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GCA Community Benefit Fund flies high

November 27, 2017

Gold Coast Airport has distributed more than $25,000 in grants to nearly 30 community groups across the Gold Coast and Tweed regions as part of its 2017 Community Benefit Fund.

The annual program is focused on supporting local community-based initiatives in the areas of health and wellbeing, safety, education, security, and environment.

A list of organisations and initiatives is provided below:

  • Tugun Surf Life Saving Club
  • ‍Robina High School
  • ‍North Kirra Surf Life Saving Club
  • ‍Agape Outreach
  • ‍Ormeau Shearers Rugby League Football Club
  • ‍Currumbin Alley Board Riders
  • ‍Palm Beach Currumbin High School
  • ‍Story Dogs
  • ‍Elanora State School
  • ‍Currumbin Tennis Club
  • ‍Tweed Heads Seagulls Rugby League Football Cub
  • ‍The Sanctuary Women’s and Children’s Refuge
  • ‍Coastal Dance
  • ‍South Tweed Junior Colts
  • ‍Gold Coast Show
  • ‍Mudgeeraba Neighbourhood Watch
  • ‍Sailability Gold Coast
  • ‍Surfers Paradise Cricket Club
  • ‍Southport Labrador Cricket Club
  • ‍Helensvale Rugby Union Club
  • ‍Beachcare
  • ‍Giveability Music Sessions
  • ‍Gold Coast Youth Services Horse Riding
  • ‍Australian Air Force Cadets
  • ‍Ingelside State School
  • ‍Oxenford Men’s Shed
  • ‍OzHarvest
  • ‍Shaping Outcomes

Gold Coast Airport Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said the Community Benefit Fund was only in its second year, but had already had a significant impact on a number of local community groups.

“Since its inception in 2016, the Community Benefit Fund has allowed us to assist nearly 50 community-based initiatives across the Gold Coast and northern New South Wales regions,” she said.

“We are aware that these groups can often struggle to compete for the corporate sponsorship dollar, so we are pleased to be able to offer a funding program focussed on supporting grassroots community initiatives.

“The grants were typically based on $1,000 per program and it has been great to see just how far this money has gone.”

On the Tweed, the South Tweed Heads Colts Junior Cricket Club has purchased new equipment for its junior cricketers with the funds.

“The sources of funds for a community based organisation such as ours are limited and it is a very competitive market,” said junior coaching co-ordinator, Nick Rimell.

“In the absence of external grants and charitable funding our only real mechanism of keeping up with increased costs is to increase membership fees which in turn has the impact of reducing player numbers. Without assistance like this, community organisations such as ours would struggle to exist.”

2017 Community Benefit Fund recipient, The Sanctuary Women’s and Children’s Refuge said the funds could not have come at a better time.

“The funds from GCA’s Community Benefit Fund were very timely. Our funding proposal was for an electronic device to secure our front gate, but the week before the funds were announced, a person delivering equipment to the refuge drove a heavy vehicle through the gates, making them unusable. It turned out that this driver was not insured, and our excess would have been more than it was worth to cover the damage,” a spokesperson from The Sanctuary said.

“After learning of the incident, further generosity from Gold Coast Airport allowed us to not only install an electronic system, but also replace the gates.”

The Community Benefit Fund also supported the production of fridge magnets with emergency contact information, being rolled out across Mudgeeraba as part of the reestablishment of the suburb’s neighbourhood watch program.

“It’s fantastic to see one of the Gold Coast’s largest corporations supporting a small community group who are going about business preventing crime and raising awareness of crime prevention in their local Neighbourhood Watch,” said  Snr Sgt Mark Anderson, Officer in Charge of Mudgeeraba Police.

“Gold Coast Airport was enthusiastic when approached by Neighbourhood Watch Mudgeeraba to fund a proposal to produce highly visible emergency number fridge magnets which will be provided free of charge to households.”

The Community Benefit Fund is run by Gold Coast Airport’s parent company, Queensland Airports Limited (QAL), which also operates Townsville, Mount Isa and Longreach airports.

The 2017 Community Benefit Fund contributed close to $50,000 to 44 organisations across QAL’s four airports.

In addition to philanthropic donations, QAL also contributes approximately $650,000 each year in sponsorship support of local community, business, environmental and tourism events in each of its regions and across Queensland and northern New South Wales.

The 2018 Community Benefit Fund will be launched early next year. Organisations interested in applying should stay tuned to Gold Coast Airport’s website and Facebook page for further updates.

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