Partner profile: The Brian M. Davis Charitable Foundation

The Brian M. Davis Charitable Foundation’s commitment to supporting Our Place is aligned with its mission is to achieve lasting, transformational change for disadvantaged children and young people.

The funding has enabled Our Place to employ professional staff who are skilled at building relationships and connecting families to education and support services. The Our Place staff play a critical role in the community by connecting families to services, opportunities and each other, as well as coordinating education and service providers to meet the needs of families.

The Melbourne-based Foundation was established by entrepreneur and innovator, Mr Brian Davis, the founder and creator of Australian homewares business Décor.

Upon his death in 2021, Mr Davis generously left the majority of his estate to the Foundation, in order to support community driven effort and innovative approaches that bring people resources and ideas together to deliver meaningful change in the lives of vulnerable young people.

The Foundation’s CEO Anita Hopkins said supporting Our Place was a good strategic fit for the Foundation as part of its portfolio of grants which includes support for a number of different approaches to integrated child and family hubs.

“We were introduced to Our Place and saw that it was a good strategic fit for the Foundation as it was focused on a similar approach in a different setting. Working together made sense,” Anita said.

Our Place Mooroopna was the first site to receive a three-year grant from the Foundation in 2023, with Anita and her team visiting earlier this year, where they were “blown away” by what they saw.

“It’s one thing to read about the work and understand the research that’s been done, but it’s another thing to see the integration on the ground. To see the early learning and the primary school, the paediatrician, the speech pathologist all in the same location; to see the programs that are running to bring families in like the playgroups; to see and talk to the people on the ground running the program. It just gave us a whole new appreciation for just how effective the model is, and to see the families using the space, to see that level of comfort and how welcoming the space is.”

Anita Hopkins, CEO The Brian M. Davis Charitable Foundation

Following recent Victorian Government funding awarded to Mooroopna, the Brian M. Davis Charitable Foundation will focus its support on the Doveton Our Place site going forward. Anita acknowledged while both sites are very different, there was the same level of personal commitment on the ground from the Our Place team, supporting the families.

“While in different communities, the feel at both sites is the same. It’s like a secret ingredient that makes it feel safe and welcoming. It’s the commitment to the Our Place model but more importantly to the family and the children that is hard to describe on paper. You could really see the value of Our Place when you see it in operation, but that becomes more pronounced when you visit a school in the same area that doesn’t have Our Place. It’s about how does the model compare to the schools that don’t have that opportunity? For that school and those families to also have the opportunity for Our Place in the future, that’s what we’ll be looking at in terms of success.”

The Brian M. Davis Charitable Foundation is a partner of Our Place’s Philanthropic Alliance, where other funders share perspectives and lessons from their work with the different Our Place funding recipients.

“The Alliance is incredibly valuable for us, because the more we understand about these models and approaches, the better we will be at supporting them and the better our grant-making will be,” she said.

“Funding innovation can be a risky activity, but when you’re going in with a group who all have the same understanding and willingness to want it to work, then it’s a much better way than trying to do it on your own.

“We are very impressed with what we’ve seen as a partner in a much broader partnership and how well that’s managed. It could be really complicated, and Our Place make it simple.”

To learn more about the important work of The Brian M. Davis Charitable Foundation visit