We use cookies to provide you with the best possible online experience. Read more

2017 saw important community projects and initiatives supported in the Hunter region with funding totaling more than $435,598

2014 Hunter recipients Harry’s House Mobile Retreat.

Apply for a grant today!

Next funding round closes soon.

2017 Hunter Beneficiaries

Each year the Foundation provides over $1.6 million in grants to eligible charities and community organisations for projects, initiatives and programs which meet our funding criteria and address important community issues that the Foundation has identified as key focus areas.


Safe Children, Safe Families

Region - Hunter, Central Coast

Safe Children, Safe Families aims to reduce the risk of abuse, improve social competence and emotional maturity, and provide education and information for parents, early childcare educators and their children. It is the only evidence-based program in Australia that improves the emotional and social intelligence of children, particularly in recognising emotions and identifying unsafe situations.

Safe Children, Safe Families involves a three-part education model delivered in early-childhood learning centres to children, parents and educators to increase the capacity of children and their families to identify and avoid potential abuse.

The Foundation’s grant of $88,000 will enable the expansion of Safe Children, Safe Families into the Hunter and Central Coast regions. The program will be delivered directly to 500 families with children aged 3-5 years and their childcare educators at early learning centres. The funding will also be used to create an online version of the program targeting regional and remote areas using film, web resources and a webinar to support delivery to regional communities with an initial target of a further 20,000 families in the Hunter and Central Coast regions.

Diabetes NSW & ACT

As1 Schools Program

Region - Hunter, Central Coast, Mid North Coast, Northern Rivers, Central West, New England

Diabetes NSW’s As1 Schools Program will use Schools Training Workshops and As1 Health Resource Kits to deliver better health outcomes and social well-being for young people with Type 1 Diabetes. 

Type 1 Diabetes is a non-preventable, auto-immune condition that generally appears in childhood and, in NSW, there is a 40% hospitalisation rate for children under the age of 15 with the disease.

The As1 Schools Program will provide training to ensure that children with Type 1 Diabetes are safe and healthy at school and have a reduced risk of complications or an emergency situation by equipping teachers and childcare workers with the necessary knowledge to manage the risks and complications associated with Type 1 Diabetes.

The Foundation’s grant of $39,246 will facilitate six workshops; one in each of the Foundation’s operating regions. Additionally, the support will provide funding for 200 As1 Health Resource Kits—enough to supply each young person expected to be diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in our area in 2018.

Therapy room: Resource & Equipment Upgrade

Region - Hunter

Early Links is a not-for-profit early childhood early intervention service that delivers a family centred inclusive program to children with developmental delays and disabilities in the Hunter Valley, including some of our regions most disadvantaged communities where paying for high quality, privately delivered therapy is just not an option. 

The Foundation will provide $26,000 to expand and upgrade the indoor and outdoor therapy spaces at Early Links’ East Maitland and Muswellbrook facilities with specialist new resources and equipment, providing access to services for children.


Building Blocks Library

Region - Hunter

For the past 40 years Firstchance has provided early childhood intervention and school aged programs for children with disabilities (0-9 years). Firstchance’s philosophy is that parents and carers are the most important teachers of their children and it’s important to share expertise with families so they can continue to make progress outside the therapy environment.

Play provides opportunities to promote skills in all areas of children’s development. Through play, children learn about themselves, about others, about how things work and about their world; they experience challenges, frustrations, success and the joy of mastery.

This Building Blocks initiative, majority funded with $39,246 from the Foundation, will establish an equipment and resource library for children with a disability or developmental delay. Supporting the 450 children serviced by Firstchance, items in the library will be a mix of specialised and general equipment designed to aid the development of intellectual, motor, and personal and social skills. Like any library, the items can be used during a therapy session, or can be loaned out to support programs at home.

House with No Steps

Warners Bay respite

Region - Hunter

House with No Steps delivers services to 3,200 people with disability across the eastern seaboard. The Warners Bay respite service has recently received requests for respite support from people with high and complex support needs. While the respite house is currently equipped to support people with high physical needs, it is currently unable to support people who are unable to sit upright for showering.

This funding of $8,620 from the Foundation will allow the Warners Bay respite to purchase a shower trolley, meaning that people with complex support needs will no longer be required to stay in a nursing home for respite purposes.


Face Diagnosis Project

Region - Hunter, Central Coast, Mid North Coast, Northern Rivers, Central West, New England

An estimated 70% of children with an intellectual disability remain undiagnosed. Of these, 30 to 50% have associated skull and facial changes and when in a recognisable pattern this is referred to as a syndrome. The Face Diagnosis Project funded by a grant of $143,630 from the Foundation will create an innovative face-matching database that will reduce the time for and improve the accuracy of diagnosis, and facilitate intellectual disability gene discovery.

