I remember when the Greater Shepparton Foundation was launched at Billabong Garden Complex in 2019, with a courageous mission to find creative solutions to tackle intergenerational disadvantage.
A tall ask for any organisation – but no one could predict two years of pandemic related uncertainty, shifting global and local focus and changing community needs that would follow.
But out of great uncertainty comes growth, and in the case of the Greater Shepparton Foundation the organisation was nimble and engaged broadly to deliver important community projects like Food Link, linking restaurants and catering businesses who suffered during the pandemic to make meals for those doing it tough.
The result was a comprehensive 10,000 meals delivered to social service organisations ensuring 10,000 families didn’t go without and providing a lifeline to struggling hospitality premises.
As the wonderful Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody song goes, “from little things, big things grow”.
As I put my feet under the desk in my first week in the role as CEO of the Greater Shepparton Foundation, I reflect on the incredible achievements of the last three years and give special mention to outgoing CEO Cheryl Hammer for ‘steering the ship’ during some especially challenging times.
I am enthused every day as I meet with community leaders and funding partners and discuss their important programs and how the investments made have changed the lives of those involved.
The Lift Off Scholarships are just one example of how the investment we make today can result in a more interconnected and equal community.
Over the past eight years 105 scholarships have been awarded to support young people to achieve their dreams through higher education. Inspiring students to pursue higher education is one of the most satisfying ways we can support our young people, and in the long term, our community.
With Lift Off Scholarship applications opening in October, this is a call to school leavers or those taking a gap year with higher education aspirations in 2023 to jump on the Scholarships page of our website www.greatershepparton.foundation and consider applying.
After hearing some previous scholarship recipients’ stories and learning just how the Lift Off Scholarship support can provide confidence and clarity to young peoples’ lives, I am really looking forward to being directly involved in the process of supporting young people to achieve their education goals.
This is what we at Greater Shepparton Foundation are here for.
To listen, learn and with local expertise, work with many great minds to uncover new and creative solutions to strengthen our community.
If you have an idea or want to support the work of the Greater Shepparton Foundation, my door is open, please reach out to me at email@example.com