Six Australian not-for-profits (NFPs) will collectively share over $1 million of free IT and technology support from Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) under a community program launched earlier this year.

The successful NFPs - HeartKids Australia, Cystic Fibrosis NSW, Hunter Medical Research Institute, the Royal Hospital for Women Foundation, the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre and the Penguin Foundation – were named at an event late last month.

The program is designed to reward NFPs that have ideas on how they can use technology to “create a significant and positive impact on their communities and their environment”, TCS said.

Information Age reported back in February that 2015 is the first year that TCS has run a formal program supporting the NFP sector in this region.

In previous years, TCS Australia and New Zealand CEO Deborah Hadwen said its support of NFPs had been “opportunistic”.

“We were working with some organisations supporting causes but there was a time when we took a step back and said, 'Actually, I think this is something we could do better and bigger',” she said.

Five months on, the program has found its first six participants, which sought support for a variety of projects.

(L to R: Neville Roach AO, Chairman of TCS A/NZ Corporate Social Responsibility Advisory Committe; Catherine Oates Smith, CEO The Royal Hospital for Women Foundation;  Lauren Jones, Foundation Officer, Penguin Foundation; Sally Castle, HMRI Associate Director – Marketing & Development, Hunter Medical Research Institute; Jayne Blake, CEO HeartKids Australia; Michele Adair, CEO Cystic Fibrosis NSW;  Deborah Hadwen, CEO of TCS A/NZ; and Karen Iles, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, TCS A/NZ)

Cystic Fibrosis New South Wales hopes to put the support of TCS towards creating an app that controls the health information of sufferers.

“Young adults expect to be able to use their phones for this task and we believe an app will make a huge difference to the physical and mental wellbeing of thousands of people,” CEO Michele Adair said.

The Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) hopes to create a website that can deliver “the latest medical research findings” to healthcare professionals in the field.

It is hoped they can use these findings to “deliver the best health solutions for their patients,” HMRI associate director Sally Castle said.

“We are so grateful for this opportunity to work with TCS and their leading team of experts. 

“We are focussed on making sure that families aren’t torn apart by illness or disease. This will help keep families together for longer – here and across the world.”

The Royal Hospital for Women Foundation similarly wants to create a “sophisticated knowledge-sharing environment for the community on women’s health issues”, its CEO Catherine Oates Smith said.

“Our vision is to position The Royal Hospital for Women as a thought leader in women’s health and wellness education in the community – including corporate communities,” she said.

Heartkids Australia will use TCS’ support to continue driving its Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) Registry Project.

“The Registry is essential to monitor the number of patients with CHD, to assist in tracking clinical outcomes and providing vital data for planning of future needs,” CEO Jayne Blake said.  

“The objective of the Registry is to improve CHD treatment and survival, to improve the quality of life and services available to those with CHD.

“It will be used to evaluate the outcomes and inform the planning of effective services that are consistent with best practices.”

Meanwhile, the Penguin Foundation  - which aims to protect and preserve Phillip Island's flora and fauna – will harness TCS to “greatly improve our current donor systems,” board member Dr Peter Dann said.

Improving those systems would allow the Foundation “to invest further resources into fundraising activities which support world-class wildlife and environment conservation activities on Phillip Island,” Dr Dann said

“The Penguin Foundation is thrilled to be accepted into Tata Consultancy Services Pro Bono Community Fund and look forward to our partnership.”