Mama Lana’s Community Foundation (MLCF) is dedicated to supporting our often forgotten homeless and underprivileged community in the Penrith region. They provide home-cooked meals six nights a week as well as holistic support to people suffering homelessness, enabling them to advance their well- being and prospects for future independence. More info
Meet the presenter: Lana Borg, Founder
After cooking for firefighters during the 2013 Springwood bushfires, Lana realised there were plenty of people in the Penrith area she could help. Guided by the words ‘kindness with no strings attached’, the grandmother and full-time aged care worker set up Mama Lana’s Community Foundation with her husband, Roger, to offer people suffering homelessness with a welcoming environment and a home-cooked meal.
Zara’s House exists to provide a safe and supportive place, where refugee and Australian women in the Newcastle area can create shared experiences, make friends, and share stories and skills. They offer a range of support programs, including language classes, citizenship test preparation, women’s health, child development and family relationships, to empower migrant and refugee women and enable them to better settle into the local community. More info
Meet the presenter: Sister Diana Santleben, Founder
A Dominican, Sister Di has devoted her life to helping others. She believes “People do not forget the generosity they have been offered during their early days in Australia and their loyalty to the country that has assisted them will persist for generations.” Sister Di is driven by this passion to educate migrant and refugee women and create meaningful connections for these women in their local community.
The Sanctuary Women’s and Children’s Refuge is one of the only refuges in the country that offers temporary crisis accommodation for women and children escaping domestic violence with their pets. The pets stay with women and children in units, which Simone and her loyal supporters have made welcoming and secure. The refuge also offers holistic support to help these women build healthy, safe and independent futures. More info
Meet the presenter: Simone Patterson, Founder and CEO
Simone began her welfare career as a prison officer. She immediately recognised that domestic violence was a major social issue: services available were negligible. After gaining tertiary qualifications in Social Work, years of experience, networks and resources, Simone is now following her dream of helping domestic violence victims. Understanding that women often stay in violent relationships for fear of leaving pets behind, Simone set up The Sanctuary – a refuge that welcomes animal companions.
The Power In You Project exists to support and empower individuals battling addiction in the Geelong community to achieve lasting change in their lives. After identifying a gap in the system for people waiting to go into rehab and those that have returned from rehab, Power In You was developed to fill that gap and enable participants to re-engage with the community.
Meet the presenter: Kane Nuttall, Program Director
After 12 years of experiencing challenges with substance abuse, Kane has taken the fight against addiction into his own hands. After witnessing first-hand critical gaps in services available for people suffering addiction, Kane has used his lived experience to form the basis of his rehabilitation programs and provide holistic support to others, ensuring no one else in the Geelong community falls through these gaps.
There is an urgent need for access to affordable, nutritious food in the Norlane area. Developed by the community, for the community Norlane Community Initiatives works to address these community needs including social isolation, family support, food insecurity, health and wellbeing.
Meet the presenter: Simon Reeves, CEO
Simon is passionate about creating healthy, sustainable and inclusive neighbourhoods. Through their work at Norlane Community Initiatives, Simon and his wife, Kaylene, are committed to cultivating the Geelong community and providing a place where can connect and belong.
Ocean Mind provides therapeutic surf courses for young people experiencing mental health issues, social isolation and/or disabilities’. By using a mix of evidence-based surf therapy and mentoring courses, they create a therapeutic environment for young people to challenge themselves, improve resilience and self-confidence, and strengthen relationships with family friends and the broader community.
Meet the presenter: Rachael Parker, Founder
With over ten years’ experience working with children and young people, Rachael is passionate about the power of outdoor environments to create positive experiences. She founded Ocean Mind to connect young people with nature, community and mentors, and empower them to build self-confidence and capability to transcend challenges in their lives.
A Brave Life runs peer mentoring programs for young and teenage mothers, the majority of whom are from low socio-economic backgrounds. Their Live Life Brave program supports these mothers to complete their higher education; empowering them to navigate the challenges associated with being a teenage parent, so they can be a financially independent, positive role model for their child.
Meet the presenter: Melissa Redsell, Founding Director
Melissa believes education is an important responsibility for every teen mother, so they can become financially independent and best support their child. Having been a teenage mother herself she deeply understands the importance of empowering teenage mothers to equip themselves with the knowledge to be a positive role model for their child.
Did you know, one in five (20%) Australians aged 16-85 experiences a mental illness in any given year? Australian youth have the highest prevalence of mental illness of any other age group. Pathways to Resilience was formed to address this. Specifically, the Pathways to Resilience team works in regional, remote and low-socioeconomic communities. They deliver programs designed to prevent anxiety, depression, and suicide, achieving positive outcomes for children, young people, families and communities.
Meet the presenter: Debbie Miller, Director of Education and Learning
Debbie is an experienced educator specialising in Early Childhood and has over 30 years experience across the educational field to tutoring in tertiary education. As Director of Education and Learning, she trains key stakeholders working with children in social and emotional learning programs and embedding wellbeing in the curriculum. As an author, mentor and coach in children's wellbeing, Debbie uses tools of critical questioning to engage participants in working toward innovation and change to improve the accessibility of social and emotional learning for children in educational settings.
By connecting isolated Australians with rescue animals in need, Happy Paws Happy Hearts (HPHH) is effectively addressing two significant social problems: social isolation for veterans or people living with a disability, and animal abandonment. HPHH puts individuals at the centre of its services to restore their sense of purpose. They deliver on a broad range of outcomes including improved well-being, increased social participation and new employment prospects.
Meet the presenter: Zoë Black, CEO
Zoë is passionate about making positive change for people and rescue animals in Brisbane. By harnessing the physical, social and psychological benefits that spending time with rescue animals offers, Zoe is creating mutually beneficial outcomes for both vulnerable individuals and rescue animals. Zoe was recently awarded a Westpac Social Change Fellowship, AIM30 Under 30 and two National Disability Awards for Social Inclusion
TFN is a charity too, and we love what we do but we can’t do it without your support. By donating to The Funding Network, you are helping us connect more grassroots changemakers with everyday Australians who can support the vital work they're doing in our local communities. Quite simply by funding TFN you are funding grassroots social innovation.