Using advanced facial recognition technology—originally developed for policing, counter-terrorism, and military applications—parents, doctors, and geneticists can access a secure and encrypted portal to upload images and information about their child. After comparing this information with other children around the world, a swift diagnosis may be achieved. This will enable effective treatment and/or therapy for the condition, as well as reduce possible need for expensive DNA testing to determine the condition. 

NICVIEW Project - Installation of NICU web cams

Region - Hunter

John Hunter Children's Hospital Kids Club, as part of the United Hospital Auxiliaries of NSW, raises vital funds solely for the John Hunter Children's Hospital. 

With a grant of $186,428, the Kids Club will implement Australia’s first ever NICVIEW system which will connect remote families with their newborns while in the care of Northern NSW’s only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit which provides care for up to 1200 babies each year from across NSW, including some of our most rural and remote regions. 

The NICVIEW project will include installation of specialised web cameras on each of the NICU’s 42 beds with a live-feed accessible by baby’s family through a secure, password protected connection to any computer, tablet, phone or similar device. NICVIEW means that family, often separated due to work, school or care commitments, can connect and bond with the newest member of the family, no matter how far away they may be

Preventative Health Education for Disadvantaged Children

Region - Hunter

Life Education NSW is the largest not-for-profit provider of preventative drug and health education in Australian schools. The Foundation will provide $77,000 to purchase a new truck to tow the five Mobile Learning Centres which bring the Life Education program to more than 146 schools with over 32,000 children throughout the Hunter and Centre Coast regions each year. 

The truck will help to ensure the future of the Life Education organisation in this area as they can deliver the mobile classroom to local schools safely and efficiently for many years to come.


MMAD Intimate Podcast

Region - Hunter, Central Coast, Mid North Coast, Northern Rivers, Central West, New England

MMAD, a NSW Central Coast-based charity, provides creative support to help young people overcome challenges such as homelessness, destructive patterns of behaviour, exclusion from school, family breakdown, drug and alcohol dependency, unemployment and reoffending.  MMAD’s goal is to break negative cycles and empower young people to go on and make their own difference within the community.

The Rhyme and Reason Podcast received $48,560 from the Foundation to enable MMAD to reach young people who are unable to access the MMAD programs due to location or other constraints. The 12-month pilot program will take the core content of MMAD's successful on-the-ground programs and release a podcast each month, which will be available to community radio, organisations such as juvenile justice and community youth groups, and the general public via social media and download.

Additionally, the MMAD Intimate Podcast will enable the launch of a Central Coast-based youth training program that will teach valuable employment skills to participants in areas such as sound production, radio and journalism.

NB: this grant will bring the total amount donated by the Foundation to MMAD to $189,260 (since 2011).

Outdoor play space for Jenny's Place

Region - Hunter

Out(fit), is a community engagement initiative auspiced by the University of Newcastle. Formed by a group of women in the built environment profession and headed by head of UoN’s School of Architecture and Built Environment Professor Sue Anne Ware, Out(fit) members volunteer their time and skills and use their professional networks to deliver worthy community projects.  

The Foundation will provide $13,200 for Out(fit) to revitalise and refurbish the outdoor area at Jenny’s Place, which provides crisis accommodation and support through information, referral and advocacy for women and children escaping domestic violence, are homeless or at risk of being homeless.


Food for success

Region - Hunter

Funding of $62,500 from this Foundation grant will be used to refurbish PCYC Windale’s commercial kitchen. When completed the kitchen will be used to conduct living skills and hospitality training programs for young people, the unemployed, and disability groups.

The refurbished kitchen will provide a space for food preparation and catering for PCYC venue-users hiring the facility. It will also support the well-established 'Friday Free' program attended by approximately 50 children and young people from the local area who may not receive adequate nutrition at home.

NB: the Foundation has provided more than $500,000 to PCYC in the past 10 years.

NICU Family Room Volunteer Program - John Hunter Children's Hospital

Region - Hunter

Red Gum House operates Ronald McDonald House Programs in Northern NSW, including Ronald McDonald House in Newcastle and Tamworth and the Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at John Hunter Children’s Hospital and Gosford Hospital. The Foundation’s grant of $11,000 will provide for a volunteer recruitment and training program complete to develop personnel to staff the new Family room at John Hunter Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. 

The volunteers will be responsible for providing families with babies in the NICU with a relaxed, supportive environment to take a break from the stress of the often unplanned NICU experience..

Charitable Foundation Beneficiaries Logo

Community Support Vehicle

Region - Hunter

Sugarvalley Neighbourhood Centre provides a safe, supportive environment as well as a range of services and resources to improve the lives and create a sense of belonging and empowerment for members of the West Wallsend community.  

The Foundation will provide $41,000 to provide a new seven seater vehicle for Sugarvalley Neighbourhood access to essential services for disadvantaged residents and provide vital community connections. 

It is expected that the service would transport at least 30 people each week to essential appointments and a further 40 families assisted with the delivery of food, clothing and hygiene packs meaning the vehicle would be responsible for over 5000 direct engagements with disadvantaged and marginalised people each year.

Charitable Foundation Beneficiaries Logo

Beat Cancer @ Work

Region - Hunter and Central Coast

The Cancer Council NSW’s Beat Cancer @ Work program was launched in late 2016 and to date more than 2,000 workers have participated in the program that covers three main pillars: provide information about cancer; deliver a preventative cancer message to participants; and offer an overview of the supportive care measures the Cancer Council can provide to assist and support those with cancer, their families and carers. 

This grant of $32,912 will be used to purchase a vehicle that will be exclusively used to support the delivery of the program in the Foundation’s geographical footprint. Based in Newcastle, the vehicle will travel throughout the Hunter and Central Coast regions, and further afield as demand for the Beat Cancer @ Work program grows.

NB: the Foundation has previously donated $237,000 to Cancer Council NSW.

Charitable Foundation Beneficiaries Logo

Young Bloods Program

Region - Hunter, Central Coast, Mid North Coast, Northern Rivers, Central West, New England

The Leukaemia Foundation has developed the ‘Young Bloods’ program aimed at providing professional support to address issues faced and enable young people to develop the resilience to stay, or get back, on track to enjoy life as they are meant to. Young Bloods is designed to meet the physical, psychological and educational impact of blood cancer on children and young adults who have been diagnosed with a blood cancer or who have close family members who have been diagnosed with a blood cancer. Young Bloods provides support in the form of financial grants paid to families for physical, psychosocial and educational support that is considered appropriate by their personal medical specialists. 

The Foundation will provide $65,000 for the Leukaemia Foundation to launch the Young Bloods program in the Foundations operating area in regional NSW including directly supporting up to 70 young people with, or recovering from, a serious cancer diagnosis.

One Less Worry: The Equipment Commitment to Families Project

Region - Hunter

The Nicholas Butters Trust is another inspiring organisation with which the Foundation has a long and proud history of supporting. Established by the Butters Family after her son Nicholas lost his battle with cancer at a young age, the Trust advocates for and supports paediatric palliative care facilities and services for terminally ill children and their families in the Hunter, Mid North Coast and New England regions. 

The Foundation will provide $77,000 to establish an equipment loan pool for paediatric palliative care equipment services, to meet a significant gap in resources for children with palliative conditions, providing choice to families who choose to care for a child at an end of life or life limiting stage at home or otherwise out of hospital. 

The service is expected to impact up to 400 children each year, as well as their carers, families and friends, through the hardest experience most will encounter in their lives

Wigs for Kids

Region - Hunter, Central Coast, Mid North Coast, Northern Rivers, Central West, New England

Variety – the Children’s Charity, among its many amazing programs for sick and disadvantaged children, provides wigs to kids who have lost their hair due to Alopecia or another medical condition such as cancer. Losing your hair can have profound psychological effects, particularly through childhood and adolescence. One specialised can wig cost up to $5,000 and lasts two to three years so the cost is prohibitive for many families.  

The Foundation’s grant of $74,800 will help Variety launch the Wigs 4 Kids in regional NSW to provide wigs to children whose families are unable to afford the service themselves.

Vision Australia

Braille embossers – raising the dots

Region - Hunter

Despite technological advances, braille is still commonly used in the blind community and children with vision loss are exposed to braille as early as possible as it is an important tool in developing literacy and special concepts.

Vision Australia’s local offices regularly translate important information into braille for local clients. They also provide a translation service for local businesses that wish to provide information books, menus, and flyers in braille format. Without access to effective braille embossers, Vision Australia is not able to provide these services.

This grant of $22,650 will provide the necessary funds for Vision Australia to purchase three state-of-the-art braille machines to be located at the Newcastle, Coffs Harbour and Lismore offices. These machines will allow the local Vision Australia teams to actively promote braille awareness in the local communities. 

NB: Vision Australia has previously received funding to the value of $151,398.

Northern Region Track and Road Athletics Program

Region - Hunter

Wheelchair Sports NSW works to enrich the lives of people with a physical disability through participation in sport by providing a range of quality sporting programs and opportunities for all ages and stages. 

The Foundation will help Wheelchair Sports NSW with a grant for $30,460 to purchase four specialised racing wheelchairs for the Northern Region Track and Road Athletics Program as well as venue hire for a year, to increase the options for sporting participation in the region and preventing the need for wheelchair athletes from Newcastle and the Northern Region of NSW to travel to Sydney to access facilities, coaching and training. 

Participants will also benefit from the knowledge of local paralympians Kurt Fearnley, Rheed McCracken and Christie Dawes who will provide coaching and mentoring to the regional athletes.