2019/2020 Foundation Barossa Annual Report
Message from the Chair
On behalf of our Board, it is a privilege to present the 2019/20 Annual Report of Foundation Barossa.
This year has been Foundation Barossa’s eighteenth year of operation, and a year fraught with the particular challenges that COVID-19 brought to our community and to the world. In April, we were tested to respond quickly as the implications of social isolation and anxiety were being felt, with agencies reporting a shortage of food, women’s shelters reporting an increase in demand, and many more members of our community feeling vulnerable and ill-equipped to deal with the conditions. It was a vivid reminder of the value of Community Foundations, who have the networks, the relationships, the focus and resources to work fast to deliver practical, on-the-ground support for people doing it tough. And it was a powerful reminder too, that our community is blessed with many generous, big-hearted supporters, who are ready to rally for a worthy cause. As always, we are very grateful for their support.
Despite the urgency and uncertainty that accompanied the coronavirus, it has been another rewarding year for the Foundation, where we have been able to deliver on our promise of working to improve the ability, opportunity and dignity of the disadvantaged. The Concordis sub-fund, with the support of founding partners, Two Hands, Seppeltsfield, Kaesler, and Torbreck, introduced a new focus towards people either working with or personally facing challenges that include homelessness, poor mental health, domestic violence and/or disability, and awarded 13 scholarships to local people, to help them achieve their goals.
Other highlights include:
• The Peter Lehmann Arts and Education Trust made awards for seven local projects, all of which enhance the Barossa’s rich cultural life;
• Local young people have received awards via the Thomas Scholarship, the Kicking Goals program, and Barossa Bands scholarship;
• The Ben Baker Memorial Scholarship was introduced, an initiative of Angaston Medical Centre and widely supported by the community;
• Our first ever Christmas appeal raised over $7000 that provided gifts for children and hampers for families struggling to afford food over the Christmas period;
• This past year, the Back to School program contributed over $27,000 in $50-vouchers for families to spend on equipping their kids with all that’s needed for a new school year;
• Independent learners from Nuriootpa and Birdwood High schools were supported via a contribution from our friends at the Wyatt Foundation;
• We launched the BUILD business mentoring program to support four local businesses to develop their sustainability and capacity to grow; and
• Community Grants were made to several important community groups, all of whom are working to support local people.
Once again, we’ve been delighted to have the support of several important partners, including our Gold sponsors, Homburg and Barossa Quarries – both of whom are thoughtful, generous and long-standing local supporters, who are very much appreciated. W2Wealth provide excellent investment advice at no cost to the Foundation, while AON insurance brokers offer generously discounted fees. EY donate their services to provide auditing of our accounts and we are grateful for Barossa Council providing our Executive Officer with regular office facilities.
And on the subject of our Executive Officer, Annabelle Elton-Martin, is fierce and tireless in making things happen for the Foundation. Her intelligence, energy and commitment to the cause is exemplary and we are very grateful for her contribution.
The work of the Foundation is largely driven by the voluntary time and expertise provided by our Board. I’d like to acknowledge this group of people, all of whom are united in purpose and committed to continuing to build capacity and self-reliance within the Barossa, and to ensure the diligent management of community funds. It’s an honour to work with them.
Of course, all of the Foundation’s work is made possible only by the generosity of our philanthropic donors, sponsors and supporters. Because people believe in Foundation Barossa and continue to support us, it’s crucial that we remain accountable and don’t take their trust for granted. I invite anyone interested in the work the Foundation does to get in touch with me or any of our Board members to speak about the Foundation, ask questions, or make suggestions of any kind. On behalf of the Board, my sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed to the work of Foundation Barossa over this past period.