About Telstra Foundation

Launched in 2002, Telstra Foundation Ltd is the philanthropic arm of Telstra.
Jackie Coates · 01 July 2022 · 3 minute read

Our purpose is to enable social change through technology, and we have been helping non-profits improve their impact for over two decades. The team is responsible for Telstra’s philanthropic strategy in Australia and drives highly impactful, tech-enabled projects in partnership that benefit under-served communities.

Community investment strategy

Telstra’s philanthropic strategy is framed by two key community goals:

  1. We build digital skills for young people (digital inclusion) and
  2. We support community-led climate action enabled by tech (environmental action).

Our partners & programs

We run Code Club Australia to support free volunteer-led code clubs in schools and libraries, and give teachers access to fun learning resources to teach coding basics and build skills. As part of our advocacy and awareness work, we also run the annual, global Moonhack campaign to get more kids coding.

We also partner with Australian charities and social enterprises including:

  • Alannah & Madeline FoundationIndigital & Young Change Agents funding programs to lift teacher, early learning practitioners & librarian capability & confidence to get more kids coding/improve student digital literacy/teach enterprise skills
  • Orygen Digital, Autism CRC, BighArt, Expression Australia and Infoxchange who are scaling digital services to support diverse and disadvantaged youth as part of our Tech4Good Challenge.
  • NAILSMA & CSIRO to train remote Indigenous Rangers and practitioners in five remote communities to use AI in Caring for Country/climate adaptation work
  • Earthwatch to engage Australians in citizen science to grow localised climate research data sets about plants and animals
  • Australian Red Cross Humanitech to invest in innovative climate change/adaptation technology pilots, scale humanitarian use cases and rasie awareness of humanity centred tech.

While we don’t lead Telstra volunteering or employee giving programs, we do amplify and leverage our work to connect employees with changemaker opportunities including Telstra Foundation Changemaker employee grants (internal program).

Our team & how we work

We are social innovation professionals committed to genuine social change and work closely with the Telstra Foundation Board, Chaired by Russell Higgins AO. We actively engage with civic society to shape our programs and support our charity partners to help them create impact. We work with non-profits based on fit with our focus areas, our research, and the organisation’s track-record of social impact via digital innovation.

Please note, we do not take unsolicited proposals for funding

Because we know demand for grants always exceeds supply, we’ve also invested in some great social sector tools to help people looking for assistance: a no-fee crowdfunding platform for social impact causes with Chuffed and free, online digital and innovation video lessons for social impact specialists Fitzroy Academy

Our management team:

  • Jackie Coates (CEO Telstra Foundation Ltd​​​​​​)
  • Natalie Falzon (Social Impact & Innovation Manager)

The legal stuff

Telstra Foundation Ltd is an independent legal entity, separate from Telstra Corporation Ltd. The majority of our directors – including the Chair – are independent of Telstra. The Board has established criteria and procedures for allocating grants which it may review and vary from time to time, including any criteria or procedures referred to on this site. To contact us please email sustainability@team.telstra.com.

Download and view the Telstra Foundation Privacy Statement (PDF, 755KB)


By Jackie Coates

Head of Telstra Foundation

A seasoned community investment leader, Jackie is passionate about enabling social innovation underpinned by digital. Self-described as “analogue at birth but digital by design”, Jackie advocates for the transformative power of tech to solve social problems. As head of the Telstra Foundation, Jackie manages a multi-million dollar community partner portfolio to improve social inclusion outcomes for young people in the areas of mental health; disability; digital making; cyber-safety; and remote, regional and Indigenous communities. Feminist, mother, geek, and grant-maker Jackie juggles many balls and tries hard not to drop the glass ones! Find out more at Telstra Foundation.

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  • Telstra Foundation in 2021: enabling social change through technology

    This year Telstra Foundation continued to invest in programs and projects to build digital skills and enable community-led climate action, supporting our mission to enable social change through technology. In 2021, these programs and partnerships supported more than 720,000 changemakers, impacting more than 550,000 lives. Here is an end of year snapshot on our 2021 progress to deliver our three goals.