Partner profile: The Sabemo Foundation

The Sabemo Foundation has made a long-term commitment to fund Our Place Westall’s work, which partners with early learning, primary school, secondary school and the local council library to form a school-based community hub. The funding has enabled Our Place to employ three 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 Westall community by connecting families to services, opportunities and each other, as well as coordinating education and service providers to meet the needs of families. Services offered onsite include Maternal and Child Health, allied health services such as speech pathology and community legal services.

Established in 1999 through the bequest of Sabemo Construction founder Vittorio Moratelli, the Sabemo Foundation is a philanthropic foundation that provides funding for early intervention support to children and their families from any background, culture or religion in Australia. Vittorio Moratelli believed strongly in the importance of education for providing opportunities and a passion for life.

Partnering with Our Place ticked a lot of the boxes for The Sabemo Foundation, as it didn’t want to be another ‘band aid’ in the box of early intervention services but rather wanted to be part of a system that wraps around families so that the most vulnerable children don’t fall through the cracks.

Sabemo Foundation director David Osborn said that “partnering with Our Place ticked a lot of boxes for us, as we wanted to be part of a system-wide solution that wraps around families, rather than being just another ‘band aid’ in the box.”    

“Our Place is influencing policy in Victoria. Our Place and its partnership with the Victorian Government are trailblazers, leading the way in terms of both policy and implementation. Victoria seems to be the early adopter in terms of the early years. It has to be a place-based, holistic model, looking at the whole system of service delivery,” David said. 

David Osborn

Systems change is important to Sabemo and the Foundation has, in the past, chaired the Early Intervention Affinity Group at Philanthropy Australia. They see the current system for delivery of support services results in client families being surrounded by poorly connected services delivered by larger providers on a one-size-fits-all approach.

David said the Foundation’s “biggest learning to date is just how successful schools can be as that universal service delivery platform. There is now proof of concept for the school as hub.  There is no better place where families can access support in a safe environment.”  

“Philanthropy’s role is to take risks, bring new evidence and influence government to make real changes in the service delivery systems under their control. Our philosophy is that there are better outcomes when it’s bottom up, and service delivery is focused on how that community believes service delivery will work best in their location,” David said. 

David Osborn

Further information about the work of Sabemo Foundation can be found at