Community comes out tops with airport grants

October 31, 2019

From Shakespeare Under the Stars to the creation of buddy benches for young school students, a host of Townsville organisations have secured funding from Townsville Airport’s latest Community Benefit Fund.

A total of 16 community groups have been successful and will each receive around $1000 to deliver a range of valuable initiatives across categories including health and wellbeing, education, environment and sustainability, arts and culture and indigenous projects.

The groups were selected after a record number of submissions were received for this year’s annual Community Benefit Fund, run by Townsville Airport’s parent company Queensland Airports Limited (QAL).

Townsville Airport Chief Operating Officer Kevin Gill said it was a privilege for the company to support such worthy grassroots initiatives.

“The Community Benefit Fund is an important vehicle for us to support our local community in a meaningful way,” he said.

“The fund enables us to help grassroots organisations get their initiatives up and running, which may otherwise struggle to find funding. We look forward to working with our grant recipients and seeing their projects come to life.”

A new streamlined application process was delivered for the Community Benefit Fund this year, making it quicker and easier for groups to apply.

“This year it took each organisation less than an hour to apply for the funds,” Mr Gill said.

One of the successful organisations in 2019 was the Joyful Foundation Fund, a local charity established seven years ago to support young school children, particularly those from underprivileged families who may be struggling to afford school uniforms and equipment.

Joyful Foundation Fund president Grace Vigar said the funding would be put to good use, after being inundated with requests for help from families impacted by the flood earlier this year.

“It has been a busy year for us, and we are most grateful to receive these funds,” she said.

“We are in the process of preparing stationery packs and books to go out to schools ahead of next year, which will help about 800 students. The Foundation will also continue to provide our buddy benches to schools across Townsville, Charters Towers and the Tablelands to help with children who may be feeling isolated or bullied.”

Another successful applicant this year was Theatre iNQ, who used the grant to give local Indigenous students the opportunity to watch Indigenous actors take the lead in the latest production of Shakespeare Under the Stars.

The Community Benefit Fund, together with the QAL corporate sponsorship program, supports more than 80 local community, business, environmental and tourism initiatives and events across Queensland and NSW each year.

The fund will reopen in early 2020 through the Townsville Airport and QAL websites.

This year’s successful recipients include:

1. Angel Paws

2. Australian Red Cross

3. Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare

4. Community Information Centre Townsville

5. Dancenorth

6. Full Throttle Theatre Company

7. Hope and Healing Committee

8. Jimirara Wildlife Conservation and Research Centre

9. Joyful Foundation Fund

10. North Queensland Combined Women’s Services

11. Oonoonba State School

12. Rize Up Australia

13. Sailability Townsville

14. St Vincent’s De Paul Society Queensland

15. Straw No More

16. Theatre iNQ