Our Impact

Don Dunstan led an ambitious program of reforms that shone a progressive beacon of light from South Australia that was seen right across the country. Under Don’s leadership we truly led the nation in social and economic reform and today the Foundation, established to perpetuate his legacy, shares that same ambition.

We seek to inspire action for a fairer world by working on a range of collaborative projects right across the South Australian community.

For more information about the impact of our work see the Projects and Events pages or check out our latest Annual Report.

Key Projects

Adelaide Zero Project

The Adelaide Zero Project was seeded from the Don Dunstan Foundation’s Thinkers in Residence program. This collective impact project has been extremely successful in accurately capturing homelessness in metropolitan Adelaide and working to reduce rough sleeping on our streets.

Statistics show that, from May 2018 to October 2019, 248 people have been offered secure housing placements, an average of 11 people per month.

Collective Impact

Collective impact is something the Foundation is proud to facilitate across our state and the country. Our major collective impact project is the Adelaide Zero Project, with the Foundation taking the ‘backbone’ role to bring together nearly 50 partners in the task to end street homelessness.

Video: Tackling Complex Social Problems Through Collective Impact


Thinkers in Residence

Since 2017 Thinkers in Residence has engaged 2131 people and 61 organisational partners, held 11 roundtables, 54 presentations and meetings and 5 public forums.

27 initiatives have emerged from the program, which are visible in the community through changes to laws and policy, and cultural shifts away from the old model of charities vs traditional companies.

Now we are focused on a purpose economy where business outcomes are intricately linked to social outcomes.





Other Projects

The Foundation supports a variety of projects in line with its key objectives.

Art for Good

  • Six emerging Aboriginal artists have received the Our Mob Award since 2013, with $30,000 donated to winners for their personal career development.
  • Each year a SALA artist is awarded $2,500 as part of the Don Dunstan Foundation SALA Award for social justice themes in their piece.
  • The DDF Film Club show movies with a social justice focus and over the space of a year have given away 167 tickets to people with reduced access to entertainment.
  • The Social Change Guides brought together shows in the Adelaide Festival and Adelaide Fringe that promote social justice, and was downloaded 1,268 times in 2019.

Len King Scholarship

Across the last five years the Len King Scholarship has awarded 11 scholarships to people who would unable to attend university due to financial hardships.  Through the Scholarship, the Foundation has invested over $166,000 and supports individuals who are planning to undertake studies in law with a social justice focus.


MARRNet is a collaborative group of researchers from all three major universities in South Australia, who are working on better settlement outcomes for migrants to our state. Both refugee and skilled migrants will be served through this research piece, which is beginning in late 2019.



AdMental is an annual public event to raise awareness and evolve thinking around mental health. Since its beginning in 2017 there has been an overwhelmingly positive response to topics and content, with 250 attendees at the 2019 event and a 90% approval rating of the theme Loneliness in our Older Population.

Dunstan Dialogues

13 Dunstan Dialogues have been held since 2016, and are an exclusive opportunity for our Thinkers in Residence and other international, national and local experts to share their knowledge and skills with the community. Previous Dialogues include; Funding For Impact with Tom Hull, Tom Dawkins and Kate Scott, Gender, Human Rights and the Private Sector with Dr Helen Szoke and Migration and Humanitarianism with Professor Alexander Betts.

Homelessness Conference

The 2019 Homelessness Conference was another sold out event with over 300 delegates. Each conference gives a broad range of organisations and individuals a forum to learn and collaborate. Over 90% of attendees expressed interest in attending the 2020 conference which, whilst currently in the planning stage, is looking at covering homelessness through the lens of domestic violence, mental health, women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Lowitja O’Donoghue Oration

The Lowitja O’Donoghue Oration has been running for 13 years, raising awareness of important outcomes for Aboriginal people across the many orations and supporting the goal of Aboriginal empowerment. Past orators include Noel Pearson, Professor Marcia Langton, Professor Patrick Dodson and The Honourable Paul Keating, with over 5,000 people attending across the 13 years.