercial property interests in Sydney’s CBD saw many tenants, including Australia’s first bank, the Bank of New South Wales (now Westpac), negotiating with their landlord, Mary Reibey.

In retirement, Mary spent much of her accumulated wealth on philanthropic endeavours, in particular education. Day to day we are reminded of Mary’s contribution to colonial Australia through her appearance on the Australian $20 note.

If you would like more information about the Westpac Foundation and how you can make a difference, please visit our website