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News from Community Spirit Foundation - December 2022

As 2022 draws to a close, I reflect on the year with pride.

At a time when it’s more important than ever to engage with students, we’re seeing pleasing trends in enrolments at our partner schools. And we’re cheering on the Year 12 graduates who’ve taken part in our programs, as they prepare for life after school.

None of this work would have been possible without our partners and donors, and I thank you for your ongoing support this year.

I wish you and your family all the very best for a safe and happy holiday season.

Jade Colgan

CEO, Community Spirit Foundation


Impact in a snapshot

The beginning of 2022 was a period of uncertainty for our four partner communities. While those of us in capital cities were adjusting to ‘Covid normal’, many remote communities were dealing with the direct impact of the virus for the first time.

However, with some necessary adjustments, our staff continued to deliver our community-based programs. And we’re proud of the impact we’ve had in our four partner communities during the year*.

*Data as at the end of Term 3 2022.


Stride For Education 2022

Australian students and CSF partners pounded the pavement in November as part of Stride For Education.

More than 1200 students from across Australia took part in the virtual challenge, designed to encourage Australian kids to be active while learning about Community Spirit Foundation and our four partner communities.

Winners will receive in-school incursions delivered by Wanyara, Booktopia vouchers and vouchers donated by NIKE.

This year, Geoff Major – CSF’s Community Engagement Officer and Woorabinda local legend – set himself the target of walking 100 kilometres across the 12-day challenge. Geoff clocked 123.6 kilometres and used the opportunity to connect with members of the Woorabinda community about the work of the foundation.

As part of the challenge, participants received access to a series of videos that featured some of our staff, who described what makes our partner communities special to them. Here, program officer Natasha explains what makes her home – Elcho Island – special to her.


New wheels in Woorabinda

A new 12-seater Community Spirit Foundation van, based in Woorabinda, is giving the local team greater mobility to engage with the community, and transport students to and from camps and other programs.

We’re told that students and CSF staff share the responsibility for choosing what plays through the stereo.


New space for Palm Island

Our Palm Island team has relocated offices to a more central location, which will provide additional opportunities for engagement with the community.

The team is working to decorate the space with photos and other furnishings that will make it feel like a home away from home, to encourage members of the community to drop in and access resources, and to accommodate HIPPY programs.


Are you looking for a last-minute gift idea that will keep on giving long after the last cracker joke is told?

By donating to Community Spirit Foundation this Christmas, you will help us deliver education programs that support First Nations young people strive for a future of their choosing.


Looking to the future: Transition workbooks

Students in our four partner communities spent Term 4 focusing on transitions and preparing for the changes they’ll face in the new year. Students were encouraged to identify their support networks, set goals, consider strategies for dealing with change and practise gratitude.

One hundred and forty-four Year 6 students benefited from the workbooks, which were designed to support the students as they prepare to transition to high school.


Broadening young peoples’ horizons

After two years of disruptions, we were delighted to be able to facilitate nine camps in 2022.

Students from year 5 to 12 travelled to Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Darwin and Brisbane to see what lies beyond their community, through programming and activities that support them to step out of their comfort zones in urban areas. Students climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, watched the sunrise over Uluru, met the cast of Hamilton, built robots, got creative with paint and technology, went spotlighting for native animals, surfed, swam, rock climbed and much, much more. They also discovered pathways to enter university and TAFE, were encouraged to set goals for their future and made connections with students from other parts of the country. Throughout the year, students also attended ‘local’ camps in Woorabinda, Yulara and Townsville, where they engaged with services and key people closer to home. The local camps were developed as a result of restricted travel during the pandemic and have been so successful, we will offer a local camp to each of our four partner communities as a regular part of our Horizons suite in 2023.


"My name is Lavern. I am 11 years old and I live in Woorabinda.

I am at Woorabinda State School. I've been involved with the Community Spirit Foundation through the Horizons camp.

I attended the Community Spirit Foundation camp in Brisbane along with two other students from Woorabinda State School. Attending the camp, coming back home and going to school made me feel confident and happy.

The camp made a difference in my learning and classroom. The Community Spirit Foundation staff made me feel not shy whilst on camp and also in the classroom. They showed me around the place and I met new people from different places.

I might have been chosen because of my attendance and behaviour."


Introducing …

Community Spirit Foundation’s new Chief Operating Officer Deborah de Rossi hit the ground running in November (literally, she joined Stride For Education within days of starting).

Deborah joins the foundation with a wealth of experience in operational management and strategic leadership across a range of community services in both local government and not-for-profit organisations. This experience includes working with First Nations organisations to secure funding and implement culturally appropriate programs for First Nations people in Victoria.

“I am excited to join the foundation at a time that presents tremendous opportunity,” Deborah said.

“It has been a joy getting to know the business, and learning about the strength of our programs and the communities they’re delivered in. I look forward to working with the team to realise opportunities to further bolster the foundation’s impact.”


Phone: 03 9686 4813 Email:

PO Box 4335, Richmond East, VIC 3121



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