Gold Coast Airport has today launched its second annual Community Benefit Fund, aimed at supporting local groups through one-off grants in the areas of health and wellbeing, safety, education, environment, arts and culture and other community initiatives.
The Community Benefit Fund is run by Gold Coast Airport’s parent company, Queensland Airports Limited (QAL) which has contributed more than $70,000 to community groups through the fund and associated initiatives in the past 12 months.
QAL Chief Executive Officer Chris Mills said the inaugural Community Benefit Fund was very well received and had proven to be a successful avenue for local communities to tap into the group’s broader philanthropic efforts.
“We have an established corporate sponsorship program, and the introduction of the Community Benefit Fund has allowed us to complement this by giving back to a wider cross-section of the local community,” Mr Mills said.
Grants will typically be based on $1,000 per group and should produce positive outcomes within at least one of the nominated funding categories.
Gold Coast Airport Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said the Community Benefit Fund had proven to be a wonderful way to proactively engage and support local community groups.
“Last year, Gold Coast Airport supported 24 initiatives ranging from local surf lifesaving clubs, to schools, sporting associations and environmental groups,” Ms Charlton said.
“Funding can be an up-hill battle for groups like these which often don’t have the resources to compete for the corporate sponsorship dollar, so we’re very proud to have been able to contribute.”
Children’s literacy program Story Dogs was one of the beneficiaries of last year’s fund. The unique reading support program uses trained, accredited dogs and their owners to make reading fun for primary school children.
Story Dogs Co-founder Janine Sigley has purchased 100 new high-quality picture books which it has distributed across the Gold Coast to help more than 165 children learn to read.
“Story Dogs receives no government funding for our program, so we rely on grants and donations such as this to fund our program,” Ms Sigley said.
“Story Dogs is a local organisation working with local volunteers helping children in local schools learn to read. The idea of community support really comes to life when a local organisation, such as Gold Coast Airport, also becomes involved, helping with funding and empowering even more children.”
Applications for this year’s Gold Coast Airport Community Benefit Fund will be open from 8-29 May, 2017. For more information and to apply, visit www.goldcoastairport.com.au/corporate/community/community-benefit-fund/.
QAL is a regional airport specialist which also owns and operates Townsville and Mount Isa and Longreach airports.