We remain dedicated to helping Australians across the nation enjoy healthy lives by supporting innovative programs that challenge the way we currently tackle health and wellbeing issues.
Our charitable foundation is the cornerstone of our philanthropic commitment. Since its inception more than $12 million in funding has been provided to aid the development and delivery of unique and practical health and wellbeing initiatives.
To date, the foundation has already made a positive difference to the lives of over 45,000 Australians through its partnerships with 60 Australian charities at both a local and national level.
During the financial year, the foundation formed 13 new community partnerships that are already bringing positive health benefits in areas including youth mental health, family and youth disadvantage, chronic and rare disease, disability and food security. Programs supported include the:
- Crohn’s and Colitis Australia’s inflammatory bowel disease forums across New South Wales, including the Hunter, to address a growing demand for support and information for patients and their families;
- inaugural Brisbane Amazing Magic Club run by the Arts Health Institute that combines magic with occupational therapy to aid young people with cerebral palsy build strength and dexterity in their limbs;
- expansion of ARAFMI Hunter’s mental health carers program across the Hunter New England to meet the need for Borderline Personality Disorder support services, information and education; and
- development and implementation of an innovative pilot program by Quest for Life aimed at addressing the gap in holistic treatment programs available for young Australians with eating disorders.
The period also saw the foundation reaffirm its support for two of its national partners, CanTeen and the Gidget Foundation, to build upon the success already experienced to date with these programs.
More than 2,500 counselling sessions have been provided to young people affected by parental cancer over the course of the pilot of CanTeen’s Counselling Service. With the foundation’s support, the program will continue in all eastern states, as well as expand to Western Australia. In addition, the program will be made available to young cancer patients, as well as offspring and siblings.
The Gidget Foundation’s Emotional Wellbeing Pilot Program was introduced in the private hospital system in 2011 at North Shore Private Hospital to provide antenatal mental health screening. Our support will continue for another two years helping to screen an additional 2,000 families and improve understanding about perinatal mental health.
One of the foundation’s early partners, the Hunter Medical Research Institute, completed its four-year Healthy Schools, Healthy Futures research project during the year. Preliminary results indicate that resilience-focused intervention is successful in reducing the early up-take of risk-taking behaviours such as smoking, drinking and drug use among young people. The final results of the study will be released later this year.
There is a growing demand for funding support across Australia, which was demonstrated through the nearly 500 applications received for the foundation’s 2014 Community Grant funding round, up 150% on last year. The foundation will continue to play an important role in helping to meet the health and wellbeing funding needs of charities across the country and in turn, delivering ongoing health benefits to the Australian community.
Our workplace fundraising program, the MAD Committee, brings together our employees, our business and charities to create a positive social impact.
Through the generosity of our employees, the committee has raised more than $50,000 and overwhelming in-kind support for 40 local and national charities since 2008.
This dedication to the community continued in the 2014 financial year with fundraisers held to assist charities including SIDS and Kids’ Red Nose Day, the Salvation Army’s Red Shield Appeal and OzHarvest.