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2017 saw important community projects and initiatives supported in the Northern Rivers region with funding totaling more than $227,289

Charitable Foundation provided a $97,000 grant to introduce the program in seven public schools throughout regional NSW

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Next funding round closes soon.

2017 Northern Rivers 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.

Special School Playground Area Upgrade

Region - Northern Rivers

Biala Support Services provides education, respite, therapy and support services to both children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities in the Ballina area, including through Biala Special School. 

A small independent school for students with a moderate to severe intellectual disability and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder, Biala’s secure grounds contain three classrooms, a Sensory Room, purpose-built library, indoor heated hydrotherapy pool and outdoor play area. Under the fickle Northern Rivers weather the surface of the play area has degraded, so the Foundation will provide $30,000 to install a new synthetic grass surface to provide a durable safe outdoor surface area for the School’s students to safely make the most of the facility. 

Last year the Foundation was proud to fund a refurbishment of Biala’s Melaleuca House respite home in Ballina East, which provides invaluable respite for families of people with disabilities.

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.


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. 


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).


Little RED Records

Region - Northern Rivers

RED Inc. is a community organisation that works with people with disabilities to enhance their wellbeing.

The Lismore-based RED Inc. will start Little RED Records with this grant of $19,982. Little RED Records will create an accessible, affordable and mobile recording studio where aspiring musicians with disabilities can access professional-level recording facilities. The equipment will reside in RED Inc’s studio but will be portable so that recording opportunities can be offered anywhere and anytime, including  at youth events, remote communities, and at home for people with anxiety disorders. 

Users will be able to record a radio-ready recording, empowering young musicians with a disability and bolstering their self-esteem and confidence to participate in their local community. Little RED Records will also provide work experience and opportunities for young people from RED Inc. to participate in the recording process.

Learn About Driving Skills

Young Driver Education Facility

Region - Northern Rivers

The Learn About Driving Skills Driver Education Facility will be a purpose-built facility at Lismore, funded with $110,000 from the Foundation, to learn safe driving skills in the classroom and in a practical environment. Targeting students from 30 high schools across the region in the most at-risk age bracket of road fatalities, 15- to 19-year-olds, the Driver Education Facility will include a track that provides a range of road conditions such as wet roads, corners, and roundabouts. The aim of the Facility is to equip young drivers with safe driving behaviours, reducing the occurrence of road crashes and fatalities.

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.

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.

NPCF beneficiaries logo

Adaptive Technology Project for people who are blind or have low vision

Vision Australia is the leading provider of blindness and low vision services in Australia. Specialist staff provide services that meet each individual client’s needs and challenges over the course of a lifetime from early infancy to the very elderly.

A $20,000 grant from the Charitable Foundation will enable the organisation to upgrade adaptive technology in their Newcastle, Gosford, Lismore and Coffs Harbour Centres.  The new technology will facilitate the training of Vision Australia’s clients on the latest Windows operating systems and include larger screens for clients with low vision. The project will enable the organisation to continue to provide a range of programs and services to the community including text to speech programs and magnification software for those with some degree of vision